Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has won the Epilepsy Action employer award, 2019. They have been an incredibly supportive of several employees who have epilepsy.
The Council were nominated by Ben Greenwood. Ben is a partnership communication’s manager at the Council.
Ben was diagnosed with epilepsy while he worked at the Council. The support from his managers and colleagues has been excellent. His managers made reasonable adjustments so he could continue in his job. They put measures in place so he could continue travelling as his job required. When he had his last tonic clonic seizure, he received a message of support from the chief executive of the Council.
Ben’s is thriving in his career, which he credits to the Council’s supportive work culture.
He has also worked alongside senior staff to make sure that other people are supported too. Recently, he launched a peer support group for staff at the Council living with epilepsy.
Ben said: “When I was diagnosed, my head of service and senior management made every effort to make reasonable adjustments to help me manage my condition. As my role involved a lot of travelling, they put measures in place so that I could continue working in that role. They have produced guidance for managers about supporting employees with epilepsy, which was shaped by colleagues with the condition. The leader of the Council and the chief executive have personally championed Purple Day, and the Council’s own corporate social media channels promoted it too.
“It has made a massive difference to me. I have felt no detriment to my career and indeed have risen to deputy head of service. I feel there is no stigma attached to epilepsy in my department. I am able to be very open about it and senior management have actively encouraged me to raise awareness and tell my story publicly.” He adds, “I'm proud that I have worked with my employer to bring in new guidance for managers on epilepsy in the workplace.”