Eating Disorders Association
The Eating Disorders Association, known as Beat since February 2007, is the UK's leading charity supporting those affected by eating disorders and campaigning on their behalf. It is dedicated to helping people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder and other eating disorders, and providing information to the public about these conditions.
The charity was founded in 1989 from the amalgamation of the existing UK charities, Anorexic Aid and Anorexic Family Aid. The Society for the Advancement of Research into Anorexia merged with the Eating Disorders Association in 1992. Beat became the Eating Disorder Association's working title in 2007.
As well as campaigning for better services for those affected by eating disorders, the charity provides self-help support through an number of different projects:
- Helplines: The charity runs two national helplines, one for adults and one for people under 25. Both telephone and email services are available.
- Online Services: The charity's website includes messageboards, a young persons section, an online chat facility, online support groups and a HelpFinder directory.
- Support Groups: The charity has a network of support groups across the UK, lead by Beat trained volunteer group facilitators.
- Emotional Overeating Support Groups: In 2012 the Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund of the Department of Health granted funding to develop a network of groups across the East Midlands, West Midlands and East Anglia. The first group launched in September 2013.
- Transitions project: Funded by City Bridge, this project has a focus on certain areas in London, where individuals can access support when transitioning from one situation to another - CAMHS to AHMS[disambiguation needed], college to university etc.
Beat actively campaigns for better services and understanding of eating disorders. Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) takes place every year in February and a campaign theme is centered during the week every year. Past examples include: Everybody Knows Somebody, Failing Families, Choice or Chance and Break the Silence.
EDAW in 2014 will run from 24 February to 2 March.
The Young Ambassador scheme gives young people the opportunity to take an active part in Beat's work. Young Ambassadors across the country are aged between 14 and 25 and have personal experience of eating disorders. They represent Beat in the media or at conferences and events, speaking about their experiences to help reduce the stigma and educate others. Beat received funding in 2013 from Young Start to grow the scheme in Scotland.
Beat supports and encourages research into eating disorders. AS well as conducting research - currently with the backing of lottery funding for a project which looks at trials of CBT and CAT, Beat helps those undertaking research into eating disorders from post graduate level upwards.
Beat runs conferences and training for professionals, providing knowledge, education and training to health, social care and education professionals as well as other organisations in both the private and public sector.
Training includes: Understanding Eating Disorders, GP Training, 'Educate Plus' - training designed specifically for school staff, students and parents and Dove self-esteem workshops which are free and can be delivered to pupils or teachers.
The Eating Disorder International Conference (EDIC) runs every 2 years. The next event is in March 2014 with the main themes of neuroscience, therapy and severe and enduring eating disorders.
In 2012 Beat partnered with Dove to deliver free self-esteem workshops in the Dove Self-Esteem Programme. A survey in 2010 revealed that self-esteem in young girls in particular prevents them from realizing their full potentia. The workshops are delivered to Key Stage 3 and are free following a £250,000 donation to the charity. Dove aims to reach 12 million girls globally under the programme before the end of 2015.
Norfolk Community Eating Disorders Service (NCEDS)
Beat has been commissioned to deliver certain eating disorder services by NCEDS in Norfolk. This includes Collaborative Skills Training and support groups for both carers and sufferers.
The charity was a runner up in the healthcare and medical research section of the UK Charity Awards 2007. It also received the national Wellbeing Award of the Children and Young People's Services Awards 2007 for its work in developing a forum for young people, and in particular for the charity's active involvement of young people in informing its work, via the forum. The charity was awarded the Information Standard in 2011 to ensure the healthcare information they provide is of high quality and reliable. It received the Nominet Internet Award, Empowering Young People & Citizens, Exciting Newcomer award for My Personal Best.
Beat is funded from a variety of sources - from community fundraising, donations, trusts and grant applications to professional services and government grants. Often the funding received is to focus on particular support services.
The Youthline is supported by BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief. Beat is currently working on a 5 year research project funded by the Big Lottery Research Fund and Beat Cymru Beat's Welsh arm is also lottery funded.
- beat: A brief history of the organisation (accessed 12 October 2007)
- The Charity Awards 2007: Healthcare and Medical Research (accessed 12 October 2007)
- Children & Young People Now: Children and Young People's Services Awards 2007: The Wellbeing Award (accessed 24 April 2008)