Young women in their 20s or 30s who have gone through cancer treatment can experience early, medically-induced menopause as a result. Yet very few are aware of this side effect and there is usually no plan in place to support them through the changes they experience.
Not only that, waiting lists to see a menopause specialist are growing ever longer and a private appointment can cost a patient up to £200.
In response to this lack of provision, Trekstock created a bespoke programme called Navigating Menopause to support these young people through the process.
The charity provides free online programmes that aim to give young people the confidence to navigate their treatment options and manage their symptoms while joining a community of people experiencing similar symptoms.
Navigating Menopause covers signs and symptoms, how to get help, non-medical and medical options, sex and relationships, exercise and nutrition, grief and loss, and mental health.
So far, Trekstock has worked with 90 women. It has also raised awareness of this side-effect of cancer treatment through its work with BBC and Channel 4 programmes.
One project participant said: “I didn’t realise that so many of the issues I had were side-effects of the menopause. This programme gave me a reason why I was feeling the way I did and more importantly, it gave me the information and tools I needed to improve my health and wellbeing. It’s given me back hope.”
The charity reported that 100% of those who attended one of its programmes said they felt less isolated as a result.
Charity Awards judge Paul Streets said that while the project is addressing a niche issue, it is clearly offering a vital service for a group that previously had little profile or specialist support.
Judge Sharika Sharma said the project achieved “really good outcomes, in terms of both the statistics they quoted and the qualitative information they provided”.
CC Reg No. 1132421