The Consult Centre’s Podcast
Soaad, owner of Ayesha’s Attire, a personal journey of building a business as a single working mum

Soaad, owner of Ayesha’s Attire, a personal journey of building a business as a single working mum

April 4, 2021
"Hi everyone, I am Soaad, owner of Ayesha's Attire, which is an online women's clothing boutique. I named it after my little girl because she is my inspiration and my drive. I am born and bred from Lancaster and I started my business at the backend of my own personal journey.
I'm passionate about helping women to feel good, no matter how many balls a woman is juggling and how far down they are in the pecking order...
We provide quality clothing for women that are versatile & stylish for busy women who love to shop online. Busy women like ourselves need clothes in our lives, that will make us look & feel great with minimal effort at an affordable price. Hand-picked pieces that won't be sitting in your wardrobe and will serve a purpose you want it to. 
All our parcels are sent via 1st class and payment are taken securely via Paypal. More information can be found on the website.
If you have any questions regarding my collection or anything else about Ayesha's Attire then you can drop me a message via my social media pages or by filling out the contact form on my website and I will get back to you as soon as I can"
Today we meet Alex from Morecambe Bay Tours, how celebrating Morecambe’s history became a business idea

Today we meet Alex from Morecambe Bay Tours, how celebrating Morecambe’s history became a business idea

March 27, 2021

Today we meet Alex from Morecambe Bay Tours; we have a great time talking about Morecambe and all the things we should celebrate about our wonderful seaside town and its incredible history and beauty. 

Morecambe Bay Tours is launching on 12th April with its main tour along Morecambe Promenade. In 2.5 hours you'll learn about the fascinating history of the Town, taking in all the major landmarks. You'll also be able to take in the spectacular Bay stretching over hundreds of kilometres, with its incredible views of the Lake District and its unique ecosystem, brimming with hundreds of thousands of birds and other sea life. 
Morecambe Bay Tours was founded by me, Alex Dickson, in August 2020. I have always loved Morecambe Bay, ever since I was a child visiting my Grandmother here. As an adult, I continued visiting my  Dad, loved exploring around the Bay, and was always stunned at the incredible views, wildlife, and sunsets. I worked in the IT Industry worldwide for over 20 years and then decided to change my career and pursue my passion for history. Whilst studying for a Masters in History, I worked as a Tour Guide in a major museum and loved interacting with people. After moving back to Morecambe at the end of 2019, I had the idea to combine my love of walking, history and the spectacular Morecambe Bay. So Morecambe Bay Tours was born.  
We can't wait to welcome you and show you around.
For more information about our tours, go to
How a realisation became a journey of discovery and led to the creation of an award winning retreat in the Algarve

How a realisation became a journey of discovery and led to the creation of an award winning retreat in the Algarve

March 13, 2021

Today we have the pleasure of spending time with Andrew Finlay of Wild View Retreat. Andrew’s has been on quite a journey culminating in the eventual creation of Wild View Retreat.  Andrew is a  Nutritional Therapist, Yoga Teacher and Founder (along with his wonderful wife Erika) of Wild View Retreat.

About Wild View Retreat

Wild View Retreat has arisen from the ruins of an abandoned mountain village of Corgas Bravas, in the foothills of the Algarve in Portugal.

Originally built by a Portuguese Army General in 1898, the ‘Manor House’ and surrounding ruins have undergone a 1.5 year restoration and redevelopment project, transforming the iconic setting into a bespoke wellness retreat.

Wild View Retreat is defined by its spectacular uninterrupted 360° views of the Serra do Caldeirão mountains, a Zona De Intervenção Florestal protected for its natural beauty and famous Portuguese cortiça (cork) trees.

There are no cars, no roads, no buildings, no neighbours. Nothing but wilderness and nature. Nothing to hear but the birds and the wind. Nothing to do but restore and relax the body, mind and soul.

On the retreat all guests will be away from the pressures of modern society, isolated in nature embarking on a programme of detoxification, wellness and fitness, working towards restoring health and balance in our lives. You’ll return home feeling brand new and fantastic!

Andrew’s Journey

So how did all this come about? Well this is a story that stretches over most of my lifetime. It is a genuine and heart felt insight into the personal journey I’ve been on, and how I ended up surrounded by these incredible wild mountains and inspirational people today. As with all stories, it contains some serious ‘bottom of the whiskey glass’ moments as well as some incredible highs. All of which I now realize have been invaluable life lessons, guiding me along a bumpy path and to the eventual evolution of Wild View Retreat.

Since my childhood days I’ve always fitted into the category of ‘non-conventional’. I probably didn’t even understand what that meant at the age of 10 nor quite where it would eventually lead me. But as teenager I soon became familiar with the stresses and strains of modern day society, silently observing my father’s struggle to balance the pressures of finances, work, relationships and life. It made me question why we pile so much pressure on ourselves if it is only going to make us unhappy and unwell. Of course I realise now the conventional path is amazing for many, but I started to understand it’s not for everyone. When my father then retired at 53 to enjoy he’s freedom and tragically died a year later from a diet and lifestyle induced cancer, it was to change my life forever. He never got to enjoy the result of 30 years of stress and hard graft and I never really had a father in my life.

Making healthy lifestyle choices is hard to achieve in our modern society. Seeing the impact of stress, a poor diet and no exercise on my Father planted the initial light bulb moment. I feel like he sacrificed his life to pass on these lessons, unwittingly never knowing they were going to have such a profound impact on me. 

Pursuing a career in an out of office environment, I found myself working on environmental conservation in Fiji and then the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. This was a fascinating and rewarding experience, but was abruptly cut short when I nearly lost my leg from a terrible compound fracture and open dislocation on a remote Pacific atoll. When none of the medical staff were able to help me, my great friend Brett stood up and carried me for two days on two small aircraft, from Majuro Atoll, Micronesia to Hawaii and on to Sydney, to get medical help. After 3 weeks with my leg in two pieces doctors finally cleared a severe leg infection and were able to drill me back together. It was a very close call and I will always be eternally grateful to Brett for getting me out of there and for the use of both my legs!

This painful experience provided the catalyst to buy a bicycle and ride continuously for 8 months from the Arctic in Alaska through Canada, America, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and finally to the Panama Canal – the best physical and mental therapy I could have ever possibly imagined! It was truly enlightening, the generosity and hospitality of strangers restored my faith in humanity of this crazy World. An unforgettable journey and experience, one that I would never have pursued if I hadn’t nearly lost my leg and if Brett hadn’t come to my rescue. It’s strange, but ask me now and I am almost grateful to the guy who broke my leg but even more grateful to Brett for ensuring it wasn’t amputated.

However there was one last tragic event to come. Brett, my friend who had carried me from Majuro Atoll to Sydney, tragically drowned in a free diving accident back in the Marshall Islands, when we went back to live there 6 months later. He was 26 years old. Carrying his body back to Australia to his grief stricken family left me confused for years. I will always question why life can be so cruel and unjust. The only comfort possible I can take is that Brett was wonderfully content and happy with his life when he died. It reminded me how life can be cut short at any time and how important it is to live every day like it could be our last.

Moving forward to 2008 I found myself back in London. Unbelievably, I’d managed to sleepwalk myself back into a dull and uninspiring office. I guess back then I just wanted stability and financial security initially but I felt I had become brainwashed by the city. I started to question my endless pursuit of a ‘successful’ career, a partner and children and all those things social media say we need to be happy. I was unhappy, stressed and my anxiety would lead to occasional periods of depression. What happened to the person who used to follow his dreams?! I started to feel like I was on the same path as my father, slowly entrapping myself, becoming unwell and needing to get off fast. If I was so unhappy with my job and office life, then why didn’t I just change it?

And so I did.

It was not easy at first, but slowly I started making very small changes; trying out yoga, (yoga?? Are you mad?), swapping cows milk for nut milk (hippie fool), cutting down on red meat and alcohol (what’s happened to him?), eating more veggies (we’ve lost him), enrolling in a meditation course (ok he’s gone now). It came with some raised eyebrows and chuckles from friends who still enjoy the occasional dig at my green tea and swampy green juice. But I was really enjoying how it made me feel. Then one day the penny dropped when I started going on wellness retreats. I realised the profound impact retreats can have. Feeling mentally and physically fantastic in a very short space of time, which in turn armed me with the tools and techniques to return home to thrive in modern society.

I hadn’t felt that good since I was 16. I wanted to feel happier and healthy all the time! I realised I had found the answer to my question; I wanted to pursue a lifestyle in ‘Wellness’. I wanted to live life to the fullest yet still do something exciting with my life. And helping others by empowering them with new knowledge to inspire and motivate their own life changing healthier choices would solidify the dream. 

I finally bit the bullet in 2014. I first quit the office job and then retrained in nutritional therapy and yoga with the intention of setting up my own retreat. 2 years later I was in Portugal, signing on the dotted line to purchase this beautifully secluded, tumble-down old property in an abandoned mountain village and have been working on its redevelopment and restoration ever since.  Now with a wonderful wife Erika beside me, an amazing support, we have set up Wild View Retreat with the aim of living a free healthy and happy life, whilst providing others the opportunity to also re-establish balance and health into their own lives.

I recognise I have been very very lucky to have had the opportunities to make these choices and I want thank all those along the journey who have helped me to be where I am today. If you’d told me 10 years ago I’d be doing this I wouldn’t have believed you; but I’ve learned that life is about chances, love and determination, and making the most out of any opportunity that presents itself.

Very importantly, none of this would have been possible without the support of my Mother who gave me the confidence and encouragement to quit the office and follow my dreams. Thanks Mum. I love you very much.

We welcome you to Wild View Retreat and wish you a beautiful and rejuvenating stay.



We are everything you think we aren’t - How Morecambe local business owners are changing the face of a world wide networking group

We are everything you think we aren’t - How Morecambe local business owners are changing the face of a world wide networking group

March 1, 2021

This is not your usual podcast, rather a group of friends chatting about why they are committed to supporting each other in business.

In this episode, we spend time with 5 local business owners who are bringing change to the way they network. Committed to doing their bit in helping the local Morecambe economy, providing jobs and new opportunities, this group of owners are dispelling the myth around what it means to be a BNI group member. 

Adam, Ben, Darren, Jacob and Ruth share stories and more than a little too much banter in this fun-packed look at what networking means to them. From Darren's unhealthy obsession with pie charts to Ben's assurance in confirming what time of day it actually is, we take an honest look at why the Morecambe BNI group is so different from what you would expect. We chat about how support from the group is equally important, if not more so than any amount of business passed to one another. 

Featuring on the podcast 

Jacob Hughes - Zebra Electrical

Zebra Electrical began as a family business in 2014. Originally trading as Hughes Electrical Contractors Ltd, we quickly achieved an excellent reputation in Lancaster and Morecambe, as we focused on building relationships with other businesses within the area. Our client base grew rapidly, and we are proud to say that we still work with the majority of the clients from these early days.

Darren Buntin - Lime Tree Properties

Established in 2015, Lime Tree Properties has grown from being just one man to the experienced team that we are now delivering a comprehensive property maintenance service. Darren formed the company in 2015 after relocating to Lancashire. Darren came from a management background and brought experience in commercial refurbishment and new building projects from various roles.

Ruth Wilkinson - The Consult Centre

The Consult Centre offers several services, some of our clients take all our services, some clients take one or two. Some clients are in regular contact with us; some call when they need us.  And we like that about our approach. No locking people into contracts, no making things complicated to charge more we DO More, we don’t charge more. 

Our reputation has grown organically, much like our services. Our portfolio of services has evolved in response to our client’s request. Unhappy with the service, the response and the cost of our clients' services were getting elsewhere, they began steadily moving their services to us. The more they needed, the more we grew and upskilled to meet the challenge. 

Ben Yates - BY Design

Having spent 16 years building and developing websites from the very early days of business websites, I have lived and breathed the rapid changes and technological advances that have occurred in this fast-paced sector.
I get great satisfaction from my work's constantly changing nature, including recently developing my own artificial intelligence website chatbot.

I am also keen to underpin any development work with a solid consistency of product standard and service, based on the many years' experience I have accumulated.

The web is always changing, but it has also reached a point where users have pre-set expectations regarding both layout and functionality, which is vital to meet in any project.

Adam Foxcroft -Foxcroft Construction - Builders & Roofers

Established in 1989, Foxcroft Construction started life as a business with a reputation for friendly service and high standards.

Over the last 26 years, we have grown our company; however, still maintaining the friendly and personal service you can only get from a small family-run firm. We know to manage your job from beginning to end, whether it's a 2 storey extension or a summer conservatory with our experience working in the south Cumbria and north lake district.

We are Roofers, Builders, Slaters and Joiners in the Morecambe, Lancaster, Lancashire & Cumbria area. Our workforce is focused on quality throughout all of our jobs.


How he nearly became an MI5 agent, and how mental health care in companies needs to be top of the agenda- Chatting to Dominic Mellonie - Global Head of HR for Motorsport Network

How he nearly became an MI5 agent, and how mental health care in companies needs to be top of the agenda- Chatting to Dominic Mellonie - Global Head of HR for Motorsport Network

February 27, 2021

In this podcast, we have the best guest; the stories will have you crying with laughter. Dominic Mellonie brings his unique take on what it means to be a Global Head of HR in today's commercial landscape. Everything from the trials and tribulations of managing disciplinary cases, how he nearly became an MI5 agent, until he realised national security isn't a priority on a bank holiday. The international travel and cultural differences, the dreaded calls after a work conference party, through to his take on companies managing COVID, mental health and working from home.  There are some insights, some stories that are beyond believable and far too much laughing for either of us to remain professional.. Thanks, Dom, it was a blast! 

I'm Dom Mellonie. I am currently Global Head of Human Resources for Motorsport Network and have been working in HR for waaaay too many years to think about. In that time, I've led HR in businesses such as Talk Talk and Expedia, have worked with Private Equity, Engineers of every description (from Games Developers to Nuclear Subs), Clothing Designers, Marketeers, Sales Teams and all manner of Folks from every corner of the world. In this podcast, I share some of my insights across my career, some stories and discuss the impact of Covid on businesses and the importance for Businesses and the wider Society to start taking Well-Being and Mental Health far more importantly than has been the case. Whenever Ruth and I catch up, there's laughs and guffaws a-plenty and this Podcast is no exception. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did doing it with Ruth - and that along with the mirth there are some things that resonate. If not, I blame my caffeine intake during the recording. Stay safe!


How not being able to sign for her preferred evening class turned into a life long passion, and how festivals made her an expert in her “field”.. laughter, bad language and the key to holistic health

How not being able to sign for her preferred evening class turned into a life long passion, and how festivals made her an expert in her “field”.. laughter, bad language and the key to holistic health

February 21, 2021

About Catherine - Prime Wellbeing Foundation

Being healthy is the harmonious balance of physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease.

Wellness is the integration of growth and balance in our lives, including career, environment, emotional, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual.   
Wellbeing is the way we actively choose to be well:  being well.  

Since 1985 Catherine has been building her career around caring for others.  Catherine has a talent for tailor-making Wellness Breaks, from individual sessions to group events, personal treatment plans and group activity days.  With a team of experienced and highly qualified colleagues, your wellbeing is our priority best suited to your preferences. 


Why Wellness…


Wellness is the integration of growth and balance in our lives, including career, environment, emotional, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual.   Well-being is the way we actively choose to be well:  being well.

Prime Wellbeing Foundation at Grange Hotel


Since 1985 Catherine has been building her career around caring for others.  Now in collaboration with Grange Hotel, she is able to offer all she provides, from individual sessions to group events.  Catherine has a talent of tailor making Wellness Breaks into personal treatment plans, including use of the facilities in the Leisure Suite, (pool, jacuzzi) time for reflection and treatments that best suit your preferences and requirements.

Why Foundation…

From the latin word ‘fundare - to lay a base for’ - the Prime Wellbeing team can help you to create space for your overall health, considering the seven steps of Wellness through the five principles of  Well-being:  Stay Connected, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give or as Catherine say: ‘time for ourselves is an act of loving kindness for harmonious community living’

Our offerings can include Spa Days, Luxury Lifestyle events and Group Activity Days giving time for reflection and treatments that best suit your requirements.

Our Prime Location:

Grange Hotel,

Station Square, Grange over Sands

Cumbria LA11 6EJ

07957 861408

How a luxury boutique guest house owner from Colwyn Bay became an accidental social media star with her morning rambles

How a luxury boutique guest house owner from Colwyn Bay became an accidental social media star with her morning rambles

February 20, 2021

Today we have the pleasure of chatting with Tracey from Bryn Woodlands House a luxury boutique guest house in the picturesque town of Colwyn Bay, where you’ll find that no request is too much trouble. 

Tracey chats to us about coping with the impact of COVID 19 and how resilience has been the key to keeping a positive mindset.

I'm Tracey Toulmin I've been running our guest house with my husband Joel and 15-year-old daughter for 6 years in February 2021.

We moved to Colwyn Bay North Wales from Bedfordshire where we lived in an old railway cottage for about 13 years, we moved there when we came out of working in 4 and 5-star hotels where Joel and I met. 

When leaving the hotel trade we both went into the corporate/ office world but to be honest I think both our hearts were always in the hospitality trade, we had always talked about running our own place but thought it was a pipe dream until an opportunity came along in 2014 and we grabbed it with both hands selling our house in 2015 and moving lock stock and barrel to North Wales.

 I am from Yorkshire and Joel is from Lancashire and it makes for a lot of banter in the breakfast rooms some mornings, well at least it was.

2020 was going to be our big positive year where we would be in a position to start the wheels in motion to buy the property that we run our business from, plans were starting to be made to have small events taking place and we had spoken to local companies that might need meeting space or afternoon buffets etc. For the first time since taking over the business we were making new plans and not simply going with the flow.

 Then March came along and the pandemic hit, at first, it was like a domino effect, cancellation after cancellation and the bottom felt like it was falling from our business.

The news was bleak we didn’t understand where to go for help or guidance, it was looking for a needle in a haystack.

 I inherited a fur baby from my Mums passing a couple of years ago and he has been a lifeline for me since lockdown began, I was getting up at about 5.30 and walking around our local area finding new walks and places I didn’t know were there because we were always in our business.

 Social media became my thing and whilst on one night there was a reach out for help in making scrubs for our local community health services, so I said I’d help, I soon became admin of the group and then our breakfast room became the hub of donations and things being made, we met some wonderful volunteers who did a fantastic job producing scrubs, masks hats and scrub bags.

This gave Joel and I, a purpose, we didn’t have money coming in but we were helping and making a difference we were so happy to help and be part of the community.

 Luckily for us, the council contacted us to ask if we would stay open for keyworkers and essential workers and we agreed.  It hasn’t been the business we should have had for 2020 but it has been a lifeline and we are grateful for that.

 Everyone is given a warm homely welcome when they cross our threshold to stay in one of our 9 individually styled rooms, unfortunately, we are not able to take guests to there rooms now but the welcome is still the same.

Our breakfast room is bright and spacious ready for any king or queens breakfast, we decorated at the end of the first lockdown and re-positioned everything to suit the new guidelines we even had to get rid of our piano.

 Some days I want to sit in a corner and cry as I feel there is no end and others I crack on put my big girl pants on and tell the world we are going to be ok.  I’ve gone live every morning on my walks since March and as well as it helping me it seems to help others and we chat as if we were sat round the kitchen table, everyone knows when I’m not myself and they pick me up the same that I do with them.

 Oh and I shaved my head on 29th June 2020 to raise awareness of the plight of our local zoo and raised £1800 to help them.

You can find us on most social platforms but the best place to start is our website







14 Woodland Road East, Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL29 7DT

Tel: 01492 532320    


Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter

Why not fitting in has been our greatest success - An interview full of fun and very sound advice- Meet Tarnia and Annabel of TP Financial Solutions

Why not fitting in has been our greatest success - An interview full of fun and very sound advice- Meet Tarnia and Annabel of TP Financial Solutions

February 15, 2021

Why not fitting in has been our greatest success - On this podcast, The Consult Centre meets Tarnia and Annabel from TP Financial Solutions. 
Amongst the laughter, we find out why the secret of their success " not fitting in" has them taking the finance industry by storm. We talk about their commitment to their clients, why they become friends with most people and their commitment to the local community.
We also find out about their desire to build a business based on ethics and why this has meant they have rewritten the rule book when it comes to working in the financial sector. We also find out why they are so passionate in their belief that you don't need a lot of money to potentially change your future. 

Oh and we get a few tips on how to become a champion stone skimmer, a master baker and a sledging fanatic! 

Interviewing Rachel from Well Read Proofreading Services

Interviewing Rachel from Well Read Proofreading Services

February 14, 2021
Today we meet Rachel. This interview introduces Rachel and her business Well Read Proofreading Services. We have known Rachel for some time and we are always struck by her kindness, professionalism and dedication to her clients.
Thank you, Rachel, for taking part, it really was a pleasure to chat with you, and we know so many local business owners, authors and students will benefit from both, understanding what you do, and taking up your offer of a free chat with them.
A word from Rachel
Hi, I'm Rachel Gristwood and I own Well Read Proofreading Services. If you'd like to hear a little about the proofreading process and how I might be able to help you, please see the video interview with Ruth Wilkinson of The Consult Centre.
Rachel Gristwood
Well Read Proofreading Services
Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading
How two business women are helping business owners to accelerate their business growth.

How two business women are helping business owners to accelerate their business growth.

February 11, 2021

How two businesswomen are helping business owners to accelerate their business growth.

How a hack turned into a PR opportunity, and how the dream of holding a key turned into a move to London aged just 17,  introducing Pamela and Shirley from The Simple Series.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that behind every great business is an equally great team of leaders. That’s why this dynamic business duo, Shirley and Pamela have built a fantastic and simple business model that can be utilised no matter what stage of business you are at. With their combined 50yrs+ business expertise, knowledge and experience they support entrepreneurs to pinpoint what is needed to achieve their desired growth potential so they can focus on what they do best.

Shirley and Pamela encourage each individual to constantly dream big, start small but most of all - start, learn from their failures, build upon their successes and expand their mindset to one of confidence and a can-do attitude with a more mindful and holistic approach. They are fun, approachable, authentic and very transparent amidst sharing best business practices.

Their core values are - simplicity, teamwork and excellence.






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