Claire Mann’s recent experience of the menopause left her feeling unsupported and uninformed.
After struggling to get appropriate advice from her GP and finding that symptom-tracking apps were not inclusive enough, she reached out to friends for guidance. She discovered that they also encountered difficulties in understanding their symptoms and had received differing answers from GPs.
Seeing the gap in support for those approaching the menopause, Claire realised that the lived experience of her peers was key to ensuring others felt supported. “It was years before I felt it was manageable, but the best advice came from friends who were a few years ahead of me on the journey.”
She joined the Ingenuity Programme in March 2021, to understand how she could develop her idea into an impact-driven business: “Social change was always the motivation behind what I wanted to do. I had some lived experience myself and knew there was a gap – I had a seed of an idea of how to fill that gap but never in a million years did I really think I could make a business out of it.”
At Ingenuity’s Impact Evening, Claire discovered that she’d won six awards totalling £25,000. Her winning idea, ChangeXtra, uses counselling, coaching, support and access to learning to support and empower women going through the menopause.
“We’re all about women with lived experience supporting other women through the menopause.”
She’s already creating materials and working towards a minimum viable product, with the aim to pilot the service very soon. Her initial focus will be on building the community in Nottingham, before rolling out across the country. “I can’t wait to get started, and to engage with women to build this community!