Celebrating our first birthday on World Menopause Day was a wonderful excuse for hosting Become’s first-ever event! Our women-only Menopause Workshop brought together all the brilliant people we’ve got to know over the last year. We put together an amazing team of eleven experts, all leaders in the field of menopause, to offer help and advice. It was a truly sensational day and we welcomed over 80 ladies!
A tranquil setting
As they made their way into our venue – a relaxed space at Uncommon – our guests were treated to a glass of fizz, this was, after all, a celebration! There was also a delicious buffet of vegan dishes, including yummy salads and tarka dahl, plus some stunning Become™ cupcakes. Our venue was filled with gorgeously green plants and comfy furniture. It was the perfect place for hosting our informal round-table set-up. Whilst we ate and drank, we listened to some sensational singing from Soul in the City. Once everyone had found their seats, Lindsey our Head of Marketing, gave a warm welcome and introduced our experts.
Lindsey then presented something very special that Become™ and Mags Creative have been collaborating on, a first look at our new Become™ video, ‘A Letter to My Menopause’. We’re delighted to share it with you here and we hope that you’ll agree, it takes a new look at the way the menopause is presented.
We know that no menopause journey is the same and finding solutions and ways to cope with the many different symptoms is an individual and personal thing. But our experts were all from huge range of organisations and companies that are all on the same mission as us – to change the way we as modern women think about, talk about and take on the menopause.
Our amazing experts
The guest speakers we chose are all highly regarded in their respective fields. We were lucky enough to meet Maryon Stewart soon after launching Become™ and she has since come on board as our Menopause Expert. A Pioneer of the Natural Menopause Movement and author of 27 books, we were delighted when she agreed to come to our event and speak about how her own experiences and research have shaped her specific approach in helping women reclaim their wellbeing. As well as offering lots of tips on the day, she very kindly offered each guest a free 14-day Menopause Empowerment Programme. Thank you Maryon!
The menopause certainly presents some huge challenges. Weight gain and loss of body confidence is one of the most common. But Sabrina Zeif, The Menopause Chef told us how she believed that the menopause certainly shouldn’t be a time of deprivation and showed how creating nutritious and fabulous tasting food can help you feel wonderful. Good health and nutrition are so important for balancing and nourishing the body. Exercise also plays a key part. Jane Dowling from Meno and Me has 25 years’ experience in health and fitness and is keen to educate women on how to take steps to positively influence menopausal symptoms so they don’t suffer like she did. Nikki from Sylk was passionate about women’s health and was there to offer advice about sex and the menopause. Guests were lucky enough to take home a few samples of the gel in their goody bags!
Informative and fun
We know from our Facebook Group The Chilled Menopause that some of you feel very isolated and alone, so we wanted everyone to feel at home and most importantly have fun. We had experts offering tips to help feel and look your best. Evey Amery Kurlander is a presenter on QVC and Become’s Style Guru. She’s just fantastic at showing the different ways to style your Become™ vest and she specialises in fashion for women over 40. And we had Jane Atherton, skincare expert and CEO of Phytomone, offering beauty advice and giving demonstrations of her phytoestrogen products which incorporate 18 natural plant oils to soothe and nourish the skin. Becks Armstrong, creator of Clarity App took us on a mindfulness journey. Managing stress becomes so important when our hormones are all over the place and mindfulness has been proven to calm and revive us. She even gave each guest a generous three-month subscription to the app. This all certainly had us feeling pretty zen and ready for another round-table discussion.
We were also treated to a fab yoga session! Dawn Boulanoff is a qualified Hormone Yoga specialist and showed us how her technique is been proven to improve hormonal balance and wellbeing. It’s been so effective that it's being used by some NHS hospitals. Those struggling to cope with the menopause at work could speak to Deborah Garlick, founder of Henpicked and lifestyle coach Lauren Chiren from Women of a Certain Stage, both working hard to encourage companies and employers to help their staff flourish at work, rather than feel undervalued, which rather depressingly, was all-too-common feeling amongst our ladies.
A shared journey
We were so happy that some of the amazing women we’ve got to know over the last year could join us, including winner of our #HotWomenOnly competition Nell, Live Better With Menopause, Sophie from Menopause and Me, and Jane, author of Me and My Menopausal Vagina. But it was eye-opening to hear some of the things that our guests had gone through. One lady had become very ill on HRT and been left with life-changing symptoms that left her in terrible pain. Another was wondering how to cope with the menopause at work when there were so many younger colleagues who didn’t understand. Somebody else said that the terrible brain fog she was suffering from was wrongly diagnosed as dementia. Another lady said her symptoms were not being recognised by her GP and she didn’t know what to do.
But just discussing all these things, voicing our views and getting to the heart of what mattered most to each of us was incredibly empowering. As Lindsey noted: “So many stories we hear are utterly shocking. But sharing a personal experience is a great way to get help and support. And asking for help is so much better than bottling it all up.”
We finished on a truly inspirational note. It was fantastic to hear from our charity partner Wellbeing of Women about the great work they’ve been doing to highlight so many women’s issues. The menopause is top of their agenda and we believe that their commitment and research will be key in tackling the taboos that are still rife in our society today. We truly believe that women of all ages can achieve great things, even when they are going through the menopause. And we’re stronger when we all work together.
So we very much hope we gave our guests the tools to take with them and use on their individual journeys. As well as so much expert advice, they took away an amazing goody bag worth over £250 with offers, fact sheets, recipes, Niche teabags, amazing product samples from Sylk and Ultrasun and some fabulous pieces from Industrial Jewellery. Huge thanks to all our experts and guests who came and made the day so special, as well as Faith and Hannah and the team at Mags Creative for all their help in hosting. We’ve had some fantastic feedback and can’t wait to host our next Menopause Workshop. We really hope to see you there!
Helen Prentice, October 2018