Scotmid announced as prime sponsor for world’s only menopause festival

Speakers including Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark will gather to open up conversations about the menopause

Scotmid Co-op is sponsoring this year’s #FlushFesh2022, the world’s only menopause festival, set to take place in June.

Now in its fourth year, #FlushFest2022 welcomes people of all ages and genders to gather online and learn about menopause through comedy, theatre, workshops and expert speakers.

The retail society says it will be a prime sponsor of the event and hopes it will encourage more open conversations about the menopause.

The volunteer-run festival will feature speakers including TV presenter and journalist Kirsty Wark, who will share her experiences in a keynote speech.

Ms Wark said: “I am delighted to be a keynote speaker at this year’s Menopause Festival. As a patron of the Menopause Café charity, who organises #FlushFest, I know that the more we open up the conversation about menopause, the easier it is to get support at home, at work and from healthcare practitioners. I wish this festival had been started when I first had to deal with the menopause.”

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Inspired by Ms Wark’s BBC documentary Menopause and Me, the first Menopause Café was set up in Perth, Scotland in 2017. The cafés follow the model of the now popular Death Cafés, to provide an open and non-judgmental space to talk about menopause. Last year 120 Menopause Cafés were held around the world.

Menopause Café founder Rachel Weiss said: “We’re excited to launch the fourth annual #Flushfest in an online, interactive format so that everyone around the world can access it. The taboo of menopause started to fall away in 2021, and now in 2022 it’s time to take action, through learning about menopause and celebrating this time of life. We hope that the festival provides a supportive community for participants to learn, laugh and share about their menopause experiences or come and support those going through it.”

Symptoms of the menopause can affect women’s mental health, worklife and relationships. UN figures for 2020 found that there are around 657 million women between 45 and 59, with 47% of those in employment. 

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As a member-owned business and an employer of around 4,000 people across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England, Scotmid’s stated core purpose is to “serve local communities and improve people’s everyday lives”.

Shirley MacGillivray, head of membership and community at Scotmid, said: “We’re proud to sponsor #FlushFest22. We recognise the impact menopause has on the health and wellbeing of our employees and the communities that we serve. The event has a fantastic line-up, which we hope will increase knowledge and inspire those who attend to continue to open the conversation.”

The festival will run online from 17-18th June. Tickets for #FlushFest2022 can be purchased via the Menopause Café website.