Rachel Weiss had the idea for Menopause Cafe in 2017, inspired by Kirsty Wark’s BBC programme “Menopause and Me” and the Death Cafe model she had already been part of. Rachel, Gail Jack and Lorna Fotheringham held the world’s first Menopause Cafe in Perth, Scotland that June 2017. They didn’t know whether it would just be the three of them talking to each other, or if other people would join them. About 30 people turned up and talked, and asked for more Menopause Cafes.
Word spread thanks to some excellent PR from Grainger Public Relations, a Facebook group and the creation of a website by Andy Sanwell. There was lots of interest and coverage from the media both local and national, newspapers, television and radio. Heather Borderie and Helen Kemp joined the steering group before we ran our second cafe.
We were able to expand our vision thanks to funding from the Guildry Incorporation of Perth and the Perth Creative Common Fund. The website was redone, a Facebook page created, a Twitter account set up and the concept of a Menopause Festival took shape and turned into reality.
June 2017 – the first Menopause Cafe in Perth, Scotland.
October 2017 – the third cafe was held at the WOW Festival in Perth, Scotland. Kirsty Wark joined us. Kirsty and Rachel spoke at a panel discussion on, “Is 60 the new 30?”
November 2017 – Menopause Cafe Edinburgh took place, the first outside Perth.
January 2018 – Menopause Cafes took place in Petersfield, Hampshire and Sheffield. Our first outside Scotland.
January 2018 – Menopause Cafe at SSE, our first workplace cafe.
March 2018 – Menopause Cafe Toronto, Ontario. Our first outside the UK.
March 2018 – our first Menopause Festival Perth featuring talks, group singing and cafes.
June 2018 – the Menopause Cafe becomes a charity registered in Scotland. Kirsty Wark becomes our Patron.
April 2019 – our second Menopause Festival Perth was spread over two days including an afternoon focusing on menopause in the workplace for employers
October 2019 – 18 Menopause Cafes are run on World Menopause Day including seven workplace ones by SSE at various UK sites.
We recognise and give thanks to the following organisations who have given Menopause Cafe their resources for free.