October is Menopause Awareness Month and Kirklees Council is tackling the taboo around menopause in partnership with The WomenCentre in central Huddersfield.

Since February 2020, Cllrs from Almondbury, Newsome and Dalton have been working with the WomenCentre to learn more about how menopause effects women and signpost people to support.

The project is funded as part of the Council’s place partnership programme – a place-based way of working that seeks to put communities at the heart of local democracy by making sure money is used to deliver the services and initiatives that are most valuable to local people.    

The project was selected because the menopause is experienced by all women, causing significant impact on their lives and that of their families.

The menopause is rarely discussed publicly, and very little information and support is available. In Almondbury, Dalton and Newsome, there are around 7,000 women aged 45-65, many of whom will be experiencing menopausal symptoms including mental health difficulties. This initiative has led to fortnightly menopause cafés which provide a safe and confidential space for women to meet, talk and get the support they need. The project has also held a series of events including a recent session where inspirational speakers, therapists, health practitioners, a women’s music group and local businesses came together to show all the support available to help women through the menopause.  

This pilot aims to help improve the wellbeing and mental health of women going through the menopause by improving knowledge, awareness and understanding about the menopause, symptoms and how to manage them.

The next menopause cafés will be held at:

9.30am Monday 7 November – The Hive, John William Street, Huddersfield

6pm Monday 7 November – Morrisons Supermarket Café, Penistone Rd, Waterloo, Huddersfield

Newsome Ward Councillor Karen Alison said:

“We chose to support this project because despite menopause affecting half the population it is often hidden away. This leads to misunderstanding about the impact it can have on our lives, the things we can all do to make it easier to make it through this significant change in a woman’s life.  By bringing local women together we have made it easier for them to share experiences and offer advice and support which they can also discuss with their families and partners.  We will share the learning with our colleagues in the council so that we can improve the support available to women across Kirklees.”

For more information on support available for anyone living with menopause please visit the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/help-and-support/