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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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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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 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:

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