Making the invisible, visible: Endometriosis is a debilitating gynaecological condition that causes painful periods, chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, and poorer mental health. It affects around 1 in 10 women in the UK, which equates to around 17,000 women in Greater Manchester, where this research project is located. However, it can be really difficult to describe endometriosis pain to others. We’re forced to rely on our language to communicate pain, but this language can feel particularly inadequate with endometriosis since the pain isn’t visible to others and where it remains a condition that is not commonly talked about in the public domain. 
The ‘Making endometriosis visible’ project used an interdisciplinary blend of psychology and art and design to work with women with endometriosis to co-create these visualisations in workshops hosted at Arc Centre, Hat Works, Stockport. We worked with colleagues from across Manchester Met to facilitate conversations about endometriosis using participatory creative workshop methods to surface the lived experience of endometriosis pain, and its impact on daily life. 
As a way of publishing and making available the workshop outcomes we have collated the participant visualisations and insights into the endometriosis toolkit, which we hope can be used to support effective communication about endometriosis pain and enable people to feel more understood.
Project Delivery Partners
One of the UK’s leading arts and mental health charities, based at Hat Works in Stockport town centre, Arc work across Greater Manchester to provide arts programmes and services to improve people’s mental wellbeing and public programmes. Arc were named project partners and provided the workshop space and public engagement hosting for the project teaming participants. Arc staff also participated in the workshop design consultation period and attended the  first workshop session in July 2023. Arc will also be the host for the Making Visible exhibition in March/April 2024.
Workshop lead and consultant in the workshop design process, Helen was selected based on an established artist researcher profile working in the area of women's reproductive health and also as an experienced creative workshop facilitator.  
Postgraduate students on the MA/MSc Design for Health and Wellbeing course were invited to apply for two workshop assistant roles to facilitate delivery of the public engagement activities and toolkit feedback sessions. Applicants were invited to the workshop planning meetings and provided with mentoring support by research leads and workshop lead as part of their engagement with the project.  Project leads also delivered an interim presentation on the research process  to the MA/MSc Design for Health and Wellbeing students in December 2023.
Stockport + Manchester Metropolitan University
The Making Endometriosis Visible research project complements another major university project in Stockport.  Through the Cultural Development Fund, Arts Council England have provided £2.5m to support development of the creative sector in the town, with the overall aim of making Stockport a more “creative” place. 
A consortium of Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, MadLab, FutureEverything and In4.0 Group have been working alongside students and researchers from Manchester School of Art and the newly-established Design Factory initiative, to develop a range of events, installations and creative venues that will hopefully make Stockport a more attractive place to live and work.

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