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:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ellie Simmonds - what a role model

It's just brilliant seeing Ellie Simmonds popping up on the TV - I've spotted her on Sports Personality of the Year [where she spoke with huge confidence], A Question of Sport [where she got a lot of the answers right and was on the winning team] and this week on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off [where she was made Star Baker].

Her inclusion in these programmes is just so natural, and it's simply great to see a young disabled person [she's just 18 years old] with so much confidence, life and charm.

I hope she realises what an inspiration she is.  I know a lot of disabled people hate the 'i' word but take my son who is also short statured - the only other short statured person he sees is me, so it's just fabulous for him to see someone else who is short not only on TV but right up there with other sportspeople and celebrities.

Let's hope the inclusion of more disabled people like Ellie on TV continues as the norm and doesn't disappear as the memories and intentions following London 2012 fades, what a great legacy that would be.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Never too late? My quest for gait analysis.

Well it's another New Year and top of my list is to go to the doctors to see if they will refer me for 'gait analysis'.

Gait analysis involves someone looking at the way you walk.  They use their observations to establish whether there's anything that should be done to improve the way you walk and your balance eg adjustments to shoes, wearing of insoles, recommending wearing [or not wearing] particular types of shoes etc.

Last year I saw a podiatrist - they diagnose problems with the foot, ankle, lower extremities [that's legs to you and me] - she couldn't believe I had never been referred to a podiatrist and said that if I had seen one in my childhood it could have been very beneficial potentially improving my walking, balance, maintaining joint mobility/flexibility and even reducing the curvature of my spine....

In a way hearing that was a bit of a bitter blow to me because what is done is done but I've always felt that more could have been done to improve my mobility/flexibility or at the very least help me maintain it. 

But having to leave those thoughts aside I'm now determined to look after myself.  Particularly because as I get older I can feel my joints moaning every now and then and my flexiblity is probably slowly decreasing. 

Even though the podiatrist I saw prescribed insoles which I now wear in my shoes all the time, the wear on the soles of my shoes is still not even.  I'm also getting some 'locking' in my hips if I bend over which is hugely painful and means I can't walk until I've 'unlocked' the hip. 

So today I've, at last, booked the doctors appointment to make the gait analysis request.  At the very least I'd like to maintain the mobility and balance that I have, if they could be improved that would be a huge bonus but I'm not expecting miracles this far down the line.

Watch this space.