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Meet Aryan - A Beat Peer Support Group Volunteer

Hello, friends! My name is Aryan and I am a medical student studying in London. I have been with Beat since November last year as a Digital helpline Volunteer and a Peer Support Group Volunteer.

The role of a Digital Helpline Volunteer is greatly varied. We get a range of individuals, carers and sufferers, accessing our service. Our main role is to listen and support the service users to the best of our abilities, whether that be through signposting to other services, talking through distressful emotions or offering perspective and reassurance. As a pro-recovery service, we also help service users identify personal motivations for recovery. After each shift, we discuss how it all went with our supervisor. These conversations are supportive and a great way to reflect on and identify opportunities for improvement.

I also help facilitate and moderate peer support groups. We will sometimes focus a discussion around a particular topic, such as “self-compassion”, or “overturning bad decisions”, and sometimes the sessions are unstructured. It is inspiring to see the kindness and supportiveness expressed in these groups - everyone is there to listen, share experiences and learn. Many users find this a greatly validating and supportive tool - realising that you are not alone is a powerful discovery.

I was also fortunate enough to fundraise for Beat earlier this year for our medical school “Welfare Week”. This was a brilliantly successful endeavour as we raised over £400, had a talk by a Beat lived experience Ambassador, ran a 15.5k fun run (with my wonderful friend Ettianne) and most importantly raised awareness of eating disorders within the medical school.

I have acquired a great deal of insight and skills through my volunteering. I must say, however, that the most fulfilling aspect of the role is being able to offer guidance and a helping hand when someone needs it most.

Beat is an exceptional organisation - both an advocate and loyal companion for anyone affected by an eating disorder. To the staff and volunteers - you are a veritable army of generous, compassionate and kind people.

Thank you, for all that you do.

Contributed by Aryan