A former NHS worker has opened a cafe to support women going through the menopause.

Jacqui Thomson, from Yapton near Barnham, has started a scheme to get women - and their partners - breaking down the stigma around menopause.

She set up in Cockburn's Tea Rooms in Arundel for the first time on February 2 and invited women to share their stories.

"I started perimenopause about four years ago," the 49-year-old said. "I had issues with going to the GP and found out what was going on. I felt like I was stuck and did not have support."

The Argus: The tea rooms in Arundel High StreetThe tea rooms in Arundel High Street (Image: Google)

The freelance wellbeing consultant started to search online and found the Menopause Cafe scheme. 

But there were none near her home in Yapton so she decided to set up her own out of the Arundel tea room, which is supporting her by giving the space free.

The scheme was set up by Rachel Weiss in 2017 in Perth, Scotland, and has since spread across the country 

"Being able to have a place where people really get it is so important," Jacqui said.

Read more: Mum told brain tumour symptoms were because of menopause

Jacqui was made redundant from the NHS in December and seized the opportunity to start her own company and "give back".

Nine people attended her first session and she has hopes that number will increase.

She said: "We had a lady who turned up and stood at the front door for five minutes because she was nervous to come in.

"In the end she said she was blown away by the support. It is a chance to be brave and step out the comfort zone."

It is hosted at the cafe on the first Friday of every month between 1pm and 2pm.