Carer’s Awareness Week

Ruth Mills / Senior Software Engineer and IT Consultant | 12/06/2024

Naimuri’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Power Group have collaborated with parent company QinetiQ to run a series of talks for Carer’s Awareness Week.

Ruth Mills (Naimuri’s DE&I Power Group Lead) was one of five carers who spoke of their experiences of juggling caring responsibilities with work. Everyone who spoke shared a very emotional story, and it was reassuring to hear how QinetiQ have supported carers and enabled them to balance their caring responsibilities with their work.

In Ruth’s case, she was a carer for her late wife, Sonia, who had a rare disability called Sacral Agenesis, and had frequent hospital admissions with sepsis at short notice, some of which required stays in intensive care. Ruth ended up using up several days of annual leave (while working in a previous role) for these hospital admissions.

Tragically, Sonia died from a chest infection in 2017, which turned into sepsis and pneumonia. Ruth was due to start a new job in Birmingham the day after she died, and ended up taking the day off to telephone funeral directors, banks, etc.

The following day, she made the decision to catch a train to Birmingham to start her new job, as she realised that she would cope far better being with people than being stuck at home on her own.

Sonia’s funeral was held on Halloween that year; Sonia loved Halloween when she was alive, and a Halloween party was held at a local hotel after her funeral service instead of a traditional wake.

Ruth said: "Both the role I started in Birmingham after Sonia died, and my current role at Naimuri, offer far more flexible working than I’d previously had before then - which would have made juggling caring and work far easier. The hybrid working schedule that I’m on now, where I am in the office one day a week, would have made it far easier for me to care for Sonia on my work-from-home days, whilst still being able to contribute fully to my project work.

I believe that flexible working (especially hybrid/remote working and part-time working options) is vital for carers to be able to balance their caring responsibilities with their career, as well as enabling carers to continue working instead of having to completely give up work to concentrate on their caring duties".



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