New pledge in support of carers announced for EDAW

Posted 02/03/2020

The UK’s eating disorder charity, Beat, is calling on supporters to sign a new pledge demanding the very best support and information for carers of someone with an eating disorder for Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2020 (2-8 March).

1.25 million people in the UK are living with an eating disorder, however if this were to include the network of friends, family and loved ones who are also affected, Beat estimates that this number is closer to 5 million.

Beat is also partnering with Great British Bake Off 2019 finalist, Steph Blackwell, and her mother Jane, to raise awareness of the vital role that carers can play in their loved ones’ recovery. Steph became unwell aged 17 with OSFED: Otherwise Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder, and now wishes to share her message of hope with anyone who may be affected.

Steph says, “I’m very lucky to have had amazing support from my mum throughout, but I know it hasn’t always been easy for her. It’s important to remember that eating disorders can affect everyone, not just the person who is unwell.”

Jane says, “Everyone who’s caring for someone with an eating disorder needs support for themselves, too. It can really help to speak to people in the same situation who understand what you’re going through.”

Beat’s Chief Executive, Andrew Radford, says, “Eating disorders don’t just affect the person who is unwell, but we know that often, carers aren’t getting the support they need. This Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we want to highlight the incredible contribution carers can make to their loved one’s recovery, and call on supporters to stand with us to demand better resources for them.”

Beat runs a free confidential Helpline that is open 365 days a year for anyone affected by eating disorders. During Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW), Beat will also be running daily online support groups for carers, where anyone looking after a loved one can speak to others who may be in similar situations.

The full pledge

1.25 million people in the UK are living with an eating disorder right now. Yet behind every one is a network of friends and family supporting them. This adds up to 5 million people struggling to cope with eating disorders.

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses and those caring for someone with an eating disorder are too often left without the support and information they need to help their loved one towards recovery.

I stand with Beat to demand the best care, support and information for people with eating disorders and their friends and family.

Beat is very happy to have been selected as Mumsnet’s guest campaign for March to coincide with Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Mumsnet is the UK’s biggest network for parents. Our Head of Support Services, Sam Turton, has guest written a post for Mumsnet called “If you’re supporting a loved one with an eating disorder, you don’t have to deal with it alone”. Click here to read it and join the discussion.

Beat is also proud to be Granset’s Charity of the Week. Gransnet is the busiest social networking site for the over 50s. Find out more.