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News article

York St John Communities Centre to host tailored Menopause Support Groups for women in York  

Published: 07 March 2024

  •   Featured

Nikki Jephson and some of the team at the York St John Communities Centre

York St John Communities Centre is working with York Women’s Counselling Service (YWCS) to launch new menopause support sessions, tailored to what sort of help women report that they need. This is the first phase of a nine-month research project that is set to deliver menopause support groups across the city  

A new six-week pilot group is starting at the Centre this spring, with sessions run by YWCS. The aim of the groups is to provide a safe place for women to talk about the often-challenging effects of going through the menopause.  The sessions are believed to be a first for York and are being offered in response to a perceived lack of local support for the psychological symptoms and impact of the menopause.  

Nikki Jephson, Manager of the York St John Communities Centre said:  

“We’re delighted to host this valuable and much needed group at our Communities Centre premises on Clarence Street. As a university we are committed to supporting people through the menopause which is a natural part of life and not always an easy transition.  

“Menopause should not be taboo or hidden and we would like to encourage people to talk openly, without embarrassment. At the Centre we offer a range of therapeutic support services and are aware of the psychological impact that the menopause can have. There is a lack of mental health support for people experiencing the menopause, and therefore we are pleased to be able to support such an important initiative.”  

Ahead of the sessions, an online form has been launched for women experiencing menopause to share their experiences. The questionnaire, Understanding your Menopause Journey, aims to understand what women want and need during the menopause chapter of their lives. 
The project team would like as many women as possible to complete the questionnaire to ensure that views and experiences are as inclusive as possible. 
Stef Bricklebank, YWCS project leader said: 
“We’re calling on as many women as possible, from various stages of the menopause (perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause), to complete our online questionnaire Understanding your Menopause Journey. The information will be gathered anonymously and used to create both training tools for counsellors to use with their clients and also to shape the first pilot of our 6-session support groups, made up of twelve women.  

“The questionnaire will help us understand so much more about the psychological impact of this important phase of life. We can then create safe and nurturing spaces to explore and support this journey, which in turn can help with confidence, manage anxiety, and build self-esteem." 

The project is being co-produced by York St John University, YWCS and the Kyra Women’s Project.  

For all interested, please fill out our menopause survey   

And if you’re interested in joining the groups, please email 


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