|3 May 2023
|Getting to Know...
Today is Maria Fox (1988) Chief Superintendent
What did you do after Mayfield?
1988-89 I took a “year-out” and lived in community called New Creation in Liverpool with other young adults together with a combination of Christian brothers and Sisters of the Infant Jesus. As well as living in community, the main focus was going into Catholic schools, mainly in Merseyside but sometimes in other parts of the UK to lead retreat days for 4th, 5th and 6th formers [probably year 10,11,12, 13s now ). I then went on to study Theology and Religious Studies and the University of Manchester in October 1989.
Who was your greatest influence at Mayfield?
Sr Judith Lancaster from a spiritual perspective and Marie Dodd from a competitive team sports perspective! [PE teacher - head of PE]
Your best memory of Mayfield?
That is a super difficult question…. So many to choose from…. So many different memories from competitive sport to friends to comradeship as a boarder in the 6th form, to academic achievements and then the stunning surroundings and the serene chapel which I grew affectionate for, when at around 15 I actually found faith having found it all incredibly boring and formulaic to that point . It is only when I look back at the entire 7 years that I realise how foundational and significant every aspect of Mayfield was for giving me such a solid preparation for everything that I would face in life [except perhaps all the dead bodies I had to see when I was a Senior Investigating Officer leading homicide investigations ]. Values, tenacity, diligence, commitment to an endeavour and learning to never give up. From successfully achieving a good BA hons degree, to pursuing a vocational career in policing, to selection for accelerated promotion and onto senior leadership in policing from 2005 for 15 years before crashing and burning in 2020. Then somehow and some way managing to turn what felt like the greatest adversity in my life to the greatest opportunity of all and two years on from when it felt like my career was over, I am being promoted and also publishing my first book - Crisis to Comeback - simultaneously. That is the kind of deep seated invisible and definitely subconscious determination that I think Mayfield gave me.
Where are you now?
Living in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire and working in the West Midlands as a Temporary Chief Superintendent, currently in West Midlands Policing but in a little over a month’s time moving with a permanent promotion to Chief Superintendent to Derbyshire Constabulary.
Advice you would give your younger self?
Alcohol is not a health drink; it is a legal drug that is highly addictive and with the right frequency and exposure any human being will become addicted! The multiple trauma scenarios we deal with day in and day out in policing leaves us vulnerable to using alcohol as a coping mechanism because it is very much a “cultural norm’ in policing. Only, in reality it isn’t a coping mechanism at all. Physiologically it increases stress levels, mentally and emotionally it can cause anxiety and depression and physically it’s highly carcinogenic and a leading cause for chronic health conditions and diminished brain function. I didn’t drink much alcohol until I joined the police so I would say to my younger self - have it very occasionally, definitely not daily or weekly and don’t drink for any emotional or stress related reasons because the brain creates a stronger neural pathway when linked to those emotions and begins to think it is necessary whenever you experience those emotions.