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National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome

Quarterly Bulletins

Summer Bulletin 2016

~~NAPS Bulletin Summer 2016~~

Today saw the end of an amazingly successful week for NAPS at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The ‘PMS: Outside Inside Garden for NAPS’ was the conception of Emma Bannister whose daughter, Sarah, has suffered from severe PMS since the onset of puberty. She is now twenty-two. Emma wanted to increase awareness of severe PMS/PMDD so as to improve accessibility to appropriate treatments, to lessen the possibility of misdiagnosis and to publicise the work of NAPS. Visitors to the garden were guided around a peaceful area into an isolated and contrasting space symbolising the outward personality of the PMS sufferer with their inner, frightening turmoil. The show ran from Tuesday 5th July until today. Seven trustees manned the garden during this time along with other supporters of the Association, representatives of Holistic Insurance who generously sponsored us and those involved with the construction of the garden. Sarah Bannister was also an excellent ambassador for NAPS and she gave a superb interview to BBC Points West which was screened on Wednesday evening.
On the first day the garden was awarded a Silver Gilt medal with which Emma was delighted - to achieve this standard for a first garden is excellent.
A number of women visiting wanted to discuss their PMS with the NAPS personnel present and this was a very rewarding aspect of the event. To be able to provide them with the reassurance that they could access the information, advice and support that would change their lives was heart warmimg to say the least.
On the Sunday before the opening BBC Radio Kent’s Gardening programme had interviewed Emma and she gave an excellent account of the theme of the garden and what we were jointly aiming to do. In the third programme on BBC2 she was interviewed by Monty Don at the garden and again this was marvellous publicity for the garden and for raising awareness of PMS.
Throughout the week leaflets were handed out to the many many visitors and we know that the message of NAPS, so prominent within the text, will reach some of those who need our help
Our congratulations and thanks go to Emma for making all of this possible and to all those who have lent their support to the project.
Working towards the RHS Hampton Court Show has been a hectic time for NAPS but this has been only one of a number of the Association’s activities this year.
In April, a Study Day on Women’s Health took place in Dorchester. This was highly successful and the evaluation of talks, organisation and venue was exceptionally high. As part of the publicity for the event, we managed to obtain a whole page feature on the conference and on NAPS in ‘Practice Nursing’ and were delighted that we could reach out to so many health professionals who may not know about our work. Very recently, on 1st July, ‘A One day Up-Date on Gynaecology’ conference took place in Nottingham in partnership with events4healthcare.  NAPS is proud to continue to fulfil our commitment to the education of health professionals in the area of women’s health. The presentations from both meetings will be posted in the professional members’ section of the website. Each year, in September, NAPS hosts a joint meeting in Scotland with the British Menopause Society and Menopause Matters. We have a stall manned by Jenny Webster who does sterling work for the Association throughout the year publicising NAPS whenever possible and managing our Facebook page.

Just before the political world erupted, NAPS was invited to an inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health and we were represented by three  trustees, Jackie Howe, Dani Singer and Claudine Domoney. Once some normality is re-established in political life we anticipate that such a body will give a voice to organisations such as ourselves to better fulfil our aims.

Articles are continuing to be added to membership areas of the website and this month Dani Singer’s article on CBT and Mindfulness will be published.

We have sadly had to say ‘goodbye’ to our two co-opted members of the NAPS committee. Erin Rodgers has move to Manchester  and Claire Bellone to Birmingham. We thank them for their invaluable contributions to the work of NAPS and wish them well for the future.
We welcome Dr Hannah Short as a new trustee replacing Gilly Andrews who gave years of exceptional service to NAPS and to whom we are forever grateful. A profile of Hannah will shortly appear on the website.

NAPS had hoped to benefit from the funds made available from the Tampon Tax but unfortunately, in spite of complying rigorously with the rules of application and spending a great deal of time in preparing a bid, we were not a successful.It is our intention to raise what we believe to be valid concerns about criteria of eligibility, procedures and competency with the appropriate bodies.

NAPS as we hope you can see is more busy than ever and this year has been a success for the Association in so many ways. Please remember that in September we always need volunteers to raise awareness of NAPS by distributing information during PMS Awareness Week – this year 5th-10th September. Also can we remind you to use The Giving Machine if you buy online. Most retailers are part of the scheme and your purchase attracts a contribution from them to NAPS at no cost to you. We have a number of regulars who help NAPS in this way – please consider joining them.

Many thanks for your ongoing support : we are still the lifeline for so many.