Women can get vital information about the menopause, share experiences and learn about how nutrition can help at free events in Huddersfield.

There are three sessions over the next couple of weeks aimed at improving support and knowledge about menopause, perimenopause (the pre-menopause years) and encourage people to talk about it.

Menopause isn’t just hot flushes, brain fog and mood swings, it can also trigger night sweats, anxiety, depression, fatigue, itching, tingling, dizziness, irregular periods, digestive changes, muscle pain, joint pain, incontinence, sleep disturbance, decreased libido, thinning hair, weight gain, bloating, headaches, irregular heartbeat, osteoporosis and breast tenderness.

Talk Menopause is a Kirklees Council-funded community project led by The Branch community space based at the Jubilee Centre on Market Street in Paddock.

Organiser Laura Stimpson said it’s called ‘menopause seed training’ as a seed is planted in the community to raise awareness of menopause through talking openly about it and signposting people to good quality information and support.

“The two menopause seeds sessions are for everyone regardless of whether they’re experiencing symptoms or ever going to.

“Because perimenopause is still not widely talked about and there is little education about it, people often don’t know the symptoms to recognise they’re going through perimenopause.

“This can cause huge anxiety and fear as people often worry they have a mental health condition, are getting early onset dementia or other diseases.

“People also often describe feeling embarrassed. We thought if we trained people in the community regardless of age or gender it would help to both improve awareness of symptoms and reduce embarrassment and fear as people would understand and talk openly about it.”

Laura added: “Also, because of the lack of information, embarrassment and people sometimes struggling to get help from GPs, people often turn to the internet for help and end up spending lots of money on things that don’t work.

“We want to make sure people have access to the best, factual information to empower them to make their own informed decisions. That’s why everything is free and we don’t promote anything that costs or invite people to our events who charge or sell things.

“We want to bring people together to join our community of talkers and sharers. The training is for people who are passionate about helping people and breaking down the taboos linked to menopause that make many suffer in silence.

“There’s lots of opportunity to chat, share experiences and work together to consider how we can improve the experiences of those experiencing menopause.”

There are two sessions next week. One is at Ruddi’s café on Station Road in Slaithwaite on Tuesday, February 20, from 6.30pm to 8pm.

The other is on Wednesday, February 21 at the Jubilee Centre on Market Street in Paddock from 6pm to 7.30pm.

The week after will feature a session focusing on menopause and nutrition led by nutritionist Rosie Molinari who will share some gems of knowledge on how diet can improve symptoms of menopause and general health.

People who attend will take away a free ‘diversity jar’ filled with nut and seed goodness, a simple way to increase people’s plant-based fibres and improve gut health. This session is funded by The Branch.

This session will be on Wednesday, February 28 at the Jubilee Centre on Market Street in Paddock from 6pm to 7pm.

To book a place go to www.thebranch.uk/talkmenopause or email laura.stimpson@thebranch.uk

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.