Contact details

As well as being a freelance writer I am also a qualified counsellor and I work for a low cost counselling service in Exeter and for the NHS Gender Clinic also in Exeter.

Simultaneously, I work as a Disability Member of the First Tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber sitting on disability benefit tribunals on an ad hoc basis.

As a writer I specialise in writing about disability and health.

My articles have been published in the Guardian, Times, OUCH! [BBC disability website], Disability Now, Broadcast, Lifestyle [Motability magazine], The Practising Midwife, 'Junior, Pregnancy & Baby', Writers' News, Able, Getting There [Transport for London magazine], Junior, Community Care, DPPi [Disability, Pregnancy & Parenthood International]. I have also had articles commissioned by Daily Mail.

For more information about me and for examples of my writing please see below.

If you would like me to write an article for your publication, about any aspect of disability, please do get in touch:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Growing confidence and growing up

There are a lot of attributes we'd like our children to have but when you have a disabled child I think one quality you hope for is for them to have confidence.

Having just moved house again Archie has had to start at another new preschool. But thanks to having been at a superb preschool in Devon which built his confidence levels up no end he has just taken it right in his stride.

He wasn't at all fazed about being left with people he'd never met before in a new setting and actually complained about having to go home on the first day, and I don't think he hates being at home!

The great thing about being where we are now is that Ben is also able to go to preschool for three sessions/week even though he isn't quite 2 and 1/2 yet.

When I left them for that first session together I felt really happy because they were both happy to be left - that made me feel like I'd done something right - I'd managed to produce two children who had enough confidence to do their own thing and who had complete trust in me ie that I was going to come back for them as I told them I would. There wasn't a tear in sight - a far cry from the image I had had of leaving my children at a school for the first time I have to say!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Growing pains

Archie, my short statured son, is on a bit of a munchathon at the moment - I'm not sure whether it's a growth spurt or whether he has decided if he eats more that he'll grow more - an idea that might have been installed from reading the book 'Marvin Wanted More', about a sheep that wanted to be bigger so he ate and ate and ate. [In fact Marvin wasn't happy being gigantic but I think Archie has ignored the moral of the tale at this point]

He talks a lot about being bigger and about how other children are bigger than him. He also asks questions like "when do we stop growing?", "if I don't eat or drink anything I won't grow will I?"

Whilst I want to encourage him to eat I don't want to lie to him and say, if you eat all this you'll be 6ft tall when you are older. It would just be a lie. I guess the thing is to make sure he enjoys eating and doesn't worry too much about the outcome. But it feels inevitable that he's going to notice more and more that he's smaller than his peers - something I just can't remember feeling when I was young at all... maybe I was just a bit thick!