How To Help
How To Help An Eating Disorder Charity
According to Beat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity, around 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder. Often, eating disorders develop during adolescence, but they can arise at any time. They can be hugely challenging for sufferers and their families, with issues around food becoming a daily struggle.
WHY VOLUNTEER WITH AN EATING DISORDER CHARITY?
Research into common eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia suggests that almost half of those affected make a full recovery. Others aren't so lucky and suffer chronically, but it's important that ongoing support is there for everyone who needs it.
Volunteering for a charity that helps people overcome their problems is a wonderful way to have a positive influence on people's lives. With serious health complications associated with eating disorders, you could literally be saving a life with your help, while also learning new skills and meeting new people at the same time.
HOW TO HELP EATING DISORDER CHARITIES
Volunteer With A Helpline
Those seeking support with an eating disorder are advised to call their GP in the first instance. However, for a variety of reasons, people often feel more comfortable reaching out to a helpline first. Several UK eating disorder charities offer people the chance to either call up a helpline or have a one-on-one online chat. You could make a difference by volunteering your time to lend support.
Become A Volunteer Counsellor
Eating disorder charities often run centres or sessions which people can attend for support and advice. If you have a background in counselling or you're looking to build up your experience for a future career, you might be able to assist as a volunteer counsellor. This could be a great way to give something back to your local community, or to build your CV for working in therapy or the charity sector.
Take On A Receptionist Role
You could play an important part by volunteering as a receptionist for a centre that offers support to people with eating disorders. As the first person people speak to when they walk in the door or call up, you'll need to provide a warm welcome and be confident on the phone. This could also be a beneficial volunteering post if you're a trainee counsellor, as you'll learn how things work in therapeutic practices and get valuable experience within the sector.
Write For A Newsletter Or Website
Many charities send out a periodical newsletter to keep their members and followers updated, while others post regular articles or news features on their website. Although a flair for the written word will help, you don't need to be a Charles Dickens or Jane Austen to contribute something worthwhile. By volunteering as a writer for an eating disorder charity, you can provide helpful resources to improve the lives of sufferers and their families.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU VOLUNTEER
You'll need to go through specific training if you want to perform a role that involves talking directly to people with eating disorders. This is likely to mean your chosen charity requests a minimum time commitment from you, but this may be as little as one day every month.
WHERE TO GET STARTED
If you're looking to get stuck into some volunteering work, check out the latest opportunities with the following charities:
HELPING DESERVING CAUSES
If you'd like to know more about getting involved in volunteering in your community, take a look at our Local Causes page and find opportunities near you.
Last updated: 25/03/2021
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