Detective Sergeant shares insight during national Carers’ Week
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A busy Detective Sergeant has revealed how she also works as a carer for her son as part of National Carers’ Week this week.
DS Julie Pointon, who is the Co-Chair of the Disability and Carer's Network at Staffordshire Police, has been caring for her 16-year-old son for the last ten years after he was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The disorder, which involves behavioural difficulties and controlling impulses, requires full-time care from DS Pointon, alongside her demanding role within the force.
She said: “Any carer will know of the challenges faced when juggling work-life and caring for someone.
“From my experience, I’ve seen that carers and those with disabilities can find it difficult to ask for help.
“It can be challenging to find the right support to find a balance in your life, both mentally and physically.
“It’s one of the main reasons why we’ve amalgamated the Carers’ and Disability Network – a service dedicated to supporting those in need within our policing family.”
This network, which offers support to carers within the force as well as employees with disabilities, supports those with dyslexia, autism, those with hearing impairments (Police Link Officers for Deaf people (PLOD)) and carers.
DS Pointon said: “Even though it’s only two years’ old, the feedback on the work of the network has been fantastic.
“It’s not just a place for carers to receive support, but also where employees can talk to someone who best understands their abilities – boosting confidence to help them excel in their roles across the organisation.
“Employees are also now supported by the Reasonable Adjustment Passport (RAP) – a process which enables the force to remove barriers previously faced by carers and the disabled within the workplace.
“It means people like myself feel supported – through greater access to line-managers, dedicated focus groups, internal engagement and awareness events, as well as regular check-ins and work flexibility through reasonable adjustments.”
Sergeant Terry Bell, Chairman of the Carer’s and Disability Network, said: “It’s brilliant to see more and more colleagues using the network in order to receive the vital, tailored support they need.
“This support can be anything from spelling and grammar checks for our colleagues with dyslexia, sign-language training across neighbourhood policing teams to supporting ex-military personnel who have been injured in service.
“It’s incredibly important that we continue to provide these pathways to support carers and those with disabilities to ensure they are able to continue to bring their excellent skills to the organisation.”