I am standing for election to the committee of Disability Labour because I want to contribute to our ongoing struggle for equality. I believe the work of the group Disability Equality Act Labour (DEAL) has the potential to be transformative to the way the Labour Party treats disabled members internally as well as in the population at large. I was honoured to be able to contribute in a small way to the creation of the DEAL Legal Handbook.
I have served on CLP, Branch and County Local Campaign Forum committees.
I have also been a School Governor, Trade Union Branch Treasurer, and Administrative Officer in a Member of Parliament’s constituency office. I hope to bring this experience to our Executive Committee as we develop our constitution and take our part in a very difficult time for our Party.
I have Sleep Apnoea, ME, and Fibromyalgia. In my experience, “invisible” disabilities like these are outside of the awareness of most organisations. I strongly believe that Disability Labour should be working to improve awareness of all disabilities within the Labour Party, without diminishing the necessary work to overcome fundamental access challenges for members with more “obvious” conditions.
In my working life, I have trained as an Accounting Technician (ACCA level 4 diploma in Accounting and Business) and have held posts as a Research Finance Officer, Accounts Payable Administrator, and Contracts Officer. I also served a short term as my Trade Union branch Treasurer before having to resign that post as I left the University I was working at.
A great challenge that Disability Labour must work to overcome is raising funds now that membership is free for all Labour Party members with disabilities or caring responsibilities. I believe that our Socialist Society has something unique to offer to the Labour movement and we should be able to secure financial support for our work. However, we will need to be creative in how we approach fundraising, and frugal in our expenditures until we have found our new equilibrium.
I am standing as Disability Labour Treasurer because I know how life-changing organisations can be when they have a solid financial footing, not because money is everything, but because it’s a necessary means to achieve our goals.