6 March 2020
Hana Alayli-Moore from Lancashire Constabulary was recently named the winner of the Police Federation of England and Wales’ National Women in Policing Award for the work she has done to improve her colleagues wellbeing including raising awareness of menopause. She tells us how and why she became involved.
Setting up a menopause action group may not be the first thing that immediately springs to mind when you think about welfare or wellbeing, but this is a really issue for so many colleagues within the organisation.
I have always had an interest and passion for all things welfare related and have been involved in wellbeing in my force for the last couple of years. And it was through this work that I became aware of an increasing number of issues affecting our staff in relation to the menopause.
Though I was aware that there had been a support group within my division, there was nothing currently active.
From my own observations and discussions with people, I felt that a menopause support group needed to be revived sooner rather than later due to the amount of issues experienced by my colleagues and the negative impact it has had both physically and psychologically.
It’s a change that can affect almost every aspect of your life, from the amount of sleep you get to the kind of clothes you wear. So, I got in touch with a few colleagues and held an initial discussion in order to get a better understanding of the wider issues.
I was overwhelmed - in a good way - with the amount of interest and support that re-visiting the idea of a support group generated.
I felt incredibly inspired by how honest people were about what they had been going through in the workplace, and it was clear that this was an area that needed looking at.
Just speaking up prompted a huge wave of support- all it needed had been someone to step forward.
Since the group was set up, we have made some really positive progress in a relatively short period of time. I currently have 17 willing volunteers in the division where I work who want to be Menopause Mentors.
This scheme will ensure mentors are appropriate trained and adequality equipped to support those going through the menopause and will provide support with things such as risk assessments and reasonable adjustments.
For example, we now have a draft force policy and accompanying tool kit that provides guidance for supervisors which will go through the HR policy approval process in the very near future. We also have alternative clothing for uniformed officers and civilian staff.
Despite many positive achievements, the menopause action group is still very much a work in progress.
There are several other things we are looking at developing across including ways we can educate others about the impact of menopause and our force is looking at CPD days.
I feel incredibly fortunate and proud to have the help and support of senior leaders and individuals who are MatPat and Menopause mentors who support their colleagues and peers, aside doing their busy day jobs.
They are a passionate group of individuals who are committed to helping others. Without them, support like this would be seriously lacking.
And on a personal note I want to thank my husband and children who are nothing but supportive with the work that I do, more often than not, when I am off duty!
They have, along with my own experiences, helped shape me to be the person I am today.
If you don’t have a menopause action group in your division, consider setting one up and ending the silence on this important issue.
If you would like to set up a menopause action group, find our guidelines at https://www.polfed.org/media/15097/menopause-guidance-document-2019.pdf