The silence surrounding the menopause has led to generations of women being under informed about what to expect and how to cope with the symptoms they may experience when transitioning to menopause. Menstruation binds women together with common experiences breaking down barriers, this doesn’t yet seem to be the case with the menopause. It remains a taboo subject which many women do not feel comfortable talking about.
Society currently views the menopause negatively, with hushed conversations taking place between trusted friends. We want to start frank conversations where, with the help of a researcher, we encourage people to challenge their own and society’s view of the menopause, and question why it is still not readily acceptable to talk about it. No longer shying away but embracing it as a step to a new liberating stage of life. Discussing something still regarded as taboo and not readily talked about needs to be handled sensitively. Using drama, comedy and a variety of creative activities we will create safe, supported spaces and settings to kickstart and encourage what may be currently seen as difficult conversations for individuals, friends and family to start to explore the journey through the menopause with a smile instead of fear.
We are delighted to be working with Dr Vanessa Beck from Bristol University to break down to taboos surrounding the menopause. Vanessa has carried out research into why starting conversations about menopause can be difficult and why we need to start these conversations. You can find out more about Vanessa’s research here and more information about menopause resources here.
(The Zoom link and any information will be sent out directly to you)
For so many of us the Menopause can be experienced as a difficult and mysterious thing, we can struggle with it on our own, knowing little about the process, except the negative aspects of what others have experienced before us.But is this the only way?
Join storyteller and writer Marie Louise Cochrane, for a 90 minute workshop for those approaching, experiencing, or finding themselves on the other side of Menopause.
Drawing on the stories, poems and inspiration of women who have something meaningful, honest and positive to say on the subject, we will hear about different perspectives on the Menopause from others who have used their creativity, as a way of dealing with this time of life. Participants will be invited to reflect on different aspects of Menopause with writing prompts to both reflect on their own experience, and to imagine other versions of it, for themselves and for other women.
Bring a pen and paper, or whatever helps you write, a cuppa and your imagination, as we explore what the Menopause might currently mean for us, and also what it could mean.
By the end we will have a piece of writing of our own, which we can refer to, to help sustain us in any difficult moments that may come.
Wednesday 4th August at 2pm Book your place here.
Join Pavla Neuschlova, Therapeutic Art and Play Practitioner, as you explore the menopause from the perspective of transition and change in a women’s life. You will create a butterfly as a symbol of change and transition. The art class will offer a space for creativity, mindfulness and processing the negative and positive changes you are going through in gentle way. You will have an opportunity to share your experience with others in discussion.
You do not need to be an artist or have special talents or experience in art to join us. You will use repetitive patterns – Zentangle shapes. This process can be very soothing and relaxing. All materials needed will be supplied. Thursday 19th August at 10.30am. Book your place here.
Join artist Lynn Fraser for a quirky, fun and beautiful workshop painting abstract vulvas in colourful watercolour and ink. This paint is a very forgiving medium, which invites uncertainty and chaos – much like some aspects of the menopause! No artistic ability in art is needed to join us, come, create and share in a supportive group.
You’ll be guided through some basic lovely watercolour tips and techniques that you can go on to use in the future. We will work from a simple diagram on the screen for reference to begin with and then take this shape and have fun with it ( don’t worry, this is not an anatomical drawing class ).
This workshop aims to be freeing, fun, liberating, empowering, colourful and celebratory.
All materials will be provided. Thursday 2nd September at 7pm. Book your place here.
If your pelvic floor is on the floor and menopause is making you miserable, then this was the event to bring a smile to your face. Award winning comedian Elaine Miller had us literally laughing so much you might just wet yourself! If you were there you know we all need to get clenching.
Elaine Miller is a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and an award winning comedian. She specialises in pelvic health – so most clinic days are spent with leaky ladies. Her show about pelvic floors, Gusset Grippers, won the Comedy Award at Fringe World in Australia in 2020. Elaine has spoken about women’s health in Holyrood and Westminster and is determined to burst the taboos which surround embarrassing issues. Come and hear about pelvic floor exercises, incontinence, sexual function, get discount codes and learn to laugh not leak.
If you missed Getting to Gusset Grippers with Menopause with the wonderful Elaine Miller – don’t worry, you can now view her slides and the resources.
If you’ve taken part in any of our Pause Not Full Stop activities or events and haven’t yet shared your experiences, then please take a few moments to give us some feedback with this short Engaging Libraries survey. Find the survey here
This project is supported by the Carnegie Trust Engaging Libraries project. Engaging Libraries supports public libraries to run public engagement activities on research within the themes of health, society, and culture. It helps to facilitate partnerships between public libraries and researchers, and spark people’s curiosity around topics that are relevant or interesting to them. The programme is a partnership between the Carnegie UK Trust, Wellcome and the Wolfson Foundation.