Congratulations Phyllis – 25 Years at the helm of Action on Asbestos (Clydeside Action on Asbestos)

Congratulations to Phyllis Craig MBE- Senior Welfare Rights Officer and Director of Action on Asbestos (Formerly knows as Clydeside Action on Asbestos) who has been the anchor of our charity for 25 years today.

Congratulations Phyllis, from all the staff at Action on Asbestos for your leadership and friendship over the last 25 Years.

Phyllis, after graduating with a degree in law from Glasgow University, worked at Castlemilk Law Centre before coming to Clydeside Action on Asbestos on 2 October 1995.  At the time CAA was a small organisation in Glasgow started by men and women who were suffering from asbestos-related diseases and who were determined to help those who had lost family and friends to asbestos -related diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Phyllis receiving her MBE from the Queen in 2012

At that time the landscape was extremely difficult and those with asbestos conditions found that they were faced with many obstacles in accessing financial help and emotional support.  Phyllis led the charity from the front from the day she arrived and the charity went on to achieve many landmark changes in the law directly leading to improvements in sufferers quality of life.  Phyllis’s achievements were recognised in 2012 when she received an MBE from the Queen for Services to Sufferers of Asbestos-related Disease.  Her reaction to the award of her MBE was typical Phyllis:

I’m so proud to have been honoured in this way but proudest of all to have been able to represent those who suffer from an asbestos related disease and their families.

Throughout her 25 years Phyllis has always believed it was vital that people had somewhere to turn for practical and emotional support and through our welfare rights service, support groups, social events and fundraisers. Phyllis has always put people first and foremost in everything the charity does and believes in. Journalist Deborah Punshon, in her article on the charity’s work over 25 years, perhaps sums up the charity and Phyllis’s best:

Behind the facade of a very unassuming building in Glasgow, important work is going on. You would walk past Clydeside Action on Asbestos’s offices on High Street, barely giving it a second glance. But what’s going on behind those doors is as impressive as it is surprising.

For over 25 years, the CAA charity has been a voice and a backbone for people with asbestos-related illnesses. It has lobbied, campaigned and worked hand-in-hand with medical and legal experts to right a lethal legacy of Scotland’s industrial past. It has fought for compensation for scores of people who have become ill because employers failed in their duties to protect them. And it has successfully implemented changes in Scottish law which gives victims of asbestos-related conditions and their families more rights than elsewhere

……..But the secret of its success appears to come straight from the heart.

“Because we care,” said
Phyllis. “That’s first and

Hopefully, when restrictions allow, we can have a proper celebration, but, for now, from all the your staff and on behalf of everyone you have helped over the last 25 years, thanks Phyllis.  It has been a genuine privilege to be part of everything you and the charity has achieved and like you said, we do it because we care.

Journalist Deborah Punshon: A Special Report on CAA: “… a group in Glasgow is making a huge difference to people with asbestos-related conditions”