Holland & Barrett fund launched to offer menopause support to underrepresented woman
Holland & Barrett, is on a mission to close the menopause care gap through its Women’s Health Community Fund with Wellbeing of Women, providing grassroots organisations with funding for resources that best reach and serve the needs of underrepresented women in local communities.
The newly founded Fund has a specific focus on those from lower income families, ethnically diverse communities, those with disabilities and LGBTQ+.
The Women’s Health Community Fund in partnership with Wellbeing of Women, was launched following research amongst UK women from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds which revealed the stark inequality in menopause support:
- 51 per cent said the available support is too focused on the experiences of white women
- 26 per cent find it difficult to access menopause support tailored to their needs
- 31 per cent believe speaking to a female healthcare professional of the same ethnicity as them would have made a difference to their menopause experience
- 15 per cent feel communicating in their native language would have made a positive difference
To date, the Fund has supported over a dozen initiatives across the UK with over £25,000 worth of grants. These include webinars around diet and nutrition for menopause specifically tailored for women from the South Asian community and information on how to support menopausal women with mental health conditions, to online events for women from the Caribbean and African communities and panel talks and intergenerational events and curated resources.
Discussing the fund Laura Neale, Head of Partnerships at Wellbeing of Women, comments, “Despite menopause impacting 51% of the population, not everyone who will experience it has access to the same level of information and support. With a shared vision to make menopause education accessible, we are delighted to be working closely with Holland & Barrett to reduce this gap. By providing small grants and resources to community groups and leaders, we’re able to support them to start conversations and get trustworthy information into diverse or disadvantaged communities around the UK. After launching our pilot in the summer, we’re already seeing positive results and are very excited to see what more we can achieve together to support women’s health.”
One beneficiary includes Bedford based Anita Powell, a 50-year-old menopause campaigner and founder of The Menopause Alliance. With the help of the Fund, Anita is holding a series of menopause events, Let’s Talk Menopause and More, which sees speakers address the cultural diversity and taboos when it comes to menopause. Attendees receive health and wellness advice around symptoms, and guidance on where to seek professional support. The first in the series of events saw nearly 50 women from the local community come together to share their individual experiences.
Holland & Barrett has a deep heritage in supporting women in menopause, and in the last 18 months alone has launched numerous initiatives with the aim of reaching and supporting every woman. These include the launch of the first retailer-led free menopause helpline in partnership with Menopause Mandate and being the first UK retailer to offer a multi-language online consultation service to help support women from ethnic minorities.
The online service sees trained H&B menopause advisors offering guidance and symptom support in multiple languages, starting with Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati and Punjabi. Plus, all 4,000 H&B colleagues have had extended training to help better advise on menopause symptoms and solutions.
Lina Chan, Director of Women’s Wellness at Holland & Barrett said: “At Holland & Barrett, we are on a mission to educate and inform, to break down barriers of conversation for women whilst offering a safe space to go for support. By working with Wellbeing of Women on the Women’s Health Community Fund, we can empower changemakers who already work in communities to amplify the work. We see the fund as a catalyst to reaching these communities and a faster step towards menopause care equity.”
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