Chronic Illness Inclusion Project

Chronic Illness Inclusion Project


About Us

The Chronic Inclusion Project Team is led by Catherine Hale, with support from Stef Benstead and members of the Chronic Illness community.

Catherine Hale

Lead researcher and project manager

Catherine is lead researcher and project manager on the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project. Catherine has worked as a policy researcher with Mind, Action for ME, the Spartacus Network and Inclusion London...
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Stef Benstead

Researcher (2018)

Stef is an independent disability and social security researcher. She has previously worked with the Spartacus Network and has been lead author on a number of their reports...
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Jenny Lyus

Researcher (2017 – 2018)

Jenny is a disability rights and ME activist. She uses her limited energy to agitate for better ME research and against inappropriate clinical guidelines...
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Aly Fixter

Communications and editorial

Aly is a freelance journalist, copywriter and communications consultant who works mainly in the areas of health, disability and sexuality...
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Dr Simon Duffy

Project Director

Simon is Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform and Project Director of the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project. In 2008 he was awarded the RSA’s Prince Albert Medal for his work on personalisation...
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Advisory Group

Alison Allam

Alison’s academic background is in Disability Studies and Social Policy. She is currently involved in regulation and inspection of health and social care services. Alison has personal experience of living with a chronic illness.

Sarah Campbell

Sarah completed her mathematics studies and then worked as a university academic while juggling both a chronic illness and a physical impairment. This led to a particular interest in how the social model and current support relates to both.

Liz Crow

Liz Crow is a disabled person and activist-artist working in performance, film, audio and text. She is a doctoral candidate undertaking practice-led research at University of West of England. In 1992, she wrote ‘Renewing the Social Model of Disability’.

Victoria Clutton

Victoria has had ME for 20 years and has recently graduated with a Maths and Computer Science degree from the Open University. She is currently juggling her health, her first job and as much activism as she has the spoons for.

Leonora Gunn

Leonora has ME/CFS and is passionate about bringing together the Spoonie community and the broader UK Disabled People's Movement. She is co-founder and Deputy Chair of Leeds Disabled People's Organisation and is currently doing a PhD in the philosophy of disability.

Geoff Jones

Geoff is a writer who has experienced severe chronic illness since childhood. Geoff was too ill with ME to attend school or manage home tutoring. As his health improved, he found accessing education was dependent on sympathetic personnel.

Josie Isles

Josie is a fibromyalgia warrior and mother of twins based near Edinburgh.  She has vast experience of the third sector in Scotland, most recently with the DRILL Programme for Inclusion Scotland.  Josie works as an online tutor, consultant and teacher.

Evan Odell

Evan is a researcher at disability-led organisation Disability Rights UK. Evan's research covers social attitudes to disability and disabled people, the welfare state, theoretical approaches to health and disability. He is a member of the Royal Statistical Society and a Fellow of the RSA.

Anna Ruddock

Anna is a medical anthropologist, writer and disability activist. She has lived with ME since 1996. She has worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Wellcome Trust and is currently employed part-time at Sightsavers. Anna has written a forthcoming book about medical education and health inequalities in India, and is currently mulling a creative project about sickness and sexuality. Anna is on Twitter @annalouruddock

Fran Springfield

Fran is a semi-retired Clinical Nurse Specialist. She has been a wheelchair user for over 12 years and has both visible and invisible disabilities. She she is a trainer, speaker and writer on disability equality issues and is Co-Chair of Disability Labour.

Patricia de Wolfe

Patricia has had ME and a collection of other complaints for many years. Some of this time was spent slowly studying for a PhD in medical sociology. She is now a trustee of her local ME group and helps members with benefit applications.