Stepping down as Director of CII
Catherine Hale writes:
Five years after I founded Chronic Illness Inclusion I am stepping down as Director of the organisation. CII started life as a research project, but it was always imagined as more than a one-off project. From the start, it was about building a platform to have our voices heard by professionals and policy makers. It was born from my sense, back in 2016, that the chronic illness community and the disability rights movement were too far apart. And from the realisation that this made it too easy, in times of austerity, to exclude chronic illness from systems of disability support and rights. As an advocacy movement, we exist to combat the idea that chronic illness is not a ‘proper disability’.
It was clear from the research that people saw CII as a ‘voice in the wilderness’, and that our work needed to continue. So, after the research funding ended in 2020, the Advisory Group formed a user-led Disabled People’s Organisation, joining networks of other DPOs. For two years we have continued to represent and advocate for people with energy limiting conditions (ELCs) and chronic illness, with almost no funding. We have explored partnerships to enable us build and grow the organisation. This is still a work in progress and I’m very grateful that others in CII have the passion to take it forward.