A FORMER Hermitage Academy pupil from Rosneath has praised the impact of a new campaign raising awareness of the menopause – and is urging more people across Helensburgh and Lomond to get behind the initiative.

Karen Kenning, who was brought up on the peninsula but now lives in Moray, near Inverness, is a co-founder of Pausitivity, which aims to get #KnowYourMenopause posters displayed in every GP practice in the country, offering information and advice for women experiencing symptoms.

Along with two other women from England and another from Canada, the group have already received celebrity support for the movement and Karen hopes more will follow.

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She told the Advertiser: “This campaign only launched six weeks ago and it has gone a bit nuts.

“We had no idea it would be quite as big as it is, but that’s brilliant.

“It’s really important that menopause becomes less of a taboo subject and it’s amazing what four women who have never met are achieving.

“Some of my old school pals have joined in with the campaign and one of them messaged me to say that West Dunbartonshire Council will be putting the posters up in toilets and on notice boards in all of their buildings, which is brilliant.

“The support from Ross King and Jeremy Vine is great for publicity and a little bit of fun to gather interest, but the important message that we’re trying to get out is that women need to know what the symptoms of menopause are, and feel enabled to have informed conversations with their GPs, loved ones, friends and workmates.

“We want posters in GP surgeries, workplaces, gyms, community centres - anywhere people will see it and learn from it.”

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Karen, 50, said her own experience of the menopause – which included severe hot flushes, debilitating insomnia and painful joints, inspired her push to promote better informed discussion.

And she has been delighted with the backing so far from local authorities, universities and famous faces.

She said: “It’s a simple concept – we want people to download and print our poster, share a selfie to social media to raise awareness, then put the poster on a wall anywhere that women will see it – GP surgeries, gyms, shops, workplaces.

“The aim is very much to encourage conversations about menopause.

“We already have the backing of the Scottish Government, with the poster being used around Holyrood, we’ve been asked to take part in Menopause Awareness sessions at Holyrood, Bradford University has used it during their Menopause Awareness Week, and East England Ambulance Service has recently launched its own menopause survey and are going to link the poster into that.

“Manchester City Council have given their backing and we also have interest from health boards in Wigan, Sheffield, Newcastle and East Lancashire.

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“We have MPs and GPs supporting us, women all over the UK and North America are joining in and the momentum we have established is a sure sign that there is a not only a huge appetite, but a definite need for menopause information.

“We would love to work with all the health boards across the UK, but as the Scot in the group, my interest to begin with is driving this forward wherever I can in Scotland.

“Sharon Brown, office manager at Go-Write Ltd in Dumbarton, has asked Hermitage Academy if they’ll join in the campaign and they've agreed to display the posters, which is brilliant.”

For more information, visit pausitivity.co.uk.