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Fundraiser of the week: Joanne Watkinson

July 19, 2019

"I was diagnosed with M.E. after being seriously ill with viral pneumonia, five years ago now. I was a full-time secondary school teacher at the time, Head of the Performing Arts and PE faculty and mum of two. I had no choice but to leave my 19-year career. My symptoms meant I was unable to teach long days and I struggled to function in the mornings (and still do)."

This week's fundraiser of the week is Joanne Watkinson, and she brings a bit of the limelight with her, having raised funds for us through the theatre school she now owns.

"Life is still an uphill battle but I refuse to be defined by my illness. I followed my dream of owning my own theatre school where I could work evenings, and it has flourished. Last weekend, my students put on a show and we did a collection at the interval raising £100 for Action for M.E. - plus a further £100 online via Facebook.

"A couple of years ago, I began writing plays and monologues. I've sold in excess of 300 copies and have been published in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts Anthology. I'm proud to say children across the world will be performing my monologues for their LAMDA exams this year."

We are hugely grateful to Joanne and her brilliant pupils at Elite Theatre Arts in Doncaster. What stars you are all!