Coronavirus update: What we’ve done so far

Posted 08/04/2020

In the past few weeks, a lot has changed at Beat as we’ve responded to the coronavirus crisis and adapted our Helpline services to provide the support people need. We know uncertainty and isolation is taking a serious toll on people’s mental health, and that this, as well as the impact on treatment services, lack of food in shops and worries about stockpiles at home, makes this a very difficult time for people with eating disorders. We are doing all that we can to help people at this frightening and unprecedented time.

 

Helpline services

Our Helpline services have seen a 30% increase in demand in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Our focus has been on fulfilling that demand, and we’ve added a new support groups to help with that:

  • The Sanctuary is open for the same hours as the Helpline (12pm – 8pm weekdays, 4pm – 8pm weekends and bank holidays) and is a space where anyone with an eating disorder can share their concerns and advice about the pandemic, and stay connected at this isolating time.

We’ve also created new information to help people at this time, including guidance for both those with eating disorders and anyone caring for a loved one.

So far, we have been able to keep our Helpline running as normal, with all staff now working from home, staff members from across the organisation gaining training to be able to help out, and new Digital Volunteers to help meet users’ needs.

 

Training courses

In accordance with government guidelines and to ensure the safety of delegates on our courses, our training sessions are on hold until October. We hope to be able to reschedule these as soon as possible and are contacting individuals affected. Anyone booked onto these courses will be able to receive a refund of their deposit. Please keep an eye on our training page for more updates.

 

Eating Disorders International Conference

In March, we were forced to postpone the Eating Disorders International Conference, which was due to take place on the 18th and 19th March in Glasgow. We have rescheduled the conference for 21st – 22nd January 2021, and intend as far as possible to keep the conference programme as previously planned. Find out more information as it’s confirmed at edic.beateatingdisorders.org.uk.

 

Beat’s future

We are entering into uncertain times. As well as bringing about the staggering 30% rise in demand for our Helpline services, the coronavirus crisis threatens to cause a 30% drop in our income. We rely on public donations but hundreds of races, skydives, bake sales and quiz nights planned by supporters have been cancelled, leaving us hundreds of thousands of pounds short. This would be difficult under normal circumstances for a modestly-sized charity like Beat, but combined with the increased need for our Helpline, we are facing our toughest ever challenge.

To ensure we can continue to be there for those who need us during this crisis and beyond it, we need your help. We have launched an emergency appeal, and any support you are able to give us at this time is greatly appreciated. Click here to donate, or find out how you can get involved with virtual fundraising for Beat.

As we take steps to continue providing essential services to those who most need it, other areas of the organisation may be affected, and we ask for your patience and understanding at this time.