Staff at a wellbeing company in Warwick welcomed their International Women’s Day competition winners to an afternoon tea this week.
March 8 marked International Women’s Day and to celebrate Forever Living, a wellbeing company which is based at Longbridge Manor, hosted a “be bold for change” competition for their Forever Living reps to tell their stories.
On Tuesday the staff at Forever Living hosted an afternoon tea for the five competition winners.
Here are the winners with their stories:
Lis George shared her story of when she moved to Canada to live and work following her mother’s death.
It took Lis 18 months to secure her visa and she just managed to get approved ahead of her 45th birthday – the cut-off age for application.
Lis said: “I didn’t know anyone in Canada I just knew, deep down, that it would all work out.
“My original plan was to go for at least three years but in fact I stayed for seven and became a Canadian citizen.
“The first few months were a bit of a nightmare but I stuck with it. Most of all it provided me with an opportunity to change “me”.
“I changed the way I looked, what I did, how I felt and who I was – for the better. I finally returned to the UK in 2010.”
Sheila Lemon picked up her husband’s Forever business in 2006 following a severe stroke and a very slow and difficult recovery; she was turning 60 at the time and battling with the authorities to ensure her husband received proper care.
With no pension to speak of she came through several years of extreme difficulty. She said: “I was extremely afraid; I don’t know where my fight came from I had always had an employee mentality but somehow I just knew I had to generate a retirement income and took up the reins to help David with the recovery he deserved.”
Mum-of-two Clare Deavall gave up a job working a 70+ hour week as a senior assistant head teacher.
She took a supply teaching role whilst she figured out what she needed to do.
Clare sold her house and is moving to France in the summer so that she and her children can enjoy a different life together and have a big adventure together.
Clare said: “Life has changed for us beyond all recognition. We are happier, a stronger unit and more content. Our family motto has become “a life filled with adventure” and we will embrace and live it all fully.”
Rachel Forshaw and her husband both worked in the Police. In 2010 when they were planning to marry Rachel could see the struggle they would have with their shifts if they were to have a family.
While watching Wedding TV in May that year she was inspired by ‘a girl messing around with some flowers’ and had a light bulb moment thinking ‘I can do that’.
Rachel said: “I did some research into the floristry industry, attended a one-day course at another florist (which really is aimed at people who want to create their own arrangements at home), I bought and started to read some books, my parents re-mortgaged to lend me £30,000 to buy a local florist’s that was for sale, I worked my notice with Greater Manchester Police and left!
“I made a big success of this business and we ended up having two children within 10 months of each other from September. 2012.
“I didn’t have the luxury of nine months maternity leave but I had my children with me every single day. I walked away from the shop June last year and my Mum has taken over the ownership of it (I trained her up). I now get to spend the last year with my kids before they start school in September this year, doing fun things and not being tied to the shop six days a week.
“It always makes me smile when people consider joining Forever and investing £199.75 as a risk.”
Claire Friend, is a 39-year-old mother of a six year old boy.
In 2011 she was diagnosed with a rare breast cancer just six weeks after the birth of her son.
Claire said: “That moment of my diagnosis changed my life; I started a community company with my sister where we use our horses to help heal people who have faced live changing challenges or trauma using therapeutic sessions.
“It’s been a labour of love but we have boldly followed our hearts to try and make a difference to those in need.
“We are now proud to be unique in offering cancer retreats using horses. We even have our own unicorn to symbolise the magic that is all around if you believe in it.
“I started my forever business in 2013 the same year as we started our therapy business Follyfoot Horses. Forever’s values and ethics have hugely helped shape our vision for Follyfoot and my business intertwine perfectly.
“As a woman I want to empower others to be and everything that they desire and bring sunshine into people’s life.
“I hope the affect change for people when they feel no hope and show them a bright future is possible.”