A Winchester woman has received a £1,000 grant from Winchester City Council to launch her own business, Intelligent Eating, to help people manage their weight and improve their lifestyles.

Miranda Shoebridge, 56, of Kings Worthy, said she wanted to be her own boss after working for other people for more than 30 years.

After leaving her job of 13 years as an adviser at a college, Ms Shoebridge took a business training course with The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME).

She said: “Setting up a business is not for the faint- hearted, but I am thoroughly enjoying the experience and thanks to the training I received from PRIME, as well as the financial support from the council, I am confident that I can create a sustainable and successful enterprise.”

The origins of the business came about after seeing an unflattering picture of herself at the beach five years ago, which inspired her to get in shape and help other people to lead healthier lifestyles.

Her private practice offers people consultations with plans to give counselling and coaching services for all life issues, specialising in weight management.

She said: “People eat for all sorts of reasons which include stress, boredom, comfort eating, family situations, as well as social pressures, and they need a lot of support to understand their emotions together with the motivation to change their habits and achieve healthier, happier lives.

“My passion is to help people make sustainable changes, rather than trying diet after diet in an often fruitless cycle of weight loss followed by weight gain.”

Cllr Robert Humby, Deputy Leader of Winchester City Council, said: “It is good to see how a business start up grant from Winchester City Council has made a real difference to a business just starting out. We wish Miranda every success in her new business venture.”