Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity. Our vision is an end to the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders. We have been a champion, guide and friend to anyone affected by these serious mental illnesses since our founding in 1989 as the Eating Disorders Association, giving sufferers and their loved ones a place where they feel listened to, supported, and empowered.
Eating disorders are widely misunderstood and stigmatised illnesses, so we work to change this at every level. We campaign for positive change for people who are suffering so that they can get the help they need and deserve as quickly as possible, because we know that the faster they get treatment, the greater their chance of full recovery. We run and assist with research to learn more about what causes eating disorders and how best to treat them.
We translate the complex and technical into practical guidance for people affected by eating disorders, both sufferers and their friends and families. We offer awareness training in schools and workplaces, and a HelpFinder service to help people find treatment in their area. We help healthcare professionals to recognise the thoughts and feelings that cause these mental illnesses, rather than focusing on physical symptoms, so that they can provide the best possible care for their patients.
Eating disorders can be deeply isolating for the people affected by them. Our message boards, online support groups, and regional support services allow people to talk to others with similar experiences, helping them to feel less alone with their eating disorder. We run phone and email helplines 365 days a year for anyone who needs us. Often when people get in touch it’s the first time they’ve voiced their concerns about themselves or a loved one.
Beat receives no government funding, so we rely on the generosity of our supporters to help us continue our important work. If you’d like to get involved, you can find out how to do so here.
Beat is a charity registered in England and Wales (801343) and Scotland (SC039309). Beat is the identity of the Eating Disorders Association, and became our working name in February 2007. Eating Disorders Association remains our legally registered charity name. Eating Disorders Association is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under number 2368495, with registered offices at Unit 1, 19 Rosary Road, Norwich NR1 1SZ. VAT Number: 700 285963
Beat's Chief Executive is Andrew Radford. Andrew has been Chief Executive of Beat since July 2015. He was previously CEO of the charity Voice, campaigning for the rights of children in care. Before that he worked in a variety of roles over 16 years for UNICEF UK, starting with 10 years leading an accreditation-based programme to improve NHS support for new mothers’ feeding decisions, followed by short stints as Communications and Fundraising Director before a final period as Strategy Director.
Download our recent annual reviews and find out more about the work we've been doing, our achievements, and our finances.
We began life in 1989 as the first national charity for people with eating disorders as the result of a merger of two local charities: Anorexic Aid and Anorexic Family Aid. Originally called the Eating Disorders Association, we have grown and developed over time to become Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity.
In 2014 we celebrated our 25th anniversary and looked back at our past achievements. We have adapted and changed as people’s needs have changed, and we continue to drive forward and strive to make a difference to the lives of those affected by these serious mental illnesses.
Today we are not only helping people with eating disorders but also providing support for those with emotional overeating and difficulties with food, weight and shape. What remains at our heart – as true today as it was when we were founded – is the need to give help and hope to anyone affected by an eating disorder. The need to reach out and help is vital and our essential support services do that each and every day with our helplines, website, self help and support groups and online support. No one should have to face an eating disorder alone.
Beat is able to campaign for and provide support to those affected by eating disorders thanks to the generosity of our supporters. These include individuals, corporate partnerships, trusts, foundations, and the government.