Your Chance to Learn More about Menopause in the Workplace!

  We are delighted that FTWW Menopause Champions, Lisa and Lara, will be participating at Policy Insight Wales Menopause in the Workplace Wales Conference on April 24th at the Cardiff Marriott. They will be discussing topics like the importance of workplace culture, reasonable adjustments, and the need to recognise that menopause can affect employees of all ages, and alongside other health conditions. The event will help employers better understand how to support, value and retain this essential part of the workforce. You can view the Agenda here: For FTWW newsletter subscribers there is a 20% discount on tickets so…

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Watch now: Endometriosis Action Month virtual panel in partnership with FTWW

A report from Endometriosis UK in March 2024 revealed that the average diagnosis time in Wales has risen to 9 years and 11 months. This virtual panel event discussed this further and looked at work underway in Wales to address the problem, including the launch of new content on NHS Wales-approved website, Endometriosis Cymru, and a digitised Symptom Reporting Tool. Many thanks to Jenny Rathbone MS for chairing this event.  This session featured: Emma Cox, CEO of Endometriosis UK, to share some further insights from the report. Debbie Shaffer, Founder of FTWW, and member of the Endometriosis Cymru team, joined…

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Endometriosis Cymru website and symptom reporting tool now live

If you live in Wales and have been diagnosed with endometriosis, or have symptoms you suspect may be endometriosis, Endometriosis Cymru can help.  The website provides a wealth of information and resources to help you manage symptoms and navigate living with the condition. It also provides useful tips and tools for parents, carers, educators, and employers. The information, resources, and tools on the website can be accessed by anyone – you don’t have to live in Wales to use them! Endometriosis Cymru is a collaborative project, initiated in  2019 by the Welsh Government and NHS Wales with Cardiff University…

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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 Rights Taskforce Newsletter – Spring 2024

FTWW is a member of The Welsh Government’s Disability Rights Taskforce, and our staff, Trustees and Volunteers also represent the charity on the various working groups that feed into it. We’re delighted to share the Taskforce’s latest newsletter, which details  progress made with their work since issuing the Winter newsletter in 2023.    Disability Rights Taskforce Newsletter – Spring 2024 Vision for Wales: Improving outcomes for disabled people. We want to ask your views on our idea for communicating our co-produced work and our vision for equality for disabled people in Wales. The idea builds upon the hard work and…

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two rebel bodies paperbacks lie next to each other on a red background.

Rebel Bodies is out in paperback!

We are delighted to share that Sarah Graham’s fantastic book, Rebel Bodies: A Guide to the Gender Health Gap Revolution, is now out in paperback! You may recall that FTWW was included as a case study in what has become a must-read for anyone with an interest in intersectional female health issues, so please do spread the word!  Sarah is currently running a giveaway over on her Instagram page, but if you already have it, why not check out her top picks for Rebel readers over on

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a photo of Becci and the Piece of Mind podcast logo.

PMDD – the hidden link between hormones and mental health

Episode 11 of the Piece of Mind podcast heard from FTWW member, Becci Smart, to discuss the reality of living with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and the research currently taking place at the NCMH that’s looking to learn more to improve diagnosis and treatment.  Becci’s petition calling on Health Education & Improvement Wales to make PMDD a mandatory CPD module in postgrad medical teaching ends on 1st February, so please do sign and share!

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The Senedd Health and Social Care Committee logo

Senedd Inquiry – Supporting People with Chronic Conditions: FTWW members have their say

You may recall that last year, the Senedd’s Health and Social Care Committee launched their inquiry into supporting people with chronic conditions. The consultation stage revealed a clear overarching message for the need to improve person-centred, holistic care, and to stop focusing on individual conditions in isolation. Stage two of the inquiry involves gathering evidence, and this month, members of FTWW’s support group attended two focus groups with the Senedd’s citizen engagement team, providing powerful testimonies around their lived experiences – and what they believe needs to be done to improve health and care for people living with long-term conditions….

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The cover of Dee’s book. The image is blue and red cell on a purple background, with the book title in the centre and Dee’s name below.

Schroedinger’s Lump – Dee Dickens

Our Trustees are incredibly talented people, and Dee Dickens is no exception! We are absolutely delighted to not only congratulate them on the publication of her latest poetry collection, Shroedinger’s Lump, but also thank her for kindly donating proceeds from sales to FTWW and our friends at Love Your Period. Dee’s collection covers their experiences of accessing healthcare during a breast cancer scare, which was complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that Dee’s poems will resonate with so many in our community, so if you’d like to read it – and support us by doing so – you can…

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The bilingual TNL Community Fund logo

FTWW Benefits from Awards for All Funding

We are really excited to announce that FTWW has been successful in securing a Lottery Awards for All grant to refresh our website and create new and more downloadable resources for our community. We are keen to ensure that the website is more accessible and easier to use, with new content in Welsh and English added on the various health conditions and issues which so many people across Wales report to us. There will be more patient stories, practical information on accessing services and having your voice heard, and an expanded range of leaflets which website visitors can download and…

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Text reading Women’s Health Wales / Iehcyd Menywod Cymru on a purple background with arrows and equals symbols running through it.

Updates on the Development of a NHS Wales Women’s & Girls’ Health Plan

Earlier this month we Chaired the first Annual General Meeting of the third sector Women’s Health Wales Coalition, where we were pleased to hear updates from the new Welsh Government Women’s Health Policy Team. Assurances were given that a new National Clinical Strategic Network for Women’s Health is in the process of being set up. The Strategic Network will be responsible for developing and delivering a 10-year Women’s & Girls’ Health Plan for Wales, with a focus on NHS services. However, as gender health inequalities extend beyond this – into education, training, the workplace, and more – there will need…

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Laura, Becci and Carla, pictured during their speeches at the conference.

All-Wales Menopause Conference is Hosted in Wrexham!

And we were delighted to be asked to organise patient speakers for the event. Our thanks go to Laura, Becci, and Carla (pictured, above), FTWW volunteers who each gave hugely powerful and knowledgeable talks on the symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) (otherwise known as ‘early menopause’) at the second annual All-Wales Menopause Conference earlier this month. Not only were their presentations incredibly moving, they also provided a wealth of information to clinicians in attendance on how to identify issues and support patients. We know you will join us in congratulating them for sharing their…

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A group photo of women posing with the menopause manifesto. Dawn Owen is stood just off centre right, holding a FTWW leaflet

Menopause Mandate: Dawn attends House of Lords event

Dawn Owen (just off centre right, holding a FTWW leaflet), one of FTWW’s fantastic volunteers and Menopause Champions, was this month invited to the House of Lords for the launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s launch of a UK Menopause Manifesto. The Manifesto echoes some of the calls FTWW has been making, not least as part of the All-Wales Menopause Task & Finish Group, whose recommendations will feature in a new NHS Wales Women’s Health Plan. We are particularly keen to see menopause feature more prominently in training for healthcare professionals, including GPs, practice nurses, and gynaecologists. We also want…

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A photo of all four guides with text reading: Easy Read booklets about keeping healthy in perimenopause and menopause

Menopause Awareness Month: Easy Read Wales launches new menopause guides

18th October was World Menopause Day, and Easy Read Wales launched four bilingual easy read guides covering menopause and perimenopause, symptoms, HRT and keeping well, and speaking to doctors and healthcare professionals. The booklets were co-produced with FTWW, The Menopause Charity, and people with learning disabilities representing Cwm Taf All Wales People First. Easy read guides are created to make information accessible for people with learning disabilities, but are regularly accessed by other disabled people as well as those who are time limited. It’s just one example of how making something accessible for one group of people benefits wider society!…

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FTWW backs Welsh NHS Confederation call for conversation on future of nation’s health and wellbeing

32 organisations, including FTWW, have come together to support the Welsh NHS Confederation’s call for a cross-government national conversation on the future of health and wellbeing. The organisations, from a range of sectors in Wales, believe it is for all government departments, ministers and sectors to ask what they can do to support the health and wellbeing of people now and in the future. Read more here.  

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Update from the Welsh Government’s Ministerial Disability Rights Taskforce

We’re delighted to bring you an update from the Disability Rights Taskforce, in which FTWW and our volunteers regularly participate. The Taskforce sends a big thank you to members of the working groups which have now concluded their deliberations, all of which have been Chaired by people with their own lived experience of disability. The working groups saw people with lived experience and expertise, disabled people’s organisations, and Welsh Government policy leads coming together to hear about the things that are important to disabled and chronically ill people and to think about how to remove barriers affecting their lives. Recommendations…

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Becci is a white woman with short red and orange dyed hair. She is sat in her kitchen speaking to a reporter who is off camera.

PMDD: Becci Launches Petition

FTWW members and PMDD Champions, Becci and Laura, featured on BBC Radio Wales Breakfast regarding Becci’s Senedd Petition to improve care for the condition (1.35.00 on). Becci also talked to BBC Wales News Online and BBC Wales Today.  ITV’s This Morning programme also highlighted the campaign, and discussed PMDD in more detail, to help viewers understand symptoms. Watch here (from the 3.25 mark). Becci is calling for PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) to be part of core teaching for healthcare professionals in Wales, as the condition is so misunderstood and under-recognised. Please sign and share her petition, here.     

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Experts call for urgent mental health support for people living with long term autoimmune diseases

A new study has highlighted the shocking mismatch of clinician and patients experiences of neurological and mental health issues in people with autoimmune rheumatological conditions. More than half of patients with auto-immune conditions experience mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, yet the majority are rarely or never asked in clinic about mental health symptoms, according to new research from the University of Cambridge and King’s College London. Read more, here. 

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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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