A YORK hospice has been given a £7,000 funding boost after the cost of caring for a man dying from asbestos-related cancer was recovered by specialist lawyers.

Former electrician Jim Benson, 77, of Acomb, died four months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, the cancer of the lining of the lung which can be caused by asbestos dust.

During his career, the father-of two and grandfather-of four worked as an electrical engineer in a hospital and encountered asbestos on lagging covering pipes and radiators.

He went on to become an appliance repair electrician, working on domestic appliances like cookers, storage heaters and fires that contained asbestos.

He first developed symptoms including breathlessness in 2019. Following tests he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November that year.

As his condition deteriorated, he was cared for at St Leonard’s Hospice and he died in January 2020.

Prior to his death, Mr Benson and his wife of 54 years, Kathleen, 76, instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he came to develop the illness.

The experts went on to secure justice for by settling a claim against two of his former employers.

A previous landmark judgment secured by Irwin Mitchell also meant that the family’s legal team could recover costs related to the care that Jim received from St Leonard’s Hospice.

“As a result, around £7,000 has now been passed to the charity,” said a spokesperson for Irwin Mitchell.

Lucy Andrews, the firm’s legal expert who represented Jim’s family, said it was delighted to have been able to recover the costs and to give something back to St Leonard’s, which did so much to help people in the area.

Jim’s daughter Elaine Gears, 51, said: “It was awful to see how the cancer affected Dad, but the hospice took incredible care of him.

“At such a horrible and upsetting time for our family everyone at the hospice was wonderful. They showed us so much empathy and compassion and provided the best care they could for Dad which we’ll always be grateful for.

“Life continues to be difficult and we all miss Dad. He was the rock of our family and we think about him every day.

“We know nothing can make up for what happened but we wanted to do something to honour his memory.

“The donation to St Leonard’s is just our way of saying thank you and trying to give something back.

“We hope that this money means others will get the same quality support that Dad had.”