The fight for meaningful inclusion has not disappeared as I now realised it never existed, merely nice words on nice paper to mask a protectionist and exclusion agenda. So long as people keep their label based benefits regardless of what they actually need, everyone including the United Nations is happy.
The summer of 2015 still seems a blur: I was on the emotional roller coaster that is cancer treatment. That May, aged 51, I had been called for a routine mammogram which showed signs of abnormal cellular activity - twinkling fragments of glitter on the computer screen staring back at me in the Consulting Room. I was dumbstruck and in shock...
Last nights BBC2 documentary 'A World Without Down's Syndrome?' has already raised a lot of questions before it was even aired and although my son doesn't have Downs syndrome it is still something which affected me during my pregnancy and the issues surrounding it continue to affect me today.
When I think back to key moments in my life, I was fortunate enough to have supportive mentors who helped provide me with guidance, ideas and confidence, to achieve my goals at different points in time. I think back to a teacher at my school who recognised my interest in international relations and helped me consider a study abroad programme...
It's clear that Greece can't deal with tens of thousands of people alone. Every country has to step in and share responsibility, including the UK. The pressure is growing - our leaders need to welcome more people and help families to stay together. Barzani, Yazan, Jamila and others in a similar position deserve a decent life beyond a 'refugee' camp. I hope they get the chance to enjoy the life they should.
Through overturning the decision, Westminster politicians have effectively declared that fracking industry profits are more important than the concerns of British people... While today's news is not what we wanted, this is far from the end of the story. As Lancashire resident Pat Davis said this morning: "this travesty of justice will not be accepted."
We know already that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and that mental distress costs the economy in England over £105 billion each year. I profoundly hope that all the recent reports and publicity translate into actions that really make a difference.
The phrase 'food waste' conjures images of supermarket wheelie bins, brimming with delicious and perfectly edible food. Campaigners' torch lights have increasingly focused on supermarkets' wastefulness, and so we'd imagine that supermarkets are the biggest contributors to the estimated 10million tons of food wasted every year in the UK.
Since taking up her post a few months ago, Britain's new International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, has been talking up how she's going to crackdown on waste and fraud in the way her budget is spent. In her first speech to a Tory party conference as Secretary of State at the weekend, she continued in this vein, promising to "follow the money" to root out waste and corruption. A laudable ambition which no one can argue with. But what constitutes "waste" seems to depend quite a bit on your overall view of aid.
As up to 70 countries and 20 international agencies gather, corruption in the country is at a record high. In the two years since it was established, the National Unity Government (NUG) has very limited economic achievements, such as completing the previous Government's left-over development projects or signing off a couple of international agreements for power and gas supply.
Every experience in our lives leaves its mark. It molds our character and sculpts us into the perfect person that we are supposed to be, or at least that is how it should be. It took several years. Nevertheless, I have been able to turn my limitations to advantages.
Since then, I have been on this fascinating journey to learn more and more about the natural dyeing and eco-printing processes and especially the values that lie behind these techniques. What I did at the time was going online and researching as many eco artists and artisans on social media as I could find.
When Brody's behaviour turns like this, it's hard not to feel like a rubbish parent. Because what we want foremost is for him to be happy. And that mummy guilt, it can really weigh you down. It's hard not to feel pissed off that things aren't straight forward and envious of friends who have the life you pictured when you first saw the positive sign after peeing on a stick.
It's hot and dusty. But Vankar Shamji Vishram looks unfazed. His traditional handwoven outfit remains crisp and white through the day, as he confidently strides through his village of Bhujodi in Kutch like a master, encouraging the children to be part of the creative process. Here, nobody is an outsider when it comes to making textiles.
It is undeniable, a revolution has started, slow but steady. Consumer demand has pushed the market to become more "sustainable", or at least has forced it to try. The organic food, the up-cycled clothing, the compost/recycling, the sharing economy... it has all been proven to be more than a hipster trend
I saw a post on Twitter today that really angered me. One of our Gold medal winning Paralympians, Sophie Christiansen OBE, had been stranded on a train because Great Western had not ensured there was a ramp for her when she arrived at Paddington Station.