Focus on Menopause: #Flushfest23 and the second All-Wales Menopause Conference

Join #FlushFest23 in Edinburgh or online on 8 and 9 September, for a festival full of menopause advice, fun, storytelling, wellbeing workshops and much more.  See the full programme and buy tickets here. We’d also like to remind you that the second All-Wales Menopause Conference takes place in November. This one is also hybrid, and will welcome renowned national and international speakers, shining a light on topics such as menopause and cardiovascular, bone, and mental health, menopause in the workplace, and the role of testosterone. FTWW is pleased to be facilitating the involvement of expert patients. Find more information and buy…

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The Llais logo

Llais: First 100 Days

Since April 2023 the people of Wales have had a new independent body to help shape health and social care services.  Llais has been set up by the Welsh Government to raise the power and influence of the voices of people living in Wales, and we regularly recommend them to members of our community who feel a struggle to be heard.  FTWW is delighted to be having regular meetings with them to discuss ‘all things women’s health’. In the meantime, you can read about their first 100 days, here.   

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The Disability Pride flag. A black background with red, yellow, white, blue and green stripes moving diagonally from top left to bottom right.

Disability Pride – is disability something to be ‘proud’ of? We say, ‘yes’ – and here’s why.

Disability Pride Month was born in the USA in 1990, when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed to prevent discrimination against disabled people. It is now a global act of celebration – and an act of protest: the first Disability Pride Parade in the UK took place in Brighton in 2016. Disability Pride Month exists to change the way people think about and define disability (and, yes, that can also include people living with chronic and recurrent health conditions)! It also aims to end the internalised ableism experienced by many disabled people, and to promote the knowledge across…

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Senedd Inquiry: Supporting People with Chronic Conditions – Responses Published

The Senedd Health & Social Care Committee has published responses to its inquiry into support for those living with chronic conditions in Wales. FTWW submitted feedback, noting that our members had provided some of the most powerful and compelling testimonies we have ever received for a consultation like this. With permission, we included some of their accounts.  We also responded on behalf of the Women’s Health Wales Coalition, and were pleased to see the Women’s Health Cross Party Group, chaired by Jenny Rathbone MS, advising that FTWW be sought out by the Committee for further evidence of patient experiences and…

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The Endometriosis Cymru logo

Endometriosis.Cymru Update

FTWW is excited to be working with colleagues in Cardiff University and Proper Design to expand and update the Welsh Government and NHS-funded Endometriosis Cymru website.   We’ll be developing information about Wales’s endometriosis services, the social model of disability, and how to access further support outside of healthcare settings, as well as ensuring that the website is accessible and available in an Easy Read format. Watch this space for further updates and involvement opportunities!

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A picture of an intrauterine device (IUD), otherwise known as the coil

The BMJ: Intrauterine devices (IUDs) and pain

The BMJ Opinion: We must validate the painful experiences of many women using intrauterine devices FTWW volunteer, Lucy, and the Women’s Health Coalition were mentioned in an Opinion Piece featured in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) about the need to address women’s experiences of pain, trauma, and lack of informed consent when having minor gynae procedures.  The article, written by Stephanie O’Donohue from Patient Safety Learning, responds to Davina McCall’s documentary Pill Revolution, which Stephanie argues missed an opportunity to validate painful experiences of intrauterine devices and promote better practice.  Read more here.     

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The webinar flyer, showing details and FTWW and FNUK logos, as well as an illustration of people holding hands.

Watch our Webinar: Getting the Most from Your Medical Appointments

We were really pleased to co-host this event with Fertility Network UK Cymru on June 19th. We were joined by FTWW member and Hormone & Mindset Coach, Laura Teare-Jones, who offered practical tips on how to prepare for healthcare appointments. Alongside her was Angela Mutlow, from Llais, an independent statutory body set up by the Welsh Government both to provide support to those wishing to make a complaint about their care and to give the people of Wales much more say in the planning and delivery of health and care services. Whether you are on a fertility journey or not, we are sure you…

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Every Woman Festival Recap!

We’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Julie Cornish and The Every Woman Festival team for such a fantastic event in Cardiff on Saturday! It was empowering, emotive and informative; seeing so many people coming together to discuss female health, share information and support each other was just brilliant. Thank you so much for inviting us to be part of it.   Dee spoke on the main stage about her experiences with endometriosis and adenomyosis, alongside two incredible women; Molly Fenton, founder of The Love Your Period Campaign, and Bethan Walters, a UN advocate for menstrual health and…

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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: https://wcva.cymru/views/embracingequity-in-female-health/

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