Pause not Full Stop
ONFife Libraries

“I have started talking about doing different kinds of research. I think, especially with something like menopause it is very easy to work in an echo chamber of women of a similar age, or a similar kind of background… blue collar women, for example, we know very little about, we know very little about what younger women and men think about it. And that was something this project really helped push”
Dr Vanessa Beck Associate Professor in Work and Organisation, Bristol University
Image of artwork from workshop

Pause not Full Stop aimed to break down the taboos surrounding the menopause. It sought to start conversations and frame achieving the menopause as a natural part of the lifecycle by enabling people to share experiences. The team hoped this would give those transitioning through the menopause the confidence to seek out help if required.

Higher Education Engagement

The library team worked with Dr Vanessa Beck from Bristol University. Vanessa was integral to the planning of the drama production and was able to attend many of the events and activities offered.

Dr Vanessa Beck took note of areas discussed in the workshops, and as a result of the partnership with the library service she was awarded additional funding from the Brigstow Institute, to create a “How to talk menopause” toolkit. This will be hosted on ONFife Libraries' website.


A launch event with the comedian Janey Godley was delivered online, setting the tone of the project. The project team then held 5 online workshops covering a range of activities, including breadmaking, creative writing painting and sewing, which all had time built in to allow participants the opportunity to talk about their experiences of menopause. There were also two information sharing online events featuring Ruth Devlin from Let’s Talk Menopause, and Elaine Miller from Gusset Grippers.

Tricky Hat Drama Company created a new piece of drama based on the life experiences of participants, which they then performed to an in-person audience. Participants came to an information session, five workshops and one dress rehearsal before appearing in two performances.

Public Impact

The participants in the project gained confidence to seek out help rather than suffer in silence.

The library service has secured Covid Relief funding to work with communities on the future library offer and has applied to deliver other community engagement projects.


Impact on Library Staff

Staff developed confidence in delivering workshops, engaging audiences in sensitive topics and offering new activities.

Key facts

Engagement type
Face-to-face in library
Workshops and talks
Creative activities
Universal Offer
Culture and Creativity
University of Bristol

Further Information