Organisers of the World’s first Menopause Festival, currently underway in Perth, have revealed that events have sparked a range of follow-up sessions amongst communities and workplaces across the UK, and further afield.
The next phase of the festival, which kicked off in March, will see two Saturday afternoon events take place at Perth Theatre on Saturday 21 April and Saturday 12 May 2018. Sponsored by Rowan Consultancy in Perth, the festival is open to all genders and all ages and follows on from the World’s very first Menopause Café, which took place in Perth last Summer.
On Saturday 21 April, Dr Laura Jarvis of Tayside Menopause Clinic will host a question and answer session on the menopause, followed by a sing-a-long with singer, songwriter and composer Debra Salem and a Menopause Café. Meanwhile, on Saturday 12 May, women will be shown how to fall in love with their body again, with Edith Adams, personal and professional image specialist, offering tips and advice to make the most of how they dress, while minimising any challenges. Once again, the event will be rounded off with a Menopause Cafe.
With Menopause Café now seeking charitable status as a social franchise, what started in Perth is slowly being replicated throughout the UK. The Perth team has also produced a guide to support both individuals and workplaces in running their own events. As a result, Menopause Cafes are now being held all over the country, including Edinburgh, Sheffield, Manchester, Hampshire and Aylesbury. The very first Menopause Café outside the UK has also taken place, over 3,000 miles away in Toronto, Canada!
Meanwhile, employers are also beginning to recognise the importance of supporting staff affected by the menopause, with around 30 women from Scottish and Southern Energy Perth recently attending a lunchtime Menopause Café in their Perth headquarters, and the University of Leicester planning a similar event. The people of Perth also recently voted for Menopause Café to receive just over £1,000 funding from ‘Perth Decides’, allowing organisers to further promote the events and trademark the ‘Menopause Café’ name.
Rachel Weiss of Rowan Consultancy said, “When we organised our first ever Menopause Café, we knew there would be interest but we had no idea how much demand there would be for this sort of forum. The Menopause Cafes, and now the festival, have kickstarted some significant conversations about what can still be a taboo subject. Essentially, we are seeing a gradual shift in the mindset of both women and men, that this is a topic that affects us all and that deserves discussion instead of pretending it isn’t happening or being ashamed to talk about. Having got the ball rolling in Perth, we are now focusing on supporting others to do the same, whether with small community cafes or larger workplace events.”
The Menopause Festival is part-funded by the Guildry Incorporation of Perth and Perth and Kinross Creative Communities Fund. It is supported by Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre. The final April and May events of the Menopause Festival will once again be held at Perth Theatre, Mill Street, Perth, PH1 5HZ, from 2.15pm until 5.30pm.