Beth hands in the petition to the Senedd with Jenny Rathbone MS, supportive MSes and FTWWers

Don’t Delay, Vote Now! Endometriosis Petition to the Senedd Shortlisted for Petition of the Year

This month, voting opened on the Senedd’s Petition of the Year competition to recognise and celebrate the contribution of campaigners in Wales. FTWW is delighted to see that of volunteer, Beth, amongst the five notable petitions shortlisted by the Petitions Committee. The public is now being asked to vote for the one that has had the most impact on the people of Wales – closing date is 30th June. You can vote for Beth’s petition, ‘Improving Endometriosis Healthcare’ here.

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Sam Skelton

Marie Curie Gender and End of Life Care report published

FTWW thanks Marie Curie for its report into gender differences at end of life across Wales, which includes a powerful foreword from FTWW Member, Sam Skelton (pictured). The report’s top recommendation is that findings are considered in any life course Women’s Health Plan for Wales – a recommendation that FTWW supports. Find out more and read the report, here.

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Dee speaking at the Rosa event

Happy Birthday, Rosa!

We were honoured to be invited to the 15th anniversary celebrations of one of our key funders, Rosa, where Dee was one of the speakers. Rosa is a grant-making charity that resources specialist women’s and girls’ organisations across the UK, and Dee spoke about the positive impact Rosa’s funding has had on FTWW since we were established back in 2014. It was fantastic to meet so many other people who are working to support and empower women and people assigned female at birth across the UK.  Find out more about Rosa, here.

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Dee Dickens

Mental Health Inequalities debate in the Senedd

FTWW was pleased to support members to participate in the Advisory Group and attend the debate as audience members. The Advisory Group continues to hold the Government to account, with FTWW Trustee, Dee Dickens (pictured), quoted in a BBC report about the debate, which you can read here.

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A shot of a group of people's hands on top of each other

Welcome Our New Trustees!

Last year we advertised FTWW Trustee roles and received so many excellent applications, which led to a very challenging shortlisting process, but we are delighted to welcome seven new trustees to the FTWW Board. We genuinely felt that we could have recruited every single applicant shortlisted, and we’d like to thank all who took the time to apply. Meet our new trustees here. 

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Every Woman: A Women's Health Festival

FTWW at The Every Woman Festival

We are delighted to be speaking at the Every Woman Festival, taking place at Insole Court in Cardiff on Saturday 24th. Hosted by Julie Cornish, the event seeks to empower and support women, and those assigned female at birth, on health topics that may be difficult or considered taboo to talk about. Dee will be delivering a talk entitled ‘Endometriosis and Adenomyosis: Yes, I have tried Yoga; No, it’s not all in my head! How learning from experts by experience can improve diagnostic delay’.  Find out more and book tickets here.

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PMDD in Wales - What's Occurin'?

PMDD Awareness Month: What’s Occurin’ in Wales

April is PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) Awareness Month, and we were invited to speak at an event hosted by IAPMD to highlight developments in Wales, not least around the Women’s Health Wales Coalition and the Welsh Government’s Women & Girls’ Health Plan. We were also delighted to hear more from volunteers Becci Smart, who discussed her awareness event at The Senedd, and Laura Teare-Jones, who talked about raising awareness at her networking event. You can watch What’s Occurin’, here.  Becci, Laura and FTWW member, Amy-Leigh, were also featured in an article for Wales Online, which also included a spokesperson quote from…

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Jacob completes his challenge

Diolch, Jacob and Harriet!

FTWW Volunteer, Harriet Jones, who also runs the @apaininthepelvis Instagram account, was recently invited to talk about Endometriosis by abigo mboke, creator of The Waiting List podcast. They discussed life with endometriosis and why it’s important to be inclusive, as well as the symptoms and temporary ways of managing them.  Listen to the episode here. Speaking of Harriet, we would like to say a huge thank you to her and her partner Jacob Law, who set a huge personal challenge to run 100km during March as part of Endometriosis Action Month, raising money for FTWW and Barbados Association of Endometriosis and PCOS.  Not…

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Jack Sargeant MS, Huw Irranca-Davies, John Griffiths MS and Dee Montague-Coast from FTWW

Endometriosis Action Month at The Senedd

March was one of our busiest Endometriosis Action Months yet! Engagement Officer Dee and Endometriosis UK’s Lizzie were joined by volunteers Rachel Joseph and Lowri Shepstone at a drop-in event at The Senedd for Senedd Members. The event was well attended, with so many Members keen to learn more and better support their constituents. We were delighted that Huw Irranca-Davies, Labour MS for Ogmore (pictured), followed up with a debate in the Senedd.

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Endometriosis Action Month

Endometriosis and The Women & Girls’ Health Plan

March was Endometriosis Action Month, and we were delighted to join forced with our friends at Endometriosis UK to host a virtual event, chaired by Jenny Rathbone MS, on Thursday 23rd March. The focus of the event was on the NHS Wales and Welsh Government Women and Girls’ Health Plan for Wales and was an opportunity to hear from a guest panel of experts and patients who discussed what they would like to see included in the Plan, which is currently under development and due for publication this year. You can watch the event back here. 

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The Welsh Government Logo

All Wales Menopause Task & Finish Group Report Published

In February, Welsh Government published an important report on menopause – the ‘All-Wales Menopause Task & Finish Group Final Report & Recommendations’. FTWW was delighted to support two of its volunteer patient representatives – Lisa Nicholls from South and Dawn Owen from North Wales – to take part, ensuring that the patient voice was heard alongside those of clinicians and government. Recommendations from the report include: the need for menopause to feature in the 10-year Women’s Health Plan for Wales currently under development  the need for more research into different aspects of the menopause  wider education and information on menopause…

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#EmbracingEquity in female health – Our blog for WCVA

Thanks to WCVA for featuring our International Women’s Day blog, which explores the need to #EmbraceEquity in Health in Wales. FTWW’s members describe many & varied barriers to accessing optimum healthcare; our aim is to raise awareness and offer solutions! Read it here:

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Endometriosis Action Month

Virtual Event – Endometriosis and The Women & Girls’ Health Plan

March is Endometriosis Action Month, and we are delighted to invite you to attend a virtual event on Thursday 23rd March from 6.00pm – 7.30pm. The event will be chaired by Jenny Rathbone MS. The focus of the event is on the NHS Wales and Welsh Government Women and Girls’ Health Plan for Wales and will be an opportunity to hear from a guest panel of experts and patients who will discuss what they would like to see included in the Plan which is currently under development and due for publication this year. Register for the event here. If you…

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Ask your MS to meet us at The Senedd

As part of Endometriosis Action Month, FTWW be teaming up with Endometriosis UK later in March, when we’ll be inviting Members of the Senedd to come and find out more about endometriosis and what they can do to support their communities. Tag your MS in our tweet and ask them to come and see us! Not sure who to tag? Find your constituency and regional members here.

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Endo March is BACK!

Worldwide EndoMarch is coming to Wales again. Cardiff will be the location for the South Wales event, with the march taking place on Sunday 26th March. We will be marching through the streets of Cardiff with the hope of promoting awareness for endometriosis, and the need for faster diagnosis, greater education, and more funds for research into better treatments and an eventual cure. Find out more and book your space here. 

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FTWW Volunteer, Dee Dickens

Period Proud Launched

“That’s one of the reasons why I’m talking about it now, as I don’t want anyone else to go through this” – FTWW Volunteer Dee Dickens We are delighted that the Welsh Government has launched Period Proud, an intersectional plan that FTWW and volunteers – including Dee – have been involved in. As Dee highlights in her interview with WalesOnline, so many girls and young people who have periods miss out on education and recreational activities due to period poverty and lack of access to products, menstrual wellbeing education and support – all of which contribute to shame and stigma surrounding…

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The Senedd building in Cardiff Bay

Members of the Senedd Echo FTWW Calls

We were encouraged this month to hear Members of the Senedd echo FTWW’s calls around Women’s Health during recent plenary sessions.  On the 18th January, Heledd Fychan MS raised concerns around the gender health gap, lack of investment in female health, intersectionality and the impact of the pandemic on women’s health to the Health Minister in a question a bout the Women’s Health Plan. Plenary 18/01/2023 – Welsh Parliament ( Rhun ap Iorwerth MS also asked questions about the WHSSC’s suggested changes to fertility services in Wales, echoing concerns around the consultation and the risk of removing access to those…

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An Asian woman is having a mammogram, supported by a white female medical professional

Welsh Government Publishes Women’s Health ‘Discovery Document’

As part of the Welsh Government’s work on the Women’s Health Plan, officials have released a ‘Discovery’ document, highlighting the work undertaken so far to understand the needs of women in Wales by asking what matters to them.  As co-chairs of the Women’s Health Wales Coalition, which is made up of over 80 third sector organisations, Royal colleges, clinicians, and patients, we remain concerned that co-production with patients and public is properly embedded in all work related to the Women’s Health Plan and that Coalition members’ expertise is utilised throughout. This month we met with Welsh Government officials to share these concerns…

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a collage of a photo of Dee, a white woman with purple and pink hair, the i logo, the Rebel Bodies cover, and the headline from the article.

Rebel Bodies: A guide to the gender health gap revolution

This month saw the release of Sarah Graham’s debut book, Rebel Bodies: A Guide to the Gender Health Gap Revolution – and you can read an exclusive extract in The i Paper! The extract focuses on endometriosis and includes the battle to get diagnosed by our Engagement Officer, Dee. The article also highlights the work of FTWW and others in campaigning for mandatory menstrual wellbeing education here in Wales, and our work in advising Welsh Government.  We are delighted to be included in this vital, inclusive book, and we’d like to recommend it to anyone with an interest in, or lived experience…

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Rachel Rowlands

FTWW Included in BBC Fertility Coverage

  ‘Desperate women will take desperate measures’ when it comes to trying to lose weight in order to be allowed access to fertility treatment, says Dee, FTWW Engagement Officer.   We hear all too often from our members and beyond that those struggling with health conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), key symptoms of which can be weight gain and infertility are simply told to lose weight when trying to get pregnant, with little to no understanding of why they might be finding it difficult.   The effect on mental health can be significant, not least because there are strict…

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