“When I need support it’s there – and when I can return that support, colleagues are willing to let me help”

Reading Government policy. Meeting politicians and civil servants. Studying strategic plans. Talking to eminent professors about innovative techniques. Imagining future scenarios.

You think I’m talking about the exciting life of an Ofwat Director of Strategy. I am. But I’m also talking about my other job. As a parent of a disabled child who has some, well, let’s say unusual and very interesting needs, it sometimes feels like just the same set of skills, applied ever so slightly in a different direction.

I know that my life experience is part of what makes me valuable to Ofwat – after all, I get to practice a lot of my work skills in my spare time! And I have become acutely aware of the day to day experience of real customers who working with the ups and downs of public services.

But I also know how valuable Ofwat is to me. Remote working that keeps me in touch when I’m sitting waiting for someone to finish their therapy. Like the willingness to see me compress some days when a sudden change at home means I’m indisposed, and allows me to expand other days, when I am on a roll, and can take that extra time in the office, or the train, to get a paper ready, or do the background reading I need to do.

And I know what it means to me to be part of a team, where we do all pull together, so that when I need support it’s there, and when I can return that support, colleagues are willing to let me help. That way, we all get to deliver our best, in our work, and in our family lives.

Ronan Palmer, Director, Strategy & Policy