Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service
The client’s profile
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service operates from 23 strategically located sites across the county of Shropshire, with three whole-time stations located in Shrewsbury, Telford and Wellington. The Service headquarters is in Shrewsbury, with a training centre in Telford and on-call firefighters operating from 22 stations.
The client’s need
After the executive team at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service took the decision to make menopause awareness training mandatory for all managers, Talking Menopause were commissioned to deliver sessions with all crew managers and above and all non-uniform equivalent staff.
The Talking Menopause solution
Talking Menopause were commissioned to run seven menopause workshops, which the organisation deemed as mandatory for all line managers.
Talking Menopause were very flexible in their schedule of delivery in order to best suit the needs of the client’s shift patterns and their essential service delivery.
Workshops were held at multiple locations including Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Market Drayton and Oswestry to ensure all line managers were able to attend.
The client’s outcome
Nationally, menopause has become a much more talked about topic and it was particularly important for us as a Service, to understand how we can support our employees’, together with offering practical advice and guidance to managers about how they can support their staff.
Being a predominately male environment, we knew that there would be some resistance to the training offered, however, through effective communication, managers were clear about why this was being made mandatory and the benefits to their stations, watches and teams.
To date, Talking Menopause have delivered 5 sessions and over 80 managers have attended these. There are further sessions planned for later in the year and over 30 managers are already booked to attend these events.
Feedback from the training to date has been positive with comments such as:
“really helpful due to my lack of knowledge on the subject”
“I will be more open and approachable about the subject”
“It was really helpful and much better than expected!”
Work will continue to develop the way in which we support our employees and some of the actions taken to date include:
Designated area in our Health and Wellbeing area on the portal, signposting employees and managers to external supports networks, training. This also includes signposting to support for male employees’ and how they can support their partners in their personal life.
Guidance for managers has been developed
Going forward, a peer network group will be created, so women can openly share their experiences with others and get practical support to help manage their symptoms.
Access to Occupational Health is already available to employees and managers and we have a dedicated OH nurse specialising in Health and Wellbeing.