16th April 2014
SEED has changed, and quite possibly even saved, my life, which is the greatest gift anyone could have given me, and this is one way by which I might be able to put something back. There's no way I would be where I am now without you!
For the best part of 3 years, I have now been closely associated with SEED Eating Disorders, a local i.e. Hull-based charity helping people of all ages who suffer from eating disorders, as well as supporting sufferers' families and friends. In this time, I have seen some of the fantastic support SEED provide for young people and their parents (which has also informed my own teaching of the PHSE unit on Healthy Lifestyles), and have witnessed first-hand that this charity not only changes so many lives for the better, but even saves lives. An eating disorder is a mental illness, and some 20-25% of all eating disorders (by far not just anorexia!) have a fatal outcome; yet few GPs and other health professionals are equipped to provide appropriate support for sufferers who often do not know where to turn for help and who also continue to struggle against the judgments and misapprehensions of those around them, in a culture where eating disorders are still not commonly understood as well as frequently stigmatised, which can in turn exacerbate the illness.
In this scenario, SEED is pretty much unique and also attracts people from wider afield than Hull and East Yorkshire - often after years of misery, many sufferers feel that they receive the help and understanding they need for the first time in their lives, through the charity's self-help groups, e-mail buddies, workshops, counselling etc. - the range of support on offer is considerable. Through SEED, a lot of people are finally able to turn their lives around and achieve recovery, thus healing from or avoiding the more serious consequences of their eating disorders. To me, the work of SEED is absolutely priceless.