An inspirational Nottinghamshire police officer, who established best practise for tackling the menopause, has today been recognised with the national Women in Policing Award at this year’s Police Federation Annual Conference.
DC Keeley Mansell, a police officer for 15 years, has worked tirelessly in the face of adversity to raise awareness of the menopause and the challenges it brings. Keeley’s work on this has resulted in new force policies being implemented. Driven by the lack of support available, Keeley set out to change people’s perceptions and establish better workplace support for her female colleagues.
Speaking about the award, she said: “I am delighted and so grateful to receive such a prestigious award.
“Having written policy and guidance around such a taboo subject, the menopause, I hope other women will achieve their goals, knowing they will now have the support and guidance required within the police service.”
Keeley (pictured right) had early onset menopause, at the very young age of 38. At first, she didn’t know what she was experiencing, having gone to work feeling dreadful, not being able to do her job, walking into a room and immediately forgetting why she had walked in there and more.
It reached a point where she could no longer go into work and she was signed off. Having tried different treatments, she found one that was suitable and was able to return to duty.
Rather than hide away, she decided that she would try and meet the challenges she faced head on. She undertook her own research to find out what support was available from the force, and found that neither HR nor Occupational Health had anything in place that recognised this condition or how to deal with it. In her own time, Keeley undertook further research around the country with other forces and employers – it was clear that the police service was not alone in not being able to recognise issues associated with the menopause.
With her Chief Constable’s backing, she set up a working group and held meetings and a seminar which quickly became oversubscribed. Many male colleagues attended, and thanked Keeley for having the courage to bring this into the open.
Keeley’s Managers’ Guide and Policy has now been adopted by Nottinghamshire Police – it is also hoped that this will be rolled out nationally.
Keeley has been a Detective for ten years; serving with Nottinghamshire Police for four years, having transferred from Leicestershire Police, where she started her policing career. She works as part of the Public Protection Team, where she manages sexual and violent offenders.
It is testimony to her commitment and determination that she continues to support colleagues, whilst also maintaining a full-time role.
Sam Roberts, the National Women’s Reserve Chair for the Police Federation of England and Wales said: “It was tough to have to choose a winner because all nominees have achieved so much, but Keeley’s story stood out because of the way in which she approached her problem head on and battled to raise awareness, not just for herself, but also for her colleagues.
“She did this whilst also going through the menopause herself at a very young age, and dealing with the different challenges that this brings. We are truly inspired by her and her achievements and this award is thoroughly deserved.”
Det Supt Rob Griffin, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Keeley has been a true role model in helping to increase awareness about the menopause, supporting colleagues and instigating changes to the force’s policies in dealing with it. She is an inspirational individual who has overcome the difficulties of having an early menopause and using her own experiences to improve people’s knowledge, which encourages others to identify, address and deal with their own personal situations.
“It is wonderful to see Keeley’s efforts recognised with this prestigious award, and as a force we are extremely proud of what she has done and the positive difference she has made for everyone at Nottinghamshire Police.”