Beat has been awarded a grant of £42,963 by the Scottish Government in order to support eating disorder sufferers and their families in Scotland.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused particularly high levels of stress and anxiety for those suffering from eating disorders, which has resulted in a 73% rise in contact to the Helpline. In response to this, Beat has set up a range of new resources, including online support group The Sanctuary, moderated message boards, and coronavirus support pages. This grant enables Beat to increase its support for those affected by eating disorders in Scotland.
At the same time Beat has estimated a 30% drop in income due to cancellation of fundraising events and reductions in other sources of funding. This has meant the new grant has come at a critical time, and it is now more likely that other ‘business as usual’ activities, including delivering training and awareness raising events in Scotland, will be able to resume as soon as the current crisis allows.
Over the past few years, Beat has made huge strides in the work done in Scotland, including a new telephone peer coaching service and in-person training for school professionals and carers. Beat is also planning to hold the rescheduled Eating Disorders International Conference in Glasgow in January 2021.
Beat’s Chief Executive, Andrew Radford, says:
‘Over the past few months we have experienced an unprecedented level of demand for our Helpline, while having to plan for the loss of a third of our income. We know that this is a particularly difficult time for our beneficiaries, and are proud to have increased our services in order to provide extra help.
‘We are incredibly grateful to the Scottish government for supporting the crucial work we do for sufferers and families in Scotland. Thanks to this funding, we predict we will be able to reach 3000 eating disorder sufferers in Scotland over the next 12 months.’
Scottish Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey, says:
‘We know that the earlier in the course of an eating disorder someone is able to access treatment, the better their chance of fully recovering. That’s why we are supporting Beat to expand their helpline service, which will enable them to continue providing their vital service to an extra 3000 people during this hugely difficult time.’