Hot Spots

Founder Penny, volunteer Lisa, and regular Mumtaz tell us more about Poplar's Menopause & Women's Wellbeing group.

Penny, you started ‘Hot Spots’. What’s it all about?

Menopause is a major phase of women’s lives, and it can be really difficult. As women we talk about everything but ‘that’, and yet we all go through it.

Hot Spots provides a space where women can come together to share experiences. It’s an opportunity to talk about where we’re at in our lives, feel listened to, find ways to cope and learn from each other. It’s all a bit ‘Loose Women’.

We also invite professional speakers, covering everything from Mindfulness to Stress Incontinence. We’ve got great support from local GP Dr. Sarah Pitkanen from the Aberfeldy Practice. It’s a great opportunity to chat with a doc over a cuppa.


Why did you start the group?

I was only 37 years with 2 boys when things started changing. Suddenly I was on a rollercoaster – I felt like I was a failure, I was grieving. People call it the change, but what was I changing into? How do you explain what you feel when you don’t know what you’re feeling? How do I tell my partner? My kids? There were no answers, it was all just ‘go home dear and get on with it’. I couldn’t have waited for it to go away, it’s my life. So I set up Hot Spots.


Mumtaz, what have these sessions meant to you?

What would I have done otherwise? People get so ashamed, hiding it, being told to ‘get on with it’. But talking is what we need. Before I found this group, I thought this isn’t normal. Women are busy, we live longer, we have to look out for and after ourselves. Information’s out there, but it’s about changing things for ourselves.

Lisa, you volunteer for Hot Spots. Who can get involved?

All women, any age. It would be great to get some younger women along, they’ll experience it one day and their relatives could be going through it now. There’s so much wisdom to share.


What does the future hold?

We meet once a month, and we’re looking at running wellbeing workshops in the evenings or on Saturdays. Lisa is putting together a quarterly newsletter about what we’re up to and women’s wellbeing info.



Hot Spots meets 12:30pm – 2:00pm, first Friday of the month at The Cabin. Chat to Jayne Clavering on 020 3069 7401 for more information.

This piece is courtesy of Harca Life magazine


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'What would I have done otherwise?'