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Suffolk Libraries officially launches Menopause & Me!

Suffolk Libraries has launched the new Menopause & Me programme at a special celebration event at Ipswich Town Football Club.

The event was held to introduce Menopause & Me to the local community and provide more information on its aims.

The Menopause & Me programme is being run with funding from the Department of Health and Social Care. It aims to help people who are experiencing the menopause and perimenopause, with a focus on empowering local employers to provide as much support as possible for their staff. Suffolk Libraries will be working with Suffolk Mind and other partners on the project.

One in ten women who have been employed during the menopause have left work due to menopause symptoms, and eight out of ten women say their employer hasn’t shared information, trained staff, or put in place a menopause absence policy.

Gina Long, patron of Suffolk Libraries; Bethany Fisher, Bruce Leeke, Jane Cox and Jo Feely from Suffolk Libraries, Debs Crelly of Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System and Charlie Green from Suffolk Mind.

The launch event focused on highlighting the importance of supporting staff affected by the menopause and encouraging the Suffolk business community to take Suffolk Libraries new Menopause & Me pledge, with a focus on small and medium sized companies.

The evening featured speeches in support of the programme by Bruce Leeke, CEO of Suffolk Libraries; Gina Long, one of our new patrons, Charlie Green Deputy Head of Education and Training at Suffolk Mind and Debs Crelly, Health and Wellbeing Manager for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System.

Menopause & Me is being funded by £170k of funding from the Department of Health and Social Care’s Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Health and Wellbeing Fund. The fund aims to help people to remain in or return to the workplace through and following pregnancy, pregnancy loss or menopause which was one of the aims set out in the first ever Women’s Health Strategy for England.

Our website will soon be providing a range of dedicated resources all designed to support employers and people with lived experience of the menopause through courses and support groups.

When organisations sign the pledge, they commit to:

  • Sending a member of staff on free to access fully funded online menopause training with Suffolk Mind

  • Implementing a workplace menopause policy (a free to access template for businesses to create their own policy is available on the website)

  • Creating a menopause-friendly workplace and supporting open and honest conversations on the subject.

For more information or if your business would like to adopt the pledge, please email

Jane Cox, Suffolk Libraries Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Manager, said:

“We have spent the last three months speaking to employers and people with experience of the menopause to design this project so are very excited to be launching it. Employees who are most likely to experience the menopause or perimenopause usually have a great deal of skill, knowledge and experience to bring to our workplaces. Therefore, it’s vital that we all work together to support colleagues when they might be experiencing perimenopausal symptoms. We hope to use this launch event to raise awareness of the project and would encourage all businesses in Suffolk to find out more and commit to making the pledge!”

Suffolk Libraries has already gained the support of several Suffolk businesses:

Marie Allen, Head of Employment at Gotelee Solicitors LLP, said:

“Affecting 50% of the population at some point in their working lives (and some much earlier than others), menopause in the workplace isn’t just very topical, it’s a real issue that all employers need to grapple with. At Gotelee Solicitors LLP we are committed to supporting all our staff and we were therefore delighted to have been given the opportunity to be involved in the Menopause & Me project employer focus group, and to be early adopters of the Menopause & Me Pledge.”

Hayley Jarvill and Anna Clayton, Directors at Bury Physiotherapy Clinic in Bury St Edmunds were also keen to get involved in Menopause & Me.

Anna said:

“I provide women's health physiotherapy as part of my role at the clinic so I understand the effect that perimenopause and menopause symptoms have on patients and staff. I work with individuals to discuss what tools and techniques will best help manage symptoms. We were keen to get involved in Menopause & Me to improve the support and information that we provide to employees. We understand that women deal with their experiences and symptoms differently, so we need to ensure that we have the right information, further signposting options and resources. It will be a useful tool for patients to access for resources too and we’ll be encouraging them to speak to their workplaces and find out what support is available to them.”