The team behind Windmill Hill City Farm and the founder of Women of a Certain Stage, Lauren Chiren, have collaborated to run Bristol’s first Menopausal Cafe event, aimed at helping women going through the menopause to meet and talk about their experiences.
Chiren set up Women at a Certain Stage, a business that supports women to understand and cope with their menopausal symptoms, as well as advising businesses to deal with menopause in the workplace, after silently suffering with perimenopause in her early 40s.
“My symptoms were so severe that I believed I had early onset dementia,” Lauren says. After being forced to leave her job because of her symptoms, she realised her passion was empowering women and helping them know where to get help. “I want to give back to those who are less aware of what they are going through, like I was, by setting up free cafe sessions and offering free consultations on how to deal with the symptoms and signpost women on to where else they can get help.
“It’s going to be a chance to share stories and top tips and be around like-minded women, all going through a similar journey.”
Lauren has been visiting Windmill Hill City Farm with her son since he was young, and she believes that it is one of the best places for the location of her menopause cafe sessions. “It’s got such a relaxed atmosphere, with the trees and the animals,” she says. She hopes that the setting will encourage the women who come along to have an open discussion about what they are going through – “I want to prevent them from ending up in the same situation as me” is how she puts it.
Although Lauren offers a 12-week programme for women, she recognises that many either cannot afford it or do not have the time to meet regularly. “That’s why the cafe is so important, because it means anyone can go at any time.”
The first ever free Menopausal Cafe will take place on Sunday May 6 from 10.30am and will continue on the first Sunday of every month at Windmill Hill City Farm. To find out more and book a free place, visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bristol-menopause-cafe-tickets-45101737511