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:

Monday, December 23, 2013

2014 - the year supermarkets clamp down on disabled parking abuse?

A few months ago a 64 year old man, Brian Holmes, was killed following a row over a disabled parking space at an Asda store in Bedfordshire.  Alan Watts, 65, was found guilty of manslaughter and has recently been jailed for 5 years.

The abuse of Disabled parking spaces is something that used to really get on my nerves but to a large extent now I have moved out of London it has become less of an issue for me in terms of the abuse I witness on a day to day level. 

Then one very wet Sunday morning in the run up to Christmas I went to a large Tesco near me...  Even though I arrived early most of the disabled spaces are taken and few have blue badges.  When I point this out to the lady on Customer Services she comes up with the excellent excuse 'there is nothing we can do'.

Well it's good to know that Tesco values its disabled customers, er not.  Of course this is the same supermarket chain that didn't seem to give a stuff that they were installing inaccessible self 'pay at pump' machines...  I voted with my feet after experiencing that and have never bought petrol from them since. 

So until Tesco have more of a 'can do' rather than a 'can't be bothered' attitude towards making its stores accessible I'll be making sure I go elsewhere. 

But it will be interesting to see whether the Bedfordshire case opens up the supermarket chains eyes to the depth of emotion that people feel around abuse of disabled parking and how much the issue riles people. 

Will 2014 be the year they finally start fining people for parking in disabled spaces?