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Meet the new King's Lynn and West Norfolk disability champion

Meet the new King's Lynn and West Norfolk disability champion

Published by Grace Marner
4:34pm 30th August 2019.

We have a new disability champion for King's Lynn and West Norfolk.

Lesley Bambridge is the Borough councillor for St. Margarets and St. Nicholas ward.

She's taking over from Sue Fraser and is officially in the role from the 1st of September.

west norfolk deaf association


Although not registered as disabled, she suffers from a chronic painful condition called lipoedema that affects her mobility.

It's an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the lower half of the body, the legs in particular, causing a symmetrical swelling. 

The disease is genetic and affects mostly women. It's triggered by hormonal flares like puberty and menopause.

"It's one of those things I've had for a long time. It was only diagnosed five years ago and I thought hurray, I've got a reason for being as I am!"

"It causes me problems - I mean I've had two knee replacements as a result and that's because of the weight I'm carrying.

"The GP said you've got it and there's nothing I can do about it - even if I lost five stone. So I look fat but it's not all fat that I can get rid of."

Disability sign on parking floor

She said the position is "what you make it" and that she'd like to raise awareness of the invisible disabilities so there's a greater understanding among decision makers:

"I think there are a lot of hidden disabilities and I think it's really championing those invisible disabilities as well, making more of that and where people can go for help.

"I'm also a trustee of West Norfolk Carers and I see what they do and how it's important we look after the carers of people with disabilities too.

"I think what I would like to do is to increase any directories that might be available - to set up my own database. 

Blind person holding white cane

"You can't always find solutions but it's about finding somebody who may give them support. 

"I'm the person to go to. As a councillor I don't know everything but I do find that I can find things out and I do chase things up. They're quite minor things in general terms but on the other hand they can be quite major to members of the public and I hope to do the same as disability champion."

Cllr Brian Long, Leader of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, confirmed: 

"Lesley is a long-serving and well-respected councillor who has a wide range of knowledge and experience.  I know she will prove to be an excellent champion and will ensure that the voice of people, who may be experiencing difficulties accessing council services, will be heard." 

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