Catherine is an independent researcher, writer and activist in the areas of disability benefits, social care and M.E./CFS. She has recently worked with user-led organisations such as the Spartacus Network, as well as with national charities Mind and Action for M.E, and is a member of the Independent Living Strategy Group.
She has over 25 years’ experience of a life severely restricted by chronic illness - frequently confined to her home and sometimes bedbound – and of the stigma attached to so-called Medically Unexplained Symptoms. In the last 7 years, she and her friends’ lives have been profoundly affected by welfare reform. These experiences have shaped her long-term passion and struggle for a sense of citizenship and belonging and sparked her interest in the social model of disability and the disability rights movement.
Previously, Catherine co-led a local peer support group for people with M.E./CFS and worked in a policy and communications role for her local Council for Voluntary Services. Catherine has two daughters and often muses that motherhood is the only form of work you’re never too ill to do.
In the very distant past Catherine trained at the Ballet Rambert school until she fell ill with M.E., after which she gained a first class degree in social anthropology from the London School of Economics during an all-too-brief remission from the illness in the early 90s.
Catherine blogs at: limitedcapability.blogspot.co.uk
Follow Catherine on twitter: @octoberpoppy