This is me: the good life – MS and me.

Alex Poxon
By Alex Poxon | September 24, 2018

My name is Alex Poxon and I am a Regulatory Oversight Manager within the Regulatory Issues Management team in the Central Chief Controls Office.

Outside of work, I live in Kent with my husband, three cats, three Shetland ponies and five chickens. We grow our own fruit and vegetables and weekends are spent cleaning out stables and chicken houses, working in the garden and veg patch and making jams and chutneys. My husband is a musician and I love to go to his gigs as often as I can. We are moving to East Sussex soon and we won’t be able to keep the ponies but work on the house will fill the time! It is an idyllic life.

At work I am part of a small team of eight, split between New York and UK locations. We work closely with business areas across Barclays and with Regulatory Relations to identify, record and track issues and actions resulting from regulatory closing letters. The number of letters we are working on varies from month to month, and there is regular work such as organising and chairing governance forums and carrying out quality checks. Being organised and having good communication skills is key. The work is interesting, varied and always busy.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition and affects the brain and spinal cord. The coating that protects the nerves (myelin) is damaged and this causes a range of symptoms. It is a lifetime condition and the cause is unknown. There are three types – relapsing remitting (which I have) is the most common. There is also secondary progressive and primary progressive. With relapsing remitting, a sufferer can have a relapse and then get better, but with residual impacts. MS is different for everyone as it depends on which part of the central nervous system is impacted. With me, I am unable to walk for any distance and have no feeling in my fingers.

I joined Barclays as a contractor in 2012 and then became a permanent member of staff in 2015. Barclays has been fantastic and I have felt totally supported. I worked from home one day per week initially and then had to increase this as I found the commute of four hours per day too difficult. I now work from home permanently and have been given all the necessary kit to make that achievable, from extra screens, to foot rests, to headsets. Being part of a global team means that it doesn’t really matter where I am based – work is what I do, not where I do it. However, knowing that I have backing from my colleagues, my manager and my employer means a lot. As a result of the support I have, I am 100% productive and love my work.

Through the Reach network, I have found other ‘MS warriors’ and we have a monthly conference call to share experiences with symptoms, treatments and generally give each other support. It is good to have that support network.

Speaking about MS is important to me. The symptoms can differ from person to person and an onlooker cannot always see the struggles MS sufferers have. There is support available from Barclays but it isn’t always immediately apparent what that support can look like. Networks like Reach can help. Barclays has been good to me – I wish I could do more to say thank you.

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