The Menopaus’ull Support Network was born from a conversation which began whilst attending a Loneliness Network Forum in Hull around social isolation, and this developed into listening to stories from women in our own networks who are experiencing symptoms of the peri/menopause affecting their health and wellbeing.
In April 2021 the Neighbourhood Network (NN) created an 18-question survey that was shared throughout its network asking women living in Hull and East Riding their opinions on the menopause, lived experiences and if a support network would be welcomed in the area. The survey response was very positive with over 300 responses in less than a week.
The data set suggested women are not being supported by medical professionals and are left feeling unsure where to turn to for advice and support in this matter. The NN wants to encourage discussion, especially around symptoms to normalise this sometimes ‘taboo’ subject, along with offering an alternative holistic health and wellbeing approach to supporting women and equipping them with the information to make the right decisions for them. This project aims to reduce the ‘stigma’ and lack of education around menopause and address the ‘get on with it’ attitude.
The project will deliver a series of online webinars and workshops covering a variety of menopausal topics, from health and nutrition, exercise, intimacy, and relationships to name a few. The team will host regular menopause cafes and get together in a variety of locations and times across Hull. The project will also be part of a 4–6-month bone health research programme delivered by the University of Hull, exploring a tailored two session per week exercise programme aimed at improving bone health in menopausal women including those that are at risk of bone disease. Other activities will include managing a menopause library, setup, and management of a Facebook support group, and be a signposting service to other exercise and support programmes across the city and surrounding areas. Menopaus’ull Support Network will obtain feedback from participants and continue to tailor its services based on the need and requirements of the women who access the support network.
Menopaus’ull Support Network has been funded by the Ideas Fund and will run from Oct 2021 to Sep 2022.