Having faced divorce, infertility and menopause, two Swindon women tell SARAH SINGLETON how they want to help others turn their lives around

TWO Swindon women are putting their personal experience and expertise to good use at a new Coaching Café, in the hope of empowering and improving the lives of others.

Bonny Prim and Sarah Smith have, between them, faced the challenges of divorce, ill health, single parenthood and weight loss, and now hope to help women deal with issues in their own lives through a one-stop shop that offers life coaching, nutritional therapy, hypnotherapy, personal training – and lots of support – all based on the individual needs of the client.

Whether you are changing career, struggling with infertility or menopause, wanting to lose weight, improve your health or simply feel lost in life, Bonny and Sarah are ready to help.

“We both had reached a point in our lives when we felt run down, when we’d had enough,” said Sarah. “We had both been in that situation for various reasons. Through training and empowering ourselves we managed to move past that. To have someone scoop you up and offer help, to use the knowledge we have gained, it will help. Both of us have turned things around, so we are enjoying life and have a lifestyle we love, and what we will do is pass on that knowledge and help others to do what we have done.”

Clients can work one to one with the Coaching Café, to create an individual programme based on their needs, using a mixture of treatments and therapies Sarah and Bonny believe will give the outcome they are looking for. Group programmes will also be created on areas many women will be dealing with such as weight loss and personal relationships.

Sarah, 44, from Shrivenham, and Bonny, 43, from north Swindon, have been friends since they were four years old – and while their lives have taken different paths, they kept in touch and are bringing their skills together.

Sarah worked in the publishing industry in London, has three children and had what she described as a “horrendous” divorce. In her youth she was a competitive swimmer, and in the 90s trained in Reiki.

“Going through difficult stages in my life, I came up with my own ways of coping and self help,” she said. Later she trained as a personal trainer and in sports massage.

Bonny, a mother of one, works at Nationwide and had years of gynaecological problems, which meant she had to have fertility treatment, and, at the age of 39, a hysterectomy. She also struggled for years with her weight.

“Finally I ended up at my doctor’s begging for help,” she said. “I worked with my GP to understand food and nutrition, and got my weight down to a healthy level. I studied and became a nutritional therapist. Knowing how the body works, what it needs, eating real foods in the right combination, helps you become healthy and enjoy life,” she explained.

Bonny offers life coaching, teaches mindfulness and yoga, as well as nutritional therapy. Sarah is a Reiki master, hypnotherapist, personal trainer and sports massage therapist – so between them they offer a wide range of help, and hope they can provide a holistic approach to improving people’s health and well-being.

Sarah explained that the collaboration started as the two women began referring clients to the other, if they thought the other could help, and the café was the result of a natural progression from this.

“Western women can be very cut off in their own homes, especially mothers. Others are trying to balance work and home. Social media is not always helpful, and families are not always the best place to go for advice as family members will have their own opinions – they may not be objective,” Sarah said.

“We can cover all different areas – and provide a support network. We have knowledge that can help get to the root of things.”

They are keen to promote the benefits of women working together and say a recent study showed that women with breast cancer are four times more likely to survive if they have a strong network of female support around them.

Bonny, who went through a surgical menopause as a result of her operation, said: “Women can feel completely ambushed by the menopause – defeminised. You can feel a big sense of loss and no-one prepares you for that.

“We can help normalise it, by helping them appreciate it happens to every woman – and we can give a whole life approach – physical, spiritual and mental. We look at the whole person, and help them find their way back to being their authentic selves, so they find it is not the end of the world.”

“Getting great results for clients is a wonderful feeling,” said Sarah. “When clients start off miserable and a month or so down the road, they are full of life and enjoying life. It’s such a buzz when you can see that.”

Bonny and Sarah hope their Coaching Café is the start of a wider movement in Swindon to support and empower women to improve their lives, and the lives of those around them. They are already planning a radio show on Swindon 105.5 on Saturday mornings, covering a range of topics and interviewing people about the changes in they are looking for.

“We want to help build that community in Swindon and the surrounding areas, to come together and empower the women of Swindon to stand up and say, this is my life,” Sarah said.

To find out more about the Coaching Café, visit the website www.TheCoaching.Cafe or email thecoachingcafe@outlook.com.