Our Wellbeing programme offers many different forms of support to our colleagues. In 2019 we launched our Menopause Café, offering a forum for all our colleagues to find out more information about the menopause.
The cafés are open for all, regardless of gender or age and have no intention of leading participants to any conclusion, product or course of action. They offer an open, respectful and confidential space for any colleagues to express their views safely.
Claire, one of our Wellbeing Champions, tells us more about the sessions.
Why did you start the cafés?
After suffering with menopause symptoms quite badly and feeling isolated, I wondered if there were others feeling the same as me. Our Wellbeing Manager supported my passion to include menopause on the wellbeing agenda and we got the menopause cafés up and running.
What feedback have you had from colleagues?
Everyone who’s attended has said they felt at ease to discuss menopause, even with colleagues they’ve never met before, and have made some friends in the process. It helped to reassure them that they weren’t alone in this journey, and to help them gain knowledge on menopause and enjoy the sense of community.
How do the menopause cafés work?
Our menopause café is a place for discussion with no pre-set agenda and the topics are chosen by the participants on the day. We want everyone to feel comfortable in talking about the menopause so that includes all genders and all ages.
What is planned for future cafés?
Lots more conversations - to help choose topics for discussion, we list the menopause symptoms, number them and simply roll a dice to talk about the corresponding number and this will continue for many weeks and months to come. We also hope to hold an information event, invite a guest speaker to the menopause café and provide more ideas to the Wellbeing team.
Colleague, Jose, tells us why he attends the menopause café meetings.
Why did you start attending the cafés?
I joined as my wife is currently going through the menopause and I wanted to have more information to be able to understand, empathise and to have knowledge about the subject to be able to help where possible.
Has it helped you understand more about the menopause?
Yes. It has really helped speaking to others who have been suffering or suffered with the menopause. I’ve gained much more awareness about how it can affect everything from mood to the body. I’ve also been guided towards useful resources which I’ve been able to pass on to my beloved which has really helped.
What would you say to other colleagues interested in attending the cafés?
Please do it. You can have some really frank, open and honest conversations which really does help to understand menopause and how it affects men in terms of the impact on relationships with their partners. It enables you to step back and be more patient because you become much more aware of what’s going on. It’s also a great opportunity to discuss a topic that is largely misunderstood, and to get some really good information that’s really effective.
Date added: 17th June 2020