Businesswomen take a ‘hands on’ approach at first women’s networking event of the year

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A GROUP of Chester businesswomen were treated to an interactive presentation last week.

Attendees of the West Cheshire Women’s Network were joined by Sarah Stanyer, an access bars facilitator.

Founded in 2013, the women’s network provides an opportunity for businesswomen to come together.

Co-hosted by Natwest PLC, Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce and Cheshire West and Chester Council; the group meet four times a year with a different guest speaker at every event.  

Sarah gave an ‘inspirational’ talk on how she lives with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, depression and fatigue; as well as being a mother to a child with severe learning difficulties.

“Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body, it is very debilitating,” said Sarah.

“After 16 years working for Shell, I spent the last year of my employment working from home as driving was too painful.

“The pain was exhausting and I was on a lot of medication to try and get through the day, I was eventually diagnosed with the condition in 2015.”

After reading up on the condition, Sarah found that lifestyle changes and therapies had worked for many so decided to try her hand at yoga.

“This was when I came across Access Consciousness Bars Therapy,” said Sarah.

“I am now a practitioner and facilitator, and have been off all my medication since the end of 2016.

 “If you are doing too much and not listening to your body, something is going to give either mentally or physically, you need to be kind to yourself. “

As well as Access Bars Sarah says she couldn’t get through the ‘bad days’ without the support of her family, and in particular her daughter Amy.

“Amy has severe learning disabilities including autism, dyspraxia and apraxia,” said Sarah.

“She needed me, so through gritted teeth I had to keep going for her.”

Businesswomen at the event, held on Thursday, March 22, were taught some relaxation techniques including ‘hands on work’ as well as ways of listening to your body using the ‘does my body require this’ technique.

“This was a great event, our first of 2018,” said Natalie Tomlinson, PR and marketing manager at Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers.

“Sarah is a true inspiration to not only women, working women and mother’s but to all who meet her.

“We’ve received great feedback from those who attended, with numerous requests for more interactive presentations, so we will have to see what we can organise!”  

The next West Cheshire Women’s Network event will be held on Thursday, June 21 at The Holiday Inn Chester South.

The event will begin at 9.30am; attendees will be greeted with a selection of tea, coffees, pastries and cakes; it is then time to network before our speaker brings the morning to a close at around 11.30am.

Events are free but attendance must be registered, for further details visit

Organisers of the West Cheshire Women’s Network together with speaker Sarah Stanyer. Pictured left to right: Natalie Tomlinson, Sarah Bailey, Alison Howell, Sarah Stanyer, Johanna Holehouse and Jenny Davidson.

Picture Credit: Ginger Pixie Photography