Keala Settle / The Greatest Showman Ensemble: This Is MeiTunesAmazon

Keala Settle / The Greatest Showman Ensemble: This Is MeiTunesAmazon

Gender transition: North Yorkshire Police dispatcher tells his inspirational story

Gender transition: North Yorkshire Police dispatcher tells his inspirational story

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 1:00pm 14th June 2019. (Updated at 1:05pm 14th June 2019)

"If I help one person, that's enough": North Yorkshire Police call dispatcher, Will Ambler, is speaking out to others who are transitioning.

Will Ambler has worked in the Force Control Room answering 999 calls for fifteen years.

Two years ago, Will told his boss he was starting the process to change his gender from female to male. 

In his own words, here is Will's inspirational story:

“I have worked for North Yorkshire Police in the Force Control Room for almost 15 years now. I have predominately worked as a Dispatcher however had short periods of time in the Crime Recording Unit and the ANPR hub.

“My role includes dispatching officers to incidents or taking both 101 and 999 calls.

"I tend to cover Harrogate/Craven or Hambleton/Richmond.

"Each shift is different. Sometimes you are nonstop, other times are slower and you can get more in depth with the incidents.

“One of the things I love the most about working for North Yorkshire Police are the people I work with.

“Two years ago I made the decision to change my gender. I say that as though it was a choice, which obviously it was not.

will

"My line manager at work, Lynn Broadbent, was in fact the very first person I told.

"I can remember it like it was yesterday, it felt like this huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

"At the same time I had never been more scared, knowing that my life was going to change in ways I couldn’t imagine.

“The hardest part was that I truly believed that all those I held dear, my family, my friends, would all disown me. I was worried that my friends at work would treat me different.

"Starting at the police I was in an openly gay relationship. That was how people knew me. I had never had any issues at this point.

"It almost felt like I had gone back in time. Or so I thought.

“I should have had more faith in those around me. I firstly told my family.

will

"This included my 78 year-old mum who was beyond incredible. Her words will resound forever with me (having lost her just before my first surgery). She told me that she had always known, and that she always considered herself to have two sons and a daughter (I am one of three, older brother and sister).

"There wasn’t a single member of my family or friends that were shocked.

“One of the hardest things I had to do was a briefing at work. It was my decision.

"The worst thing I could think of was people talking about me. That’s human nature, people talk. If I was open and honest, I could stop that before it started.

“Time was short, so on the 12th hour I decided to come in and hold a briefing at work, in front of my peers and managers.

"Anyone how knows me will know that I'm not shy and I always have plenty to say.

"I don’t think I looked up the entire time I was talking. I felt as though my heart was beating out of my chest.

"Not one person in that room walked out without shaking my hand or giving me a hug.

"That moment will remain with me forever.

"How lucky am I to work with some incredible people?

will ambler

“Being transgender within the force isn’t something that happens a lot, so my managers and HR have worked hard to ensure I know what is expected of me, but also what I can expect of them.

"Emilie Philips from HR in particular has been brilliant. She has kept in regular contact after my surgeries to ensure I know the support remains in place. 

“At the start of this, Inspector Falkingham of the LGBT+support group, Nick Dyson the Inclusion and Diversity Coordinator alongside Lynn and Inspector Simon Gannon worked hard to ensure that when I came back to work all my work identification would be updated.

"Something I hadn’t even thought of, but that made such a difference.

“I am now lucky enough to have had my top surgery done, which was a real changing point for me.

"Sadly, shortly afterwards, I was in an accident and subsequently had to have my chest opened up again. This was a number of months after my initial surgery and some of this time was spent away from work.

"Again, the support I had from my line manager and HR were incredible. I even had an email of support from the Chief.

"It seems small, but it’s amazing the difference it makes to know people are routing for you.

“I am often asked what’s next. In all honesty I tend to wait until I am told by doctors. My other half knows far more about the surgeries that I will undergo than I do.

"I do know that I now have to wait around a year for stage one of my bottom surgery. There are few gender clinics in the UK. I am based at the clinic in Leeds (oddly where my own dad was born).

"This gives me time to heal, physically and mentally.

I have come to realise that my mental health is as important as my physical health, and both need to be given the same time and care.

"I get sick now more than I ever did before.

"I joke that man flu is real! It’s believed to be all linked with testosterone. Sadly it does have a lot of negative effects.

"But without it I wouldn’t be the self-made man I am today, or have the makings of a moustache. I couldn’t be more grateful that I am able to live the life I do.

“I think these past two years have been a huge learning curve.

"I have learnt an awful lot about myself.

"I have found happiness with a wonderful woman and I am now blessed to be part of a family - something I didn’t think possible at the start of this journey.

will ambler

“If I could give people in my situation advice it would be to attend some of the support groups you can either attend or find on the internet.

"Talk to people. Share your fears, and your hopes.

"The chances are the things you are most worried about, are far more worrisome in your mind than they ever will be in reality.”

There are a number of support groups across North Yorkshire:

https://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/ - Mermaids - Support for children, young people and their families

https://www.transunite.co.uk/ - Trans Unite

Leeds NHS - Full list of support services

 

 

Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Stray FM

Older article
Top articles

12,000 people due at Countryside Live

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: The two-day event starts in Harrogate today.

Boris Johnson asks EU for Brexit delay - but second letter urges them not to grant it

National: Boris Johnson has written to the EU requesting a three-month delay to Brexit - despite telling them he doesn't want one and vowing to press on with taking the UK out of the bloc on 31 October.

Turkish President Erdogan vows to 'crush the heads' of Kurds in Syria

World: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to "crush the heads" of Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria if they do not withdraw from the region before the end of a fragile ceasefire.

Play your way to financial stability

Lifestyle: Innovative board game encourages families to talk about money.

England player ratings after 40-16 Rugby World Cup win over Australia

Sport: England reached the Rugby World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 12 years by overwhelming Australia and equalling a record for the largest margin of victory over their rivals.

Tarantino refuses to recut Once Upon A Time in Hollywood for Chinese market

Showbiz: Quentin Tarantino is refusing to alter his latest movie for the Chinese market, according to reports.

WATCH: 43 Minutes of Queen in the 70s

70s: The band's team have put together highlights of the their early career including some iconic performances.

Private Harrogate health service putting money back into NHS

Business: Harrogate Harlow is based at Harrogate District Hospital.

You're being asked to Bake for Heroes

Charity Hub: TV chef is encouraging you join in!

John Barrowman to visit Harrogate

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: He'll perform at the Convention Centre in December.

Considering sixth-form?

Lifestyle: St Aidan's and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form offers a unique post-16 experience.

Considering sixth-form?

Lifestyle: St Aidan's and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form offers a unique post-16 experience.

Considering sixth-form?

Lifestyle: St Aidan's and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form offers a unique post-16 experience.

Hairy, spiky, round and knobbly cucumbers at Harlow Carr

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: The recent hot weather's produced some unusual looking items.

Local school success in green poem competition

Education: To celebrate Stray FM's Green Month.

Harrogate Flower show on the move

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: From 2020, the autumn event relocates to Newby Hall, Ripon.

Top Party Dresses for the Festive Season

Christmas: Local Blogger, the Harrogate Girl, picks the best frocks, gowns and outfits for the big Christmas parties of 2017.

Harrogate Monopoly out today - who made the board?

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Your family's most/least favourite game is now available with Harrogate landmarks - did your favourite make the cut?

Delve into deliciousness at Mother Shiptons Inn

Test pages: We sent Stray FM's James Stanley to try out the new menu at Mother Shipton's Inn Knaresborough.

UCI: Changes to bus services

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: There will be route diversions and some cancellations

UCI: Big clean up begins in Harrogate

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: It follows 9-days' worth of cycling action in Harrogate.

Poll

When is it OK to start talking Chr***mas

Trending in Yorkshire

12,000 people due at Countryside Live

The two-day event starts in Harrogate today.

Call to report empty homes in Harrogate to council

There are more than 1,000 empty homes in the district.

Harrogate Poppy Appeal: Volunteers needed for next stage of project

Thousands of poppies have already been knitted

North Yorkshire protesters joining anti-Brexit march in London

The march in London is to demand a referendum on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal.

Three arrested after robbery at Skipton post office

It happened at Swadford Street post office around 1.25pm.

More news...