The secretary of Dyfed Powys Police Federation is drawing on his own experience by way of encouraging officers to attend an online seminar tomorrow, which aims to help change attitudes towards men’s health.
Having been diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer earlier this year, Roger Webb is now hoping to try to effect positive change in the way people think about their physical and mental health.
That includes taking part in a men’s health webinar hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) from 10am to 12.30pm on 16 November. It is being held on Teams and registration is open now.
And Roger is also urging members to listen to their bodies and seek medical advice if something does not feel right.
“The webinar is looking at changing attitudes so that men feel more empowered to open up about their health,” he said.
“We know that men are less likely to seek professional help and advice so it’s important that we change that behaviour and culture.
“We all have a role to play in that, which is why the webinar is for everyone and I’d encourage as many people as possible to register.”
Father-of-two Roger was given the devastating news he had bowel cancer in March and has since undergone a serious seven-hour-long operation and four stints of chemotherapy.
He was told in May that the cancer had spread to his liver.
However, following intensive chemotherapy, Roger was given the news he was ‘cancer-free’ at the beginning of August.
Roger, 56, added: “I’ve learnt from my experience and I now want to use what I’ve been through to support others.
“My message to members is to listen to your body and take the time to prioritise your physical and mental health.
“Had I gone to see my doctor a year before and raised my concerns about a few uncharacteristic signs, I feel, it would have only been stage two.
“Prior to my illness, I was extremely conscious of what I ate and trained regularly, to me this proves it can happen to anyone.”
The webinar will be opened by the PFEW’s Welsh co-lead Zac Mader.
Speakers will include the police service’s chief medical officer John Harrison, who will discuss how his role can influence attitudes towards men’s health.
PFEW national board member Belinda Goodwin will talk about changing attitudes, how important language and how behaviour has a massive part to play in it and the role our female colleagues have in men feeling empowered to open up.
Chief inspector Stewart Codling, of Thames Valley Police, will focus on mental health and promoting a safe space where men can open up.
Nick Conn, chief executive of Help4Addiction, will talk about his experience of being a serving police officer with an addiction and his journey.
The webinar will also hear from Oswin Croft, from the charity Movember, who will discuss why men's health is important all year round.
Members will be able to ask questions during the sessions, and the Q&As will be hosted Mark Jones, North Wales Police Federation secretary, and Matt Slade, Essex Police Federation equality lead.