Bury-born former Coronation Street star Victoria Ekanoye is teaming up with her best friend to speak out about the taboo topic of the menopause.

Lisa Forshaw, 47, originally from Breightmet, Bolton, went through being a bubbly woman full of energy to closing herself off to people, while running her successful PR company under her name, which she founded five years ago.

She has worked with huge clients including Hotel Gotham hair and beauty experts House of Evelyn, celebrities including cast members from Hollyoaks, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and more.

Lisa was also instrumental in arranging for Vernon Kay to be at the Bolton Rugby World Cup, and bringing Gok Wan to the Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

But when Lisa got diagnosed with perimenopause six months ago, her life began to change when she started experiencing hot sweats, low moods, and anxiety.

Bury Times: Lisa Forshaw and Victoria EkanoyeLisa Forshaw and Victoria Ekanoye (Image: Public)She said: “I am a really confident person and was not who I normally am.

“I have got lots of energy and work with so many amazing people.

“I closed myself off because of being in such a dark place.

“It was a horrible time, and I didn’t know what was wrong.

“Until you go through it you can’t explain it.”

Her husband of 17 years, Lyndon, who runs Construction in Bolton, and her children have been her rock through such a challenging time both physically and mentally.

After trying various treatments including a hormone replacement therapy patch, Lisa was finally able to find some treatments that worked for her, including Magnesium and B6 vitamins.

Lisa added: “It has been an eye opener around the difficulties for women.

“Let me tell you, it's been quite a ride.

“At times, I've found myself in a dark place, feeling like my zest for life and my crazy personality were fading, and my confidence waned.”

Bury Times: Lisa Forshaw and Victoria EkanoyeLisa Forshaw and Victoria Ekanoye (Image: Public)Now Lisa is working with Victoria, who played Angie Appleton in Corrie, to launch their menopause t-shirts, and to speak out on a topic that has been considered taboo.

Victoria was diagnosed with breast cancer while her baby boy was very young, and she says it brought her world to a complete standstill, but she fought, and survived.

But soon after this, she went through induced menopause at 41, as well as bringing up a toddler.

Lisa and Victoria are now using their voice to get people to talk about it.

She said: “I now understand what every woman has been talking about and will go through in their lifetime.

“What I’ve also come to understand, through research, but more importantly, through speaking to so many women, is that there is this need to hide our symptoms or whisper about the menopause. 

“There should be no shame and no blame when it comes to something that is so natural.

“We are glorious.

“The fact that menopause happens means that at some point our bodies had the ability to carry life, actually carry, and nurture a life.

“For me, that is something to be in awe of.”

Both Victoria and Lisa say as well as spreading the word of the t-shirt once they become successful they will select charities of their choice to support.

This is something both active in  and something close to their hearts.

Bury Times: Lisa Forshaw and Katy Rosten who owns Liberty Bluff in Westhoughton which will stock the t-shirtsLisa Forshaw and Katy Rosten who owns Liberty Bluff in Westhoughton which will stock the t-shirts (Image: Public)Lisa added: “We just want menopause to be talked about and also trendy.

“What I want to stress is we don’t want to replace professionals.

“We just want to spread the word and it’s about the movement.”

The t-shirts are set to go on sale soon.

For updates on the t-shirts and to find out more about their fashion festival in February, follow the pair on Instagram at @menopauseisreal1.

They have also teamed up with two designers from Bolton who they say they could not have done this without.

Both designers will be revealed at the festival.

There is also a petition that has been created which has amassed almost 200,000 calling for menopause to be considered in healthcare, employment, education, and more.

Click here (https://shorturl.at/osyXZ) for more information.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.