Catherine Best

Location: Batley, West Yorkshire.
About me...

I am a registered nurse of longstanding, a Queen’s Nurse and a member of Sigma, a global nursing society that recognises academic achievement and leadership in nursing. As a nurse writer I have published several papers in the nursing press and I am an avid blogger, having written about such diverse topics as women’s fight for equality, importance of storytelling as catharsis, writing for publication and building resilience.

About my Talks...

My talks are delivered mainly with some use of props and PowerPoint. To ensure no problems occur on the day, please discuss with me what equipment I will need to bring along to the presentation. I can also deliver stand-alone talks, if this best suits.
I keep the talks to approximately 1 hour in length or thereabouts inclusive of question time. I am happy to provide short notice presentations.


My fee is £80.00.  Travelling expenses charged at 40p per mile car travel.  Where possible and if cost effective train travel will be used.  I cover the Yorkshire and Humber area.

My Contact Details:


Fighting for Women’s Rights

From the matchstick women of East End London to the Chain Makers of Cradley Heath and beyond, women have fought long and hard for their rights as equal citizens in a patriarchal world, where injury and death were regular occurrences, poverty a given and the risk of sexual assault in the workplace all too commonplace. My presentation will share some of the most courageous of stories as women fought to have their voices heard.

The Plight of the Matchstick Girls

This presentation focuses on the narrative of the matchstick girls and their fight for justice in a world where the vagaries of capitalism saw men, women and children living without hope, embroiled in a downward decline of wretchedness. From being heavily fined for dropping a match, to the cruel behaviours suffered, the matchstick girls experienced horrors beyond comprehension, as the disease ‘Phossy jaw’, began to emerge. This deadliest of diseases, in which the jaw gradually corroded into foul smelling, pus filled wounds, occurred as a result of exposure to white phosphorous, a substance used to create the ‘strike anywhere’ match. Living and dying within these conditions the matchstick girls took their story right to the gates of parliament and beyond; their success sowing the seeds for future generations to come.

The Evolution of Nursing

Historians tell of the positive impact that nursing has made on the welfare of patients. From the support provided by untrained church goers, to the attempts made by Florence Nightingale to make nursing an honourable profession; to Mary Seacole the first black woman to provide care on the frontline and Philippa Flowerday the first industrial nurse; nurses have not always been recognised for the care they provide and the commitment they make.

This presentation will create a historical timeline, one that recognises the unique contribution that nurses have made throughout the centuries, both in war time and in peace.




The Importance of Illness Narrative

Being able to tell our stories of illness and suffering, can create meaning from our experiences and bring a sense of catharsis in our lives. From Leo Tolstoy’s ‘The Death of Ivan Ilyich’ to Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s ‘Cancer Ward’, stories emerge that tell of immense grief, the loss of humanity and the fear of uncontrolled pain. My presentation will seek to explore illness as synonymous with being human. It will examine the importance of engagement and the expression of humanity, so that we can all, in some capacity, share illness and suffering with others. Such humanitarian acts of kindness helping someone to a peaceful death or helping to create a life worth living.

Catherine Best Contact Details:


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