Our very first MenoMeetup
- Health & Social Care Research, Women's Health, Healthy living & wellbeing
- Meera Vijayaraghavan
In February 2020 the National Innovation Centre for Ageing held the first MenoMeetup in The Catalyst. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended. We had more people than expected take part and we quickly ran out of drinks and snacks – one of our most mentioned items in “how can we improve” section of the feedback forms!
The MenoMeetups are open to everyone, regardless of age and gender and we had range of ages from under 35 to over 65 join. As this is an event about the menopause, it is perhaps unsurprising the majority of attendees were women between 46 and 55!
We started the session by sharing the reasons that people had come that day and peoples experiences of the menopause. There was lots of lively conversation, sharing of experiences and even loud bursts of laughter. The first question we asked people to consider was what ethos and principles they would like to see in the MenoMeetup group. During the session and in the feedback we collected, the main themes that came through were that people liked the open discussion and sharing of experiences in an informal, friendly, and safe setting. So, for future MenoMeetups we will be sticking with our 3 guidelines:
- Be respectful and inclusive
- There is no obligation to share
- Enjoy yourself
The second question we asked people to consider was what they would like to see at upcoming MenoMeetups.
The top request was to hear from professionals covering topics such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), workplace policy and HR, how to get advice from a GP and symptom management. We heard what you said and are working hard to find some people to come and speak at future MenoMeetups. A couple of the other popular topics were symptoms and alternative remedies and coping strategies. We believe that women going through the menopause are extremely resourceful and will have come up with some excellent coping strategies.
This is why we had intended the April MenoMeetup to be dedicated to symptoms of the menopause. What symptoms have affected you the most? Have you come up with some ingenious solutions that would benefit others? What fantasy product or service would be your holy grail solution to the menopause?
Unfortunately, now it isn’t possible to meet in person for the next MenoMeetup so we have set up a discussion group on the VOICE platform. Here you can discuss the questions we had planned for the next MenoMeetup, find the resources from past events and information about future events. We are also looking into hosting a virtual MenoMeetup and will be in touch when we have more information.