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Wendy Hare is the Head of ICB UK KYC Onboarding.

She shares her story on how the support and resources available through Barclays helped her daughter through illness and her family through a difficult time.

I’ve been with Barclays for 31 years and in 2014 I discovered out of the blue that my eldest daughter, Jodie, then 17, had been receiving hospital treatment. Her school had referred her for an eating disorder, depression and anxiety and, because she was over 16, we weren’t informed. It was stressful and upsetting that she was ill, and that she hadn’t felt able to tell us.

Through Barclays, we were able to get counselling for Jodie, her condition improved and she soon went off to university. However, things got much worse for her there when she was seriously assaulted. Then, her boyfriend split up with her, she had a breakdown and she was feeling suicidal, so her friend took her to A&E.

The only hospital beds available were the other side of the country, so Barclays’ AXA cover came to the rescue again. We managed to get her admitted to a mental health treatment centre just 20 minutes from home, where she spent eight weeks.

Once I knew that Jodie was safe and receiving the right treatment, it became important for me to keep life as balanced as possible for my two other children, my husband – and myself. I didn’t want to be signed off work – for me, it was better to remain productive in my job.

For the first four weeks, I worked from an office near to the treatment centre so that I could visit Jodie easily. I was able to use the facilities at Barclays to help keep everything in balance, such as the counselling through AXA, which was invaluable for my husband and children   

I felt it was important that I was my true self at work and I was open and honest about what I was going through.

My colleagues helped a lot – if I wanted to talk about it they listened. They accepted what was going on and were there for me if I needed them. I felt it was important that I was my true self at work and I was open and honest about what I was going through.

The experience led me to think differently about work/life balance. I had to have more days working from home, and yet my productivity didn’t suffer. During this period, I’d just taken on three teams that needed bringing together and reorganising. Because of the support I was given, there was no dip in productivity – in fact, we pulled together and performed outstandingly.

Jodie has continued her treatment and had different types of therapy for rehabilitation. By sharing her story, I hope it helps others.

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