We Make The Path CIC is a social enterprise run by and for chronically ill people. We provide support for our community and group members to take the action they want to take, in a way that is sustainable for them, building confidence, skills, capacity and community along the way.
As well as individual benefits to mental, emotional, physical and social health and well-being, our goal is to see a ripple effect of improvement in the health and well-being of our participants' families, communities, and society at large.
We seek always to operate in a way which is holistic, liberatory, and person-centred, encouraging people, individually and collectively, to generate practices for themselves which are nourishing and replenishing, and which enable them to be flexible and responsive in changing circumstances, which are often outside of their control.
We work according to the following principles:
- Solidarity is fundamental. Until all of us are free, none of us is free.
- All factors affect all other factors, all the time. Social, economic, environmental, political and personal are always interconnected.
- Practice and theory are in constant relationship. Action generates reflection; reflection generates action.
- The way we do things is as important as what we do. We can create the world we want in small ways now.
- Each one of us matters, and we all deserve to be well resourced. Inner practice and inner healing play a core role in making working for change, at any level, sustainable beyond short-term actions.
- Each of us can have a role in creating a better world. It doesn't matter what our skills and capacities are, or whether the work of change is at the most personal level or the most global. The basic requirement is willingness.
- Relationships are key. Skilful relating is vital to creating lasting change.
What we do
We support chronically ill people to take the action they want to take, in a way that is sustainable for them, building confidence, skills, capacity and community. We do this through:
- Pathmakers online community with resources, courses, monthly live self-care call and weekly co-working calls: free.
- Action Support Group, with weekly live support calls, and opportunities for small group and one to one peer support: £60 / £120 / £180 / £240 per month sliding scale.
- One to one deep dives into self and community care: £1600.
We also support and encourage members of our Pathmakers community and Action support group to take action together around issues and ideas they share a passion for.
Elinor (variable pronouns) is the founder and Programme Director of We Make The Path CIC.
Elinor has a wide-ranging professional background in adult education, community development and youth work, organisational and business development, social research, celebrancy, spiritual counselling, complementary therapies and storytelling.
Elinor's own life with chronic illness has led them to bring all of that knowledge, skill and experience to bear on the issue of how chronically ill people can live more fulfilling lives, and make our contribution to the world.
We Make The Path CIC is the result.
Ether Nepenthes (they/them) is the Operations Director for We Make The Path CIC.
Their professional background ranges from promoting fair trade and sustainable development with NGOs to remote troubleshooting, as well as public administrative work and, more recently, mentoring for creative writing.
Ether's lived experience with chronic illness and their keen interest in uplifting their fellow marginalised siblings is what led them to We Make The Path CIC.
As Operations Director, Ether works behind the scenes to make We Make The Path CIC a smooth and fulfilling experience for the chronically ill people it serves.
Ember Overal (she/her) is the Non-executive Director for We Make The Path CIC.
Her role is to bring external oversight to the decisions of the other two directors, and to help to ensure that all decisions, especially those involving money, are transparent, in accord with the governing documents of the company, and move our work in the direction of our social goals.
Ember's background in financial services makes her perfect for this role.
The role of the Advisory Board is to provide external guidance and support to the directors, and to bring in perspectives that may otherwise be missing from the organisation.
Alexis P. Morgan
Alexis (pronouns: she/they) is a bon vivant muse, multi-disciplinary artist, and ancestral sorceress, devoted to the work of radical luxury as apocalypse medicine.
Expertise: business growth, purpose, values alignment
Tiana (pronouns: she/her) is a fat body liberation coach out to destroy the belief that you have to be skinny to be happy and healthy.
Expertise: project management, body liberation, values alignment
Sarah Marian Martland
Sarah (pronouns: she/they) is the founder of Trauma & Co. She is a Trauma Support Practitioner & Consultant, providing online individual and community support to people living with trauma, and to professionals working with trauma.
Expertise: working with trauma, values alignment
Heidi brings expertise in library science to We Make The Path, and supports us with finding evidence in academic and policy publications to guide our approach.
Maelynn is an artist, programmer, and... who...
Moxie is a social entrepreneur, comedienne, author and mum, who...
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you mean by "chronic illness"?
Long-term health conditions, also known as chronic illnesses, represent more than half of the world’s ‘burden of disease’. This includes headline grabbing illnesses that get attention and research funding, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and HIV, but also less well known and often misunderstood illnesses, like fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalitis (ME), lupus, depression, and more. The ongoing global coronavirus pandemic has seen long COVID added to this list, with millions of people affected since 2020, and experiencing its debilitating effects every day.
How does chronic illness affect people's lives?
Living with chronic illness can be very isolating. The pain, fatigue and the other symptoms we experience can stop us from living the life we want to. On top of that, we often face lack of understanding or even disbelief from our families, friends, employers, and healthcare providers. Our lives can become very narrow, and we can end up feeling very much alone, useless, and unsatisfied with life which in turn increases our stress and thus our symptoms.
Aren't there already lots of support services and charities for chronically ill people?
Why is yours needed too?
Surprisingly, given how many people live with chronic illness, there aren't that many support services or charities specifically aimed at tackling the specific issues we face. In addition, our own experiences of living with a variety of chronic illnesses has been that most support groups focus on symptoms and how to relieve them, or on general well-being activities, but the support we ourselves needed most was around how to get stuff done, create a joyful life, and make a contribution to family, community, and society, while living with chronic illnesses. We Make The Path was begun to address that need.