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Reaching out to your employer for support

Chris Jenkins by Chris Jenkins Additional Needs

Chris Jenkins

Chris Jenkins

I am a father with shared care of my two children. My son has a life limited condition. Dads matter.

Reaching out to your employer for support

I am fortunate that my son Joey is so well thought of by my family, friends, and colleagues. I said in my last article about reaching out. This one is about challenging your energy in the right areas. Joey is blessed that the people who hear his story reach out and say, ‘hey how can I help’, ‘what can I do to make life that little bit easier for you’.

Having an understanding employer

The company that I work for have supported me through many difficult times. When my HR manager, Becky reached out to me and said she wanted to help fundraise for me and Joey I was thrilled. My work has been flexible with me as they understand that I need to attend multi-disciplinary meetings, hospital appointments, meetings about Joey’s progress in school and dealing with the exhaustion of caring for Joey and working full time.

Having a strong support network

They also know I have challenges being a dad that has no government support and is often lost in the system. But they don’t ignore me, they are there to support me and that means the world to me and my wife Ceri (Joey’s step mum). My line manager has also been there as great support and the owners of the business have just been brilliant. I couldn’t wish for a better professional support network. They have been there for me every step of the way. So, please do reach out to your employer and discuss the journey you are on. They won’t know the difficulties if they aren’t aware of them. As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved.

Becky has said to me despite her own health issues that she wants to help Joey. It blows my mind that even someone going through a hard time wants to help and support Joey, it is just amazing. It just goes to show that there are some truly wonderful people in the world. So, Becky is running two half marathons to help me raise money for Joey’s Day to day needs, equipment, and sensory play.

A problem shared, is a problem halved.

The main takeaway from this blog, it is that if you are working and finding things difficult personally, reach out and speak to your employer. Also don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help. They aren’t mind readers and will be unable to help if you don’t share your troubles. And then, if you are as fortunate as me, someone like Becky will step in. They will give you hope about how great people can be. It is, of course frustrating when the support needed for Joey isn’t fully available. But challenging my energy into positive fundraising is so more worthwhile.


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