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 (senedd.wales) 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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2021-2022 Annual Impact Report Published

We are delighted to share our 2021-2022 Annual Impact Report with you, providing detailed information about FTWW’s work, achievements, and finances during the 12 months from April 2021 to March 2022. The year saw some fantastic work by our staff and volunteers, ensuring that female health has the attention it deserves in Wales and our voices are heard here and beyond. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has given their time, and supported us, during what has continued to be a challenging time for so many. We truly appreciate you! Find the English and Welsh…

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Rachel is smiling as she stands in front of the Welsh Charity Awards banner, being presented with her award.

Rachel is Young Volunteer of The Year

We are so proud of FTWW Volunteer, Rachel Joseph, who has been named ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ Award at WCVA’s Welsh Charity Awards. Rachel does so much for FTWW, and for endometriosis patients across Wales, and we would be lost without her. She picked up her well-deserved award at the ITV Wales studios – check out their article detailing more about her achievements.  Diolch yn fawr iawn, Rachel – our powerhouse! 

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Disability History Month – Taskforce representation

16 November – 16 December is Disability History Month, and this year’s theme is Disability, Health and Well Being. The Covid Pandemic has demonstrated across the UK and around the world just how fragile the Rights disabled people have secured for themselves are, and this was of course highlighted in the Locked Out report. We are pleased therefore to continue our representation on Welsh Government’s co-produced Disability Rights Taskforce, representing members across a number of working groups – including Independent Living: Health and Wellbeing, which held its first meeting on 23 November and was Chaired by our very own trustee, Willow. 

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Jane Hutt MS

Period Proud – Jane Hutt MS thanks FTWW

Heledd Fychan MS led a short debate about enshrining the strategy on period poverty in legislation, like the Scottish Government’s Period Products (Free Provision) Act 2021. The Minister for Social Justice announced a plan for eliminating period poverty and achieving period dignity for all by 2027 was coming soon. The minister also thanked campaigners and organisations who have supported the work, including FTWW. You can read the full transcript of the debate, here: https://record.assembly.wales/Plenary/13044#A75684

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BBC Walescast – FTWW Joins Women’s Health Takeover

This month, FTWW’s Engagement Officer, Dee, appeared on BBC Wales News Walescast Women’s Health takeover.  Hosted by BBC Wales News Health Reporter Jenny Rees, Dee was delighted to join Mrs Julie Cornish, who heads up Wales’ first Pelvic Health Hub at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, and Dr Amara Naseem from Muslim Doctors Cymru to discuss health inequalities in Wales, and how they impact women, girls and those assigned female at birth.   This programme ties in with BBC Wales’s coverage of the concerns raised by the #WomensHealthWales Coalition, which is co-chaired by FTWW and British Heart Foundation Cymru,…

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Disability Rights Taskforce

As part of the work of the Ministerial Disability Rights Taskforce, two working groups met this month, ‘Understanding and Embedding the Social Model of Disability’, and ‘Access to Services’.  At FTWW, we know that widespread understanding and usage of the social model would help many of our members living with chronic health conditions feel better equipped to ensure their rights are upheld. Meanwhile, key points raised at the ‘Access to Services’ group included the need for inclusivity in all things, starting with businesses’ accessibility information. For more information on the Disability Rights working groups, including opportunities to get involved, please…

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Lara and Lisa presenting at the WMN Conference

Wales Menopause Network Conference

Da iawn and diolch to FTWW Menopause champions Lara Morris (left) and Lisa Nicholls for speaking about their patient experiences at the Wales Menopause Network inaugural conference on Saturday. FTWW’s Engagement Officer, Dee, also posed questions from our members to clinicians Dr Nadia Hikary-Bhal and Dr Jayne Forrester-Paton – although that session had to be cut short, Nadia and Jayne have kindly offered to respond to all of the questions, so we will be able to share that information with you soon. There were some really great discussions about research being planned in Wales which will look at menopause and longevity,…

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FTWW Supports Social Justice

FTWW is delighted to offer support to the Welsh Government’s Social Justice portfolio, particularly at this time the Ministerial Disability Rights Taskforce.   A number of our volunteers will be on Working Groups, including Health & Wellbeing, Embedding the Social Model, and Access to Services. We are pleased to be supporting our trustee, Willow Holloway, herself a disabled woman, to take up the role of co-Chair of the Health & Wellbeing working group.  This work is particularly vital at a time when many disabled people are likely to be experiencing pronounced hardship in the face of the rising cost of living…

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Lisa Nicholls after finishing her Ultra Marathon

Congratulations, Lisa! We are ULTRA proud of you!

FTWW’s Menopause Lead, Lisa Nicholls (pictured), has long supported our members experiencing menopause-related issues, and also represented FTWW in the media and high level meetings, including the Westminster APPG on Menopause and the All Wales Planned Gynaecology Board Task & Finish Group for Menopause. She does so much in her volunteering for us, but the saying ‘going the extra mile’ doesn’t quite do it justice – she recently took part in a gruelling 50-mile Ultra Marathon, over the Brecon Beacons, to raise vital funds for FTWW.  If you’re as impressed with Lisa’s efforts as we are, please do consider making a…

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UK Health Radio’s Autistic Voices welcomes Willow

FTWW Trustee, Willow Holloway, recently featured on UK Health Radio’s Autistic Voices programme, hosted by Evalynne Charmer. Willow told Evalynne about her roles with FTWW, Autistic UK, the Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project, and Disability Wales, and about her lived experience as a late-diagnosed autistic woman. Tune in here.

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an IUD (coil) lies on a blue, pink and yellow background

ITV Wales News Covers Contraception Delays

There are concerns women are at risk of unwanted pregnancies in some parts of Wales due to “significant” delays within sexual health services, as reported by ITV Wales.  FTWW told ITV News that it is “vital” that women are able to access the treatment they need “as soon as possible”. “’It’s important to realise that these devices can be used both for contraception and relief of symptoms from gynaecological health conditions. Issues like pelvic pain and heavy bleeding can have a really significant and detrimental impact on women’s lives and we know that many of those affected can find it…

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