The Menopause Calendar Story
In March 2022, 12 women came together at Newby and Scalby Town Council Community Hub for the very first session of Menopause Meet. Most of them came alone, many desperate for support, information, tearful and just in need of being in the company of other women who understood exactly what they were going through.
Development of this programme was made possible thanks to funding Newby and Scalby Town Council received from North Yorkshire County Council Stronger Communities. Tina Boden, micro business and community engagement specialist, had submitted the funding bid whilst contracted to the Town Council, she knew from personal experience there was a need for support.
Helen King, Head of Support Services at Newby and Scalby Town Council, enlisted the support of Miss Kavita Verma, Gynaecology Consultant from York Health Trust to provide clinical guidance as she developed the 10-week Menopause Meet programme.
The first session was all about introductions, sharing each other’s individual menopause journey so far. In session two Kavita came along and shared with the ladies what happens to their bodies during the menopause. She gave them not only knowledge but confidence to talk to their GPs when attending a menopause appointment.
Prior to session six Helen had attended a performance of The Calendar Girls at the Grand Opera House, York and had a lightbulb moment - what a fantastic way of getting women to raise awareness and funds to offer wider menopause support by baring all. When sharing her idea in session six the girls, as Helen had affectionately named them, laughed hysterically, until they realised she was serious!
When Helen and Tina came together and embarked on the creation of this calendar their aim was to raise money to ensure more ladies received menopause support not just in the Scarborough area but way beyond. Having seen the ladies go through the first Newby and Scalby Town Council Menopause Meet they knew how important it was. What soon became apparent was The Menopause Calendar was so much more than about raising money, it is about body confidence, sharing stories and embracing all women go through as they enter this new stage of their lives.