Your Stories & Events

Disability and Quality of Life Survey

A story of achievement through adversity - Jamie's story

Time 293 days ago Comments 0 comments

As part of our public survey, open to everyone in the UK with lived experience of disability, in September 2019 we are sharing personal stories from members of the PurpleSpace network - an organisation of disability inclusion experts.

Remember, anyone in the UK can complete the survey, whether they are employees, clients, customers or members of the public.

This week we share the story of Jamie, a police Detective Inspector who has colitis and liver disease.

“I joined the police force when I was 19. I’ll be 35 soon.

“My diagnosis came as a shock. Every medical intervention that the doctors tried for my colitis didn’t work, so it came to a point in 2013 where I had to have my entire colon removed. I now have an ileostomy bag.

“I spent a lot of time in hospital. On my return to work, I didn’t feel very supported by my employer, especially when I was pulled in for a meeting about unsatisfactory attendance. and put on performance procedures. I didn’t feel like I was treated as an individual.

“Culture has changed in policing since then – it is more supportive of people with disabilities and ill health. I took it upon myself to drive that change, so I got involved with our internal staff support network, the disability network and the national Disabled Police Association. We need to help people be recognised for what they can do rather than what they can’t do.

“I chair our support network and I’ve written articles about my own disabilities that have been shared across the force, and started newsletters to publish colleagues’ experiences to help them with their own confidence, and to give their managers an insight.

“When I first joined policing, if people couldn’t manage an element of front line policing, they would be found a ‘safe’ job in an office somewhere, with very little career prospects. Now that conversation has changed so that disability and ill health doesn’t have to hold you back.

“In terms of my own role, I’ve had some adjustments made; I don’t work night shifts because of my liver disease and my issues with fatigue. Most frontline policing roles require cover for 24-hour periods, so it’s a difficult adjustment to have when it comes to promotions.

“I have had to get more experience in strategic roles, for example I did a secondment at the Home Office to work on national policing policy. This allowed me to bring a different type of experience to the table and I got a promotion!

“I’ve supported a lot of people on a one-to-one basis, with topics such as reasonable workplace adjustments. Having been through all that myself, I know who to approach and move those conversations along.                         

“When you get a diagnosis initially, it feels negative, like something that is going to stop you from doing what you want to do. But if you embrace it as another challenge, it can an be incredibly positive experience. I wouldn’t be half as resilient as I am without it.

As Sodexo is a disability confident leader, we are committed to inclusivity. Engaging employees and customers with disabilities is central to this work. 

Take part in our survey today, which is open until Wednesday 2 October. The results will help us to make recommendations about the needs of people with disabilities, and this in turn will positively impact thousands of lives.

The survey is open to everyone in the UK, so feel free to share the link with friends and family!

If you have any questions relating to the survey, please email:


Share this story About sharing

Send to Kindle


Thank you for saluting our Forces

Thank you for saluting our Forces

Last week was Armed Forces Week (22 to 28 June 2020); a celebration of the Armed Forces across the region who keep us safe, and an opportunity for Sodexo to celebrate our own teams who support the military community every day.


Salute our Forces

Each year, Armed Forces Week (22 to 28 June 2020) provides Sodexo with the opportunity to commemorate the Armed Forces across the region, and gives us a chance to celebrate our own Hidden Heroes who are helping the military in a number of different ways.

Recognising your Hidden Heroes

Recognising your Hidden Heroes

As we continue to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and work together to rise again, we must all make sure to continue thanking those making a difference every day.

Have a Safe Day Awards 2020

Our health and safety champions

Our region’s 2020 Have a Safe Day Award finalists were announced last week, with two individuals and one team nominated by you being shortlisted for the global finals - discover who they are and what they did to be nominated.

We will not be silent

We will not be silent

After recent events in the United States of America and across the world, read a message prepared for all colleagues from the executive co-sponsors of our Culture & Origins employee network that recognises the feelings of frustration, anger and pain stretching beyond the USA into the UK and Ireland.

Volunteer's Week 2020

Volunteers' Week 2020

This Volunteers' Week (1 to 7 June 2020) we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate all the Sodexo Hidden Heroes across the region who have been supporting their communities through volunteering, both prior to and during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

We will rise again

We will rise again

With the launch of rise with Sodexo, Sodexo Ambassador Matt Dawson takes the opportunity in his last Hidden Heroes video message to thank just some of your colleagues who are already helping our clients to safely reopen their doors.

Hidden Heroes

You are helping us to rise

Last week we saw the launch of rise with Sodexo, our new programme aimed at helping our clients prepare to reopen or be reconfigured to meet the requirements of their new normal. We know that this means the hard work continues for many of you, and for some this work is already underway, so this week we are celebrating our Hidden Heroes who are helping our clients rise with confidence.

Spreading kindness with Matt

Spreading kindness with Matt

This week, you have all been spreading the joy of kindess in celebration of Mental Health Awareness Week (18 to 24 May 2020) and IDAHOBIT (17 May 2020), supporting each other, friends, family and the communities where we operate. This week Matt thanks just a few of our Hidden Heroes truly paying it forward.