Martin first became involved with Action for M.E. before it became a charity in 1988.
Initially he dealt with telephone enquiries from subscribers to the journal. Martin Lev, who was then editor of InterAction, introduced him to Clare Francis and Sue Finlay who had already started an M.E. charity in Scotland.
In 1989 it was decided to change what was essentially a pressure group into a charity and the name was changed from M.E. Action Campaign to Action for M.E. Martin became one of the first trustees and in 1992 became Chairman of the Board.
Following the tragic death of Martin Lev in 1991, Martin Arber took over the editorship of InterAction. He continued until Theresa Coe took the reigns in 1998 (find out more about Theresa from our InterAction 71 article).
Throughout this period his wife Yvonne, who was then working as an Art Teacher, illustrated the front covers of InterAction and drew cartoons in the journal with the ideas provided by Martin. She also illustrated the first Christmas cards.
Both the cover illustrations and the cartoons became very popular. Two of the cover illustrations were used by doctors in their lectures and the cartoons were used by local groups and other emerging charities in their newsletters.
In 1992 the charity published 'The Joke's on M.E.' a compilation of the M.E.-related cartoons which very soon sold out and is now sadly out of print.
The charity grew to be the largest M.E. charity under Martin’s leadership. He retired from both the Chairmanship and the Board in 2002 but motivated by the effect that the financial and service cuts are having in 2011 on people with M.E., Martin decided to renew his interest in grassroots campaigning and is becoming involved in liaising with local M.E. groups.