Around 1 in 10 of the UK population are in a caring role.
At some point in our working lives, we will all know someone who is a carer.
For many of us, that’s a startling statistic. It highlights just how many carers go under the radar, taking the responsibility of balancing life at work with life outside work on their own shoulders. At CityFibre, we’re actively looking for ways to help share that responsibility, supporting carers so that they can continue to make the most of their working life.
We recently hosted a hybrid online and in-person event as part of Carer’s Week, which included a talk from Lucy Martin, Adult Carers Services Managers at CarersMK. We think the work that they do is incredible – and it helped us to understand how much work we can do to support our carers, develop them and recognize the huge contribution that they make to our organisation.
Lisa and Jess are two of our CityFibre employees who attended and really enjoyed the session. They shared their thoughts with us afterwards.
Why was this event important for you?
I am a member of the Disability and Carers Network here at CityFibre, and want to make CityFibre as inclusive and welcoming as possible for everyone who works here. I believe strongly that seeing and feeling inclusion at work can allow you to bring your whole-self to work and be relaxed, present and also productive! We have many colleagues who are Carers and many do not choose to share this about themselves, so we wanted to celebrate those people and recognise their incredible skill set!
I’m not currently a carer myself but I am a member of the Disability and Carers Network. As a part of this network, I have had the opportunity to listen to my colleagues and learn more about their experiences both at work and at home. I’m very grateful to be a part of the network and have the opportunity to talk openly with colleagues to understand their experiences and see how we can improve things to support them better.
What did you learn about being a Carer?
On reflection and in hearing from Lucy Martin that caring can be long term, medium or short term and can come on suddenly or gradually, I realise I was a young carer for a time, back in my childhood. I 100% agree that skills used and refined when Caring are transferable to work and should be celebrated at work and outside of it.
What is CityFibre doing to support Carers?
In the Disability and Carers Network we have monthly calls to catch up, talk about our experiences and make plans to raise awareness with events similar to this one. In the last year we launched an Adjustment Passport to support employees in documenting situations in their lives that might require adjustments and prompt conversations with their line managers around this information. We all want to make sure that CityFibre is an inclusive and supportive environment and keep improving.
What can other colleagues do to help?
Lucy mentioned that at one point or another, most people or someone they know, will become a carer. I thought this was a positive reminder because it helps with putting yourself in someone else’s shoes when thinking about the challenges they might be facing and to be more considerate to how you can better support them.
Holding boundaries is really important. Lucy reminded us that ‘No’ is a complete sentence and creating support groups with other carers (especially sharing a sense of humour!) can really make a difference.
At CityFibre, we believe that those with caring responsibilities bring skills into our organisation that others do not necessarily have. It’s vital that we support, retain and develop our carers, ensuring that we give them an environment where they can manage their diverse responsibilities.
If you’d like to find out more about our opportunities, and the benefits we offer to support our people in their health, wellbeing and work-life balance, head over to our careers site.