Meet the chair of our Hidden Disabilities Network who climbed Snowdon for charity!

Our Staff Networks

Our staff networks are a great way for colleagues to come together to discuss a variety of topics, meet others who have similar experiences and to provide support to one another.

These networks are run by fantastic colleagues such as Emma, who you will hear from in this blog post, and are safe spaces that raise awareness, celebrate diversity, promote inclusion, and take positive action to make sure Wirral is an equitable place to work.

We have many staff networks you can join

  • Race
  • Religion and Belief Group
  • Neurodiversity Group
  • Hidden Disabilities Group
  • LGBTQ+ Group
  • Men’s Network
  • Women’s Network
  • Menopause Network
  • Menstrual Health Network
  • Working Carers Network
  • Young Persons Network and
  • Parenting Network.

Creating a positive and inclusive work environment where everyone is valued, belongs and has a voice is important to us, and our staff networks have led the way in making this possible.

Meet the Chair of our Hidden Disabilities Network who climbed Snowdon this year for charity!

On 6 May 2023 Emma McDonnell, Health Protection Officer and Chair of our Hidden Disabilities Staff Network, climbed to the summit of Snowdon to raise money for Fibromyalgia Action UK (FMA UK), raising nearly £500!

This was in aid of National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day which took place on 12 May and the newly founded Wirral Council Hidden Disabilities Staff Network.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition with symptoms including but not limited to, fatigue, widespread pain, cognitive difficulty, headaches, and extreme sensitivity.

Read about Emma’s story of being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, her experience of climbing Snowdon, and founding the Hidden Disabilities Staff Network.

“I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2021 at the age of 29 after a long struggle to find the reason behind my symptoms. Initially mild, my symptoms were exacerbated to an extreme level after having COVID-19 in September 2020.

I have always been active, loved travelling, exploring, and meeting new people, but this hasn’t been possible the last few years due to my condition.

After establishing the Hidden Disability Staff Network, it became apparent that despite feeling alone, I wasn’t, and that a number of my colleagues within the council also suffer with a hidden condition, one of them being Fibromyalgia.

There is no cure for this condition, but awareness, understanding and support provided by FMA UK makes living with Fibromyalgia that little bit easier.

On 6 May 2023 in aid of National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day and the Hidden Disability Network, I climbed to the summit of Snowdon to raise money for FMA UK with my best friend and her dog. The weather was very kind to us and we actually had a little bit of a view when we reached the summit! A huge thank you to everyone who donated and offered support, your encouragement was a huge motivator in reaching the summit!

I have received messages from individuals sharing experiences of Fibromyalgia or asking for advice with steps towards diagnosis. I’m so happy that this has sparked a conversation around this topic and hope that if anyone else has any questions, or wants some support, they will reach out."

Snowdon's summit