Detective Sergeant Sarah Batsford Investigations Supervisor shares her experiences during Carers’ Week:
I joined WMP when my eldest daughter Hannah was almost two. She was my little star, always so active, happy and healthy.
I was working on the family protection unit, as it was known then, when just before her seventh birthday we noticed she wasn’t quite herself. Her health started to deteriorate quickly. She was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with type one diabetes.
My sister was diagnosed with type one diabetes when she was four and being older than her, I’d become used to being vigilant, monitoring behaviour, demeanour and daily habits to prevent hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugars and low blood sugars), both of which can be fatal if left untreated.
I’ll be the first to admit that work was the last thing on my mind but I remember very clearly how supportive the line management were. They ensured I knew the force and the team would support me with what was to come and provided me with time to be with Hannah while she was in hospital and then later when she was back home.
Over the next thirteen years we’ve watched Hannah grow into a wonderful young lady but it hasn’t been without worries − the constant blood checks, needles, monitoring and having to stay calm when you’re holding your child’s life in your arms because their blood glucose levels have dropped too low and they’re unresponsive. We take each day at a time.
I’ve taken time off at short notice due to Hannah being hospitalised or ill. But WMP, through my line management, has always been brilliant. I’ve been very lucky to have such understanding supervisors and colleagues who were patient with me at the low times, at times of tears, exhaustion and just being there to listen.
No one truly knows what’s going on in others’ lives, people are fighting their own everyday battles.
Patience and understanding can go a long way to building better working relationships. Those with caring responsibilities should know they’re not alone, support is there if you need it.