The first Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) Menopause Cafe was held at their headquarters on Monday 17 April.
Officers and staff gathered at the MDP Headquarters, in Cambridgeshire to eat cake, drink tea, talk, laugh, and cry about the menopause, at the force’s first Menopause Café.
Inspired by Death Cafes and Kirsty Wark’s BBC programme ‘Menopause and Me’, the world’s first Menopause Café was held in Perth, Scotland in June 2017.
Menopause Café is now a charity who create safe spaces worldwide, for conversations about menopause. At gatherings across the world, women and men meet at the Menopause Café to discuss symptoms, tips, worries and to support each other in a confidential environment.
MDP Police Constable and Trainer, Claire Fergusson has been the chief motivator for menopause cafés to be held in the MDP.
“The menopause journey will touch us all, both men and women, whether it’s at home with family and friends, or at work with colleagues.
I do not want to force individuals to face the inevitable, but give everyone, including my male colleagues, a safe place to get and give support — we all have our own stories to tell. I want to help my colleagues with whatever they need to make this journey easier, so they do not feel alone, misunderstood, heartbroken or angry, — the list of emotions is endless for those experiencing the effects of the menopause.
As for me, and don’t worry I will not bore you with all the details, the peri-menopause has changed my life, in every conceivable way, from changing jobs, to leaving my home and my support network. My journey has been tough and heart-breaking, purely due to the menopause symptoms, I felt I had no choice.
I do not want anyone else to go through the same experiences I did, on their own. So, I wanted to create somewhere we could all go to get support — that’s all of us, as we are all affected in some way or another.
In my endless search to find some form of help, I found the ‘Menopause Café’. Their values resonated with me, and I felt this would be a great forum to replicate in the MDP.
The menopause is such a taboo subject, but life would be much more harmonious if we understood it, supported those who are affected by it and allowed ourselves to laugh and cry about it, together.”
Claire is leading plans for more menopause cafes to be held at stations around the Force, following the success of the first Menopause Café being held at MDP Headquarters.
The dates for these cafes will be communicated soon through the Force’s internal channels.
To find out more about the Menopause Café, including details of future cafes and events, follow the #MenopauseCafe on social media and visit their website.