A charity founded in Perth are preparing to hold a virtual festival to celebrate and educate people on the menopause.
Flush Festival 2021 is being held by the Menopause Café, a charity born in 2017 when founder Rachel Weiss saw a documentary – Menopause and Me – by journalist Kirsty Wark. Looking to educate herself for the future, Rachel tuned in and realised just how much there was to learn about this often-ignored topic.
Rachel said: “Kirsty’s programme opened my eyes and also made me realise people don’t talk about it.
“I have loads of friends who have gone through the menopause – how come I knew nothing about it?
“Before I had kids, people would tell me about having kids all the time, whether I was interested or not but before I had the menopause – radio silence.
Rachel utilised her existing business page Rowan Consultancy – a Perth based counselling service – to reach out to those who might be interested in meeting to talk about the menopause.
The meeting was set to take place in the Blend Coffee Lounge in Perth.
Rachel spoke of the ‘relief’ she felt when people came along: “Thank goodness some people turned up and then they kept coming in. There were about 28 people all round tables and we just said ‘Welcome, there’s no agenda – just get chatting on your table of why you’re here. Share your story’s and they did. I was delighted.
“It’s different from going to a talk about the menopause and it’s different from a support group because everyone’s welcome to the Menopause Café – men as well as women.
“It’s more of an educational thing except you educate each other.
“We’re not experts.
“What we give you is a connection – I think people need to talk. The thing that people say when they come out of the menopause café is ‘Now I know I’m not alone’ which means a lot.
The volunteer run festival will take place online on April 30th and May 1st and hopes to inspire and educate people of all ages and genders about the menopause, having lots of fun along the way.
Events will include a ‘Menopause at Work’ discussion, aimed at employers and HR representatives to educate them in supporting workers.
There will also be stand-up comedy and cabaret including a performance from Scottish singer, Karine Polwart.
Menopause Café have now come full circle from being inspired to form due to Kirsty Wark’s documentary to now having Kirsty herself as patron.
Kirsty will be opening the upcoming Flush Festival with words of welcome.
Rachel added: “She inspired us – we thought we will write to her asking to be our patron, not expecting that she would even reply – but she said yes!
“We’re very grateful she’s opening the festival.
“My hope is in five years’ time maybe we won’t need menopause café because you can just talk about it anywhere.”
Further information including tickets to Flush Festival can be found at www.menopausecafe.net or participating in the hashtag #FlushFest2021.