Grant will help supporting local community’s mental health

Posted 10/07/2017

Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, will receive £2,000 from Assura plc, based in Warrington, to improve health for people via the telephone and online support services.

The funds, awarded by Assura’s Healthy Communities Scheme, will cover the costs of Beat national support services helping sufferers and carers in Warrington, and will enable to testpilot a volunteer scheme at the charity’s Helpline office.  Evidence shows that around 4% of people in Warrington will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives, with around 2% affected at any one time – 4,154 people. But sufferer numbers are just the tip of the iceberg – on average, four family members will also be affected by each person’s illness.

Beat Corporate Fundraising Manager, Sadie Miller, said: “Having been awarded these funds is great news for us and we are really grateful to Assura for their generosity.

“The money will help local people getting the right support and treatment as soon as possible, which we know, is key to their full and sustained recovery”

According to recent statistics, 41% of those affected by eating disorders wait more than six months for diagnosis and treatment.

“Those contacting Beat Helpline and online Support Services are actively encouraged and supported to seek early treatment”, added Sadie.

“It is vital that everyone who has an eating disorder receives treatment as quickly as possible, as the longer an eating disorder is left untreated the harder it is to recover”

Assura is the UK’s leading healthcare real estate investment trust, helping GPs and the NHS bring care closer to home by creating the modern, fit-for-purpose buildings that doctors say they urgently need, in the right places for patients.  CEO Jonathan Murphy said: “This scheme is all about health projects tackling issues which the GPs in our surgery buildings will see every day. We’re delighted to be funding Beat’s work here, particularly the volunteer recruitment as this is breaking new ground for the helpline to get invaluable support to even more eating disorder sufferers.”

Beat has an ambitious goal to increase the number of people helped by its support services, to 60,000 by 2021.  As part of this, the Helpline service was relocated and restructured in February 2017, at Warrington’s Birchwood Park. Beat’s Helplines are open 365 days a year, from 12pm – 8pm during the week, and 4pm – 8pm on weekends and bank holidays. They offer support to adults (0808 801 0677) and people under 18 years old (0808 801 0711) and students (0808 801 0811).

These new funds will also help recruiting five volunteers to help deliver the services.

The project is expected to run from September and it aims to help 40 sufferers directly, with Warrington’s estimated 4,154 current eating-disorder sufferers all having access to the project. The project will also help approximately 160 carers and family members and the 5 project volunteers.

For further information: please contact Beat Press Office on 0300 123 7061 or via email at media@b-eat.co.uk or Claire Rick, Head of Public Affairs at Assura via email at Claire.rick@assura.co.uk or 01925 420 681

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Notes to editors

About Beat

Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity. We are a champion, guide and friend to anyone affected by eating disorders. We provide information and support through Helplines that people can call or email, online support including information, message boards and online support groups, and HelpFinder, an online directory of support services.  We provide expert training, resources and consultancy to health and social care professionals and schools and support and encourage research into eating disorders.

Beat was formed in 1989. Since then, we have been committed to supporting those affected by eating disorders and working towards our vision: an end to the pain and suffering of eating disorders.

About eating disorders

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses and include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. Eating disorders are complex and there is no one single cause or reason why someone develops an eating disorder. A whole range of different factors combine, such as genetic, psychological, environmental, social and biological influences.

At least 725,000 people in the UK of all ages, genders, and backgrounds have an eating disorder. Eating disorders can be fatal, and anorexia has a higher mortality rate than any other mental illness.

Although serious, eating disorders are treatable conditions and full recovery is possible. The sooner someone gets the treatment they need, the more likely they are to make a full recovery