Perthshire volunteer recognised in Points of Light Award

PM awards outstanding Perth volunteer

The Prime Minister has today, 13 August, recognised Rachel Weiss, from Perth, for her exceptional service as the founder of Menopause Cafe.

Rachel is the founder of ‘Menopause Cafe’, a group which hosts pop-up events to encourage men and women of all ages to come together to talk about the impact of the menopause on their lives. The cafes bust myths, tackle taboos and signposts further support available locally. Rachel organised the first Menopause Cafe in Perth last year and has since inspired volunteers to host over 38 events in Scotland, England and Canada, with almost 500 attendees. This year the group has become a registered charity in Scotland, with the BBC’s Kirsty Wark as their Patron, and has launched a ‘Menopause Festival’ featuring discussions and support. Rachel is currently planning events in Ireland, Australia and the USA.

Rachel is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

In a personal letter to Rachel, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“With the ‘Menopause Cafe’ you have helped start an important conversation amongst men and women, young and old across Scotland, the UK and internationally. Through your hard work hundreds of people have gained greater knowledge and gained confidence to hold conversations about the menopause.”

Roseanna Cunningham, MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire, said:

“I am absolutely delighted to congratulate Rachel Weiss on receiving this accolade as recognition for her work as founder of the 'Menopause Cafe'.
"Rachel has long been an active and positive contributor to her local community, through a variety of groups and organisations. With the ‘Menopause Cafe’ that drive and energy has been given a global impact. She truly is a Point of Light and very worthy indeed of celebration.”

Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, said:

“I would like to offer a massive congratulations to Rachel Weiss for winning the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award. Rachel has worked very hard in establishing the ‘Menopause Café’ project and I am pleased to see her get the recognition she rightly deserves. I hope to arrange to meet with Rachel in the very near future to congratulate her in person.”

Rachel said:

“I’m delighted to have received a Points of Light award, on behalf of all the volunteers at Menopause Cafe. I’ve loved reading the stories of the other Points of Light volunteers - every day around us ordinary people are giving up their own time and resources to make the world a better place. And my one small part in that was, a year ago, in Perth, Scotland, I held the world’s first Menopause Cafe, where any one can turn up, drink tea, eat cake and talk about the menopause, men and women, old and young. And now they’re being run by volunteers throughout the country, and internationally - we’ve had one in Toronto. So if you’ve got a few hours to spare as a one-off and want to volunteer and run a Menopause Cafe, have a look at our website, and otherwise just enjoy reading the stories that there is goodwill out there; people are trying to make the world a better place.”

Rachel is the 976th winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.