About Us

Our history
SARAG (Sheffield And Rotherham Asbestos Group) was started in 1995 by occupational health workers, trades union health & safety workers who were concerned that such was the scale of asbestos use throughout the many heavy industries in this region that a local group to help victims was needed and following packed public meetings in both Sheffield and Rotherham, SARAG was formed and the work began, carried out by volunteers, many of whom had themselves been exposed to asbestos and affected by asbestos related diseases.

Our funding
In 1999, SARAG was awarded a grant from the National Lotteries Charities Board to help develop the work of the group. Since that time we have had a number of small grants from different sources and we have also been grateful for very kind donations from organisations, individual supporters, asbestos victims, their families and friends. In the current financial climate as with many charities, we are finding it increasingly difficult to secure funding for the longer term, and donations are so important to our survival and helping us to continue our work on behalf of asbestos victims in the region. We also have a number of fundraising events throughout the year and if you would like to help with our fundraising activities or donate to SARAG please see fundraising.

Our name
The acronym ‘SARAG’ stands for Sheffield And Rotherham Asbestos Group. The name ‘SARAG’ is now very well known and respected by medical staff and other organisations across this region, but because we help people affected by asbestos-related diseases not only in Sheffield and Rotherham, but also very many people in Doncaster, also Barnsley, all parts of South Yorkshire and Worksop, Retford and Bassetlaw region, we now call ourselves ‘SARAG – South Yorkshire Asbestos Victims Support Group’ as this better describes the spread of the area we cover.

Our organisation
SARAG became a registered charity (1080365) in 2000 and was awarded a CLS Quality Mark for General Help. SARAG is a member of Advice UK and is a founder member of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups’ Forum UK (AVSGF-UK).

SARAG has a Trustee Management Committee that meets to discuss matters regularly every month. The Trustees are people who themselves have been affected by asbestos related diseases, or who have a particular interest in asbestos issues and the work we do on behalf of victims.  We also have an open annual General Meeting each year that everyone is welcome to attend, which is usually held in the autumn.

We are always looking to encourage and welcome new Trustees. If you would like more information about becoming a SARAG Trustee please contact SARAG on 01709 360 672.

Our Patrons
SARAG patrons are Dr Gurnam Basran BSc FRCP DM, Consultant chest physician at Rotherham District General Hospital, and, Mr John Edwards, Phd FRCS Glasg.(C/Th) Consultant thoracic surgeon at Northern General Hospital, Sheffield.

Our services
We provide help, advice, information and support to people affected by asbestos-related diseases.

We offer home visits for people throughout South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire and we can also provide assistance by telephone. You can also come to see us at our office base in Rotherham, but please ring us first to arrange a time to come in, or we may be out of the office on home visits when you call in.

We arrange different support events throughout the year and also have monthly meetings, which take place either in Sheffield or Rotherham or Doncaster that everyone is most welcome to attend. For further details of our support events and meetings click here.

We also campaign about issues affecting asbestos victims and the continuing hazards of asbestos, together with other asbestos victims support groups in the AVSGF-UK and for details of current issues and campaigns please see asbestosforum.org.uk

Our thanks
We would like to thank the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group who compiled some of the text of the SARAG information booklet and gave kind permission for it to be reproduced to assist people affected by asbestos related diseases in South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire. Extracts of the text in the SARAG 2010 information booklet provides some of the information given on this website. If you would like to receive a copy of the booklet, please contact us.