Simone Illger has lived in Reading for the whole of her life. Her mobility and reach are affected as a consequence of damage caused by the drug Thalidomide that was used to counteract morning sickness in the 1950s and 60s.
Not allowing her disability to stand in the way of an active and fulfilled life, Simone attended mainstream primary and secondary schools in Reading and went on to train and work as a secretary.
Ahead of becoming a mother, Simone worked in various roles in the voluntary sector. She set up a national organisation for disabled people who are parents, worked on Appeals Tribunals for Disability Living Allowance and has been involved with disability issues at a local, national and international level.
Simone currently chairs the Reading Physical Disability and Sensory Needs Partnership Network (PDSN) and last year played a leading role in planning and delivering Reading’s first Disability Awareness Day. She hopes that this will become an annual event.
She also co-chairs the Health and Wellbeing Committee for the Thalidomide Trust alongside writing for her blog.
Her other interests include travel, growing fruit and vegetables, singing in a choir, improving her fitness and conjuring up interesting and healthy meals. Her blog, www.flidfit.com, is written to inspire others with mobility impairments to improve their fitness levels and lose weight successfully.
Simone is looking forward to her new role as a community journalist and contributing regular articles primarily focusing on local issues which touch on disability.