A NEW event to help women affected by menopause is to launch in Halstead. 

Teresa Sparks works as a social prescriber at the Colne Valley Primary Care Network and has set up a menopause café at the Halstead Leisure Centre. 

In regular sessions, people can get together for an informal, yet informative chat to get advice and share their experiences. 

“Half of our patients are female and probably half of that are also of the age for menopause. There’s not much support in the area so we just wanted to bring something to the community where like-minded women and even men can have someone to chat with,” Mrs Sparks said. 

“Quite often it’s one of those taboo subjects and hopefully we can get people chatting about it a bit more.” 

Her work as a social prescriber involves finding ways to help people in a non-medical way and a way to connect healthcare with the community in a different way. 

She added: “It’s having that two-way partnership and we thought if we did it as a café, it’s a bit more informal, more relaxed and hopefully more comfortable to have a chat about things.  

“We’ll see how things go and organically row it from what people want rather than NHS services telling people what they’re going to be having.” 

The idea of the café has come from the greater emphasis on awareness and the importance of social prescribing. 

The first meeting will take place on December 6 at 9.30am at the Halstead Leisure Centre but to be able to offer everyone a chance to join, the group will look at a way to move the meetings to the evening in the future. 

At the moment, the sessions are set up to be monthly meetings, but the group is looking to run them biweekly to also offer a range of courses.  

Mrs Sparks added: “We are looking at potentially running a course where people can come along and dip into aspects of what we’re doing, for example, we could be setting up a course where one element is to speak to a clinician and what prescribed medication is available.

"But also there might be another session that will be concentrating on sleep or on hair care, skin and beauty.” 

Anyone interested can join the meeting but can also register online via Eventbrite