A Point of Light in Darkness

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Rachel Weiss from Perth has today been recognised for her exceptional service as the founder of Menopause Cafe, receiving the renowned ‘Points of Light’ Award – which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

‘Menopause Cafe’ is a group which hosts pop-up events to encourage men and women of all ages to come together to talk about the impact of the menopause on their lives. The cafes bust myths, tackle taboos and signposts further support available locally.

Rachel organised the first Menopause Cafe in Perth last year and has since inspired volunteers to host over 38 events in Scotland, England and Canada, with almost 500 attendees. This year the group has become a registered charity in Scotland, with the BBC’s Kirsty Wark as their Patron, and has launched a ‘Menopause Festival’ featuring discussions and support. Rachel is currently planning events in Ireland, Australia and the USA.

“I’m delighted to have received a Points of Light award, on behalf of all the volunteers at Menopause Café”, says Rachel. “I’ve loved reading the stories of the other Points of Light volunteers - every day around us ordinary people are giving up their own time and resources to make the world a better place.

And my one small part in that was, a year ago, in Perth, Scotland, I held the world’s first Menopause Cafe, where any one can turn up, drink tea, eat cake and talk about the menopause, men and women, old and young. And now they’re being run by volunteers throughout the country, and internationally - we’ve had one in Toronto.”

There’s a real sense of pride in Perth about Rachel’s achievement, with Roseanna Cunningham, MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire saying, “I am absolutely delighted to congratulate Rachel Weiss on receiving this accolade as recognition for her work as founder of the 'Menopause Cafe'.

Rachel has long been an active and positive contributor to her local community, through a variety of groups and organisations. With the ‘Menopause Cafe’ that drive and energy has been given a global impact. She truly is a Point of Light and very worthy indeed of celebration.”

Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, had congratulatory sentiments too, saying, “I would like to offer a massive congratulations to Rachel Weiss for winning the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award.

Rachel has worked very hard in establishing the ‘Menopause Café’ project and I am pleased to see her get the recognition she rightly deserves. I hope to arrange to meet with Rachel in the very near future to congratulate her in person.”

If this story has inspired you to get stuck in with some volunteering yourself, Rachel encourages you to get involved with Menopause Café:

“If you’ve got a few hours to spare as a one-off and want to volunteer and run a Menopause Cafe, have a look at our website, and otherwise just enjoy reading the stories that there is goodwill out there; people are trying to make the world a better place.”

Wise words indeed. A huge congratulations from all of us at Small City, Rachel!


Perth's next Menopause Café is running as part of the WOW - Women of the World Festival - follow WOW on Facebook here.

Keep up to date on Menopause Café on Facebook and Twitter, and follow Rachel on Twitter at @Rowan_Rachel.

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