LEADING menopause experts are hosting a discussion and Q&A event in Taunton.

The speakers include Helen Tomlinson, the government’s first menopause employment champion, who is asking employers to become more aware around the issues and create more supportive environments to help women experiencing the menopause.

She said: “Research tells us that less than 25 per cent of women in the UK say their employer has a menopause policy or other support.

"We know this is having an impact on employee attendance and retention, with about 17 per cent of women aged between 40 and 60 saying they have considered leaving work altogether due to a lack of support.

"Employers want to make a change to better support women to have more rewarding, fulfilling and positive work. And it should be reassuring to many that a lot of the changes won’t cost a penny.”

Also appearing are journalist and author Alice Smellie, co-founder of campaign group Menopause Mandate; personal trainer Kate Rowe-Ham, who has a special interest in menopause fitness and nutrition; and Jo Reeves, a coach and women’s development expert working with leading businesses.

Alice Smellie said: “The most important thing I’ve learned is that we need to take a holistic approach – making lifestyle changes as well as choosing (or not) to take HRT.

"There’s so much to be done in terms of legislation, research, investment and understanding – women are still being failed on many levels.

"Our best years should lie ahead of us, but we all need the knowledge and tools to understand the symptoms and solutions.”

Kate Rowe-Ham said: “I used to see exercise as a form of punishment and there are many women in midlife who are struggling to understand how exercise needs to change from what they are already doing, unsure on what their body and mind can deal with, often with relentless demands on their lives through family commitments and working long hours. In particular, whether exercise and diet can help to mitigate the changes we go through. I can help with those questions.”

Jo Reeves said: “I am an innovative, professional transformational change coach, who is passionate about building confidence, self-belief and self-worth that sticks.

"According to Mind one in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. It is important to make sure the correct resources and interventions are in place to support women in building resilience and esteem and coping with stress and change to impact mental health positively.”

The event is at King's College Prep School, off Kingston Road, on March 21.

To book visit https://www.trybooking.com/uk/DCTD