A networking group to empower women in the world of business is preparing to celebrate its first birthday.

Sarah Hulme, 52, from Lostock, set up a female empowerment circle group to help businesswomen by putting a spin on the usual networking type events.

Sarah used her   skills and experience from networking to set up this group.

And now she is celebrating her successes as she approaches her one-year anniversary.

Sarah said: “I set up my ladies’ empowerment circle at the start of last year. It started at one location but now we have set up three, we have Bolton, Adlington and a new one will open in Hindley this month.

“And essentially my goal is to connect ladies and it doesn’t matter whether they are in business or whether they want to start a part time side hustle. It is just a way to motivate, inspire and empower women in a safe space – and it is absolutely flying.

“And as part of the empowerment circle, we partner with two charities: Our Bolton NHS charity and Backup North West because they do incredible things for the community.

“As a thank you to the charities, we did a Christmas charity lunch on November 16 at Retreat in Bolton, and it sold out straight away with us taking over the whole restaurant.

“There were 82 women who attended and Maura Jackson, CEO of Backup North West, hosted the event.

“For both the charities we raised £1,635 on the day by people buying raffle tickets, there was a Christmas market inside, and Maura did a stand-up comedy piece.”

The Bolton News: Lisa Adams, Maura Jackson and Carol GrechLisa Adams, Maura Jackson and Carol Grech (Image: Sarah Hulme)Sarah said this year will see more events hosted, in the hopes to raise even more money for these two charities.

She said: “On the back of the success of the event, we have now got other events planned, everybody wanted to rebook for next Christmas so we have booked Retreat again and will be hosting the Christmas lunch again raising money for both charities.

“As well as the lunch, it is coming up to International Women’s Day on March 8, so we have taken over the whole of Retreat to host an expo for all women, no matter whether they are in business or not.

“So essentially what started as a networking group to bring women together, has just escalated into something massive and not just the charity events but also the other events and workshops that I host.

“I wanted to get across to the women in Bolton that it is not just about women in business, I want to share empowerment and inspiration.

“The whole idea of the circle was to inspire women but now we are also spreading the word about both of the charities with ladies in the group going out to set up their own charity events off the back of one of my events.

The Bolton News: Carol Hough, Jane Weston and Sarah HulmeCarol Hough, Jane Weston and Sarah Hulme (Image: Sarah Hulme)“I’m just so excited for this year, the group is getting bigger but also there are many charity events that we can put on off the back of the ladies’ empowerment circle.”

Sarah said she chose these two Bolton charities because of the services they provide to people across the borough.

She said: “I chose those two charities because the synergy between those two charities and what I do, they fit really well, because at some point in our lives ourselves or our families are going to need the NHS and so many people don’t know that the NHS has a charity, so we want to spread the word.

 “Alongside that we have Backup, and I am passionate about helping young people who probably have not had the greatest of starts in life and it might not have been any fault of their own.

“I can’t wait to support them further this year.”

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on X @chloewjourno.