a screengrab from a BBC Breakfast report. Dee, a white woman with dark hair wearing a blue floral dress, sits with the Newport Transporter Bridge in the background. She's not looking at the camera - she's speaking to the reporter who is out of shot.

Opinion: Engage Britain – Why we must be able to critique the NHS

By Dee Montague, Engagement Officer at FTWW Earlier this year, FTWW facilitated two focus groups as part of Engage Britain’s community conversations around health and social care. Our conversations were two of 101 held across Great Britain, looking to find out more about people’s positive – and negative – experiences of health and social services. One of our groups focused entirely on endometriosis, and the second had a general ‘women’s health’ focus. As part of the publicity around Engage Britain’s conversations and subsequent survey results, I was asked to be a case study for the BBC coverage, and was interviewed…

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FTWW’s Response to ‘Locked out: liberating disabled people’s lives and rights in Wales beyond Covid-19’

FTWW welcomes the publication of, ‘Locked out…’, a ground-breaking report on the impact of Covid19 on disabled people in Wales. We were pleased to be among the diverse and intersectional group of disabled people and organisations involved in coproducing it. We are encouraged that the report had Welsh Government’s full support throughout, and has been published it in its entirety with no redactions. A Minister-led task force is now being created, co-chaired by members of the disabled community, to implement recommendations. This will mean that the voices and experiences of disabled people in Wales are properly heard throughout discussions and that,…

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Menstrual Wellbeing Education – Education Bill Amendment

The 29th January saw the second stage of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill, with the Senedd’s Children, Young People & Education (CYPE) Committee voting for or against any Amendments brought to the table. Alongside Endometriosis UK, FTWW had called upon members of the Committee to bring an Amendment which would make Menstrual Wellbeing Education mandatory. We were delighted to see Committee Member, Suzy Davies MS, passionately advocate that this should be the case. Unfortunately, despite the vote being equally split, with 3 for and 3 against, the Chair’s casting vote against saw the Amendment fall. Nevertheless, despite this setback,…

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Outrage at Welsh Government’s Failure to Make Menstrual Education Mandatory

After months of collecting evidence, including that provided by FTWW, Endometriosis UK, and many other individuals, on Friday afternoon, Welsh Parliament’s Children, Young People and Education Committee (CYPE) published its report on the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill. You can read the report in full here. Unacceptably, the CYPE Committee chose to back the Education Minister’s decision that schools should have the ‘flexibility’ to choose whether to cover Menstrual Wellbeing or not, instead of standing by a commitment to mandatory teaching on the subject given by Members of the Senedd earlier in the year. Part of a unanimously passed motion…

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Periods aren’t a Choice for Most Pupils in Wales: Period Education can’t be Optional Either

In Wales, we’re still in a form of Covid-19 lockdown but, gradually, people are starting to consider a return to normal life: work, socialising, going to school…But what about the one in five girls whose periods mean that going to school isn’t easy, Covid-19 or not? Or the half of all girls who say that their concentration in class is negatively impacted by heavy bleeding or pain?(1)  Whilst we’ve all been rightly concerned about the impact lockdown is having on our children’s education, we need to extend that same level of concern to the thousands of girls across Wales whose…

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When it isn’t All in Your Head…

First written by FTWW for Mindarium Magazine, September 2017 Those of us with chronic illness have long been aware of the link between it and mental health problems – whether they be depression at the loss of our former, pain-free, lives – or anxiety over how to cope with the inevitable change in circumstances. In fact, there is now a growing body of evidence supporting this link and looking at ways to help sufferers and carers manage these co-existing conditions more effectively. It is, quite rightly, perceived as essential that physicians fully appreciate the risks of chronically ill patients developing…

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Endometriosis: Can Anybody Hear Us?

The last couple of months have marked a really significant turning point for endometriosis patients across the UK. October 17th, 2019 was the day on which the BBC finally publicised the results of a survey it had conducted into the experiences of the one in ten afflicted. Nationwide media coverage was the result. Just 12 days later, led by MP Alec Shelbrooke, MPs in Westminster debated endometriosis and the decision was made to launch a national inquiry into its impact. Where the BBC survey is concerned, certainly Welsh residents responded – but were their experiences adequately reflected in the coverage…

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Science: Menopause’s Mortal Enemy, and we’re O-vary Glad About it!

A FTWW HQ Opinion Piece 17/08/2019 At FTWW HQ, we read with interest Wales Online’s opinion piece on ovarian tissue transplantation for women who have gone through an early menopause. At the start of her piece, author Carolyn Hitt asked an interesting question, ‘In dealing with the hormonal rollercoaster we are strapped to from puberty should we let science apply the brakes to nature?’ Our immediate response was, ‘well, why not?’ Isn’t the human brain, and its capacity for scientific thought, something bestowed upon us by nature? And, in doing so, throughout the time on which we’ve been on this…

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