I pay tribute to the campaigners who do so much to raise awareness, particularly the charity Beat, which does absolutely excellent work. Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health
Organisations such as Beat do outstanding work in making people feel that the stigma around these issues is something that we, as a society, need to get over, and therefore people will feel more comfortable about coming forward, which is good. Tim Farron MP
I thank Beat, for its unstinting efforts on behalf of the more than 1 million sufferers across the UK. Paul Farrelly MP
These are people from across the political divides, all paying tribute to the inspirational work done by you – Beat’s campaigners, supporters and ambassadors.
It’s your work that has made the results we’ve achieved this year possible. Those parliamentarians, and many more like them, have been moved by your stories and your determination to ensure that others don’t have to suffer in the same way that many of you have. But these aren’t just warm words. They demonstrate that together we are having an impact.
Two years ago, Beat set up a small Campaigns team to call for better and more generous government policy across the UK. The fruits of the team’s labour are starting to emerge, as we see children and young people treated faster in England, the expectation that Wales will at least match this, and the new NHS Long Term Plan committing action and funding for better eating disorder services for adults. Meanwhile, progress is being promised on improving education for student doctors and health professionals, while obscure NHS England budget rules that disincentivise investment in early intervention are being challenged. It’s changes like this that will help mean future generations won’t face the obstacles we face today.
But the Campaigns team hasn’t done this on its own – it’s only worked because you are behind us. And it’s not just in campaigning where you can see your contributions playing a part.
Beat’s helpline and support services helped over 28,000 people last year. That’s 11,000 more than the year before and part of the increase is thanks to Beat supporters who are volunteering to help, whether by answering emails and webchats from home or by providing coaching for carers through our pioneering Echo programme. Echo is a great example of how your fundraising can shape our strategy. But none of our work is possible without your donations and sponsorship, and for that, Beat – and everyone we support – is extremely grateful.
Of course, it’s not possible to look back on our successes without reflecting on the fact that there’s so much more to do. We need more policy changes and more NHS funding, especially in Scotland and Northern Ireland. We want to help three or four times as many people as we currently do. And we need to expand our services and training so we can be as useful as possible to anyone and everyone with an eating disorder. The thing is, looking back at what we’ve achieved so far, I know that together, we will get there.
Read the report