Working as an Analyst for the Metropolitan Police Service since 2018 has been an exciting adventure for Andy. But, having experienced the ups and downs of Colitis, he felt it was important to be open about his condition right from the beginning.

“I was diagnosed back in 2005, after suddenly getting severe and debilitating symptoms. As a young 20-year-old, I was shocked by the news, and even a little bit angry. Currently, my condition is well managed, especially since I started a biological treatment. But it hasn’t been easy – I’ve been admitted to hospital several times and gone through many different medications over the years.

My line manager was so supportive when I told them about my condition. I generally cope well, but I knew it was important for them to be aware, in case I were to have a flare-up.

I’ve been offered a range of options to help manage my condition at work, including flexible hours, working from home, and taking time off for hospital visits. All of these adjustments have given me the reassurance of knowing that if I were to have an ‘off day’, I’m well supported and can carry out my role in full, with hardly any disruption.”

Andy’s boss tells us why supporting people with invisible conditions is so important: “Keeping London safe is a challenge that requires the best efforts of everyone working together. I want to provide a well-supported and flexible workplace to enable our staff to do the best job they possibly can.

Telling us about his condition early on meant we were able to talk openly about any potential barriers, and work around them. Working with Andy has also helped us to think more creatively about how we solve problems, which is beneficial to everyone. Making adjustments for Andy has proved to me the value of listening and adapting to individual needs. He’s a real asset to the Met, and we’re lucky to have him!”

Due to his current treatment, Andy has had to shield since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

“It’s been a really challenging time, but work have continued to support me throughout. We’ve learned a lot from working through lockdowns. Some aspects have helped me be more productive and save time, which is so important when you have a health condition. Although I’m very much looking forward to being back in the office (once able to do so!), I’m equally excited to see so much positivity and understanding arise around the needs of employees with medical conditions.”