Born out of the founder’s experiences of anorexia, Wednesday’s Child supports those living with or affected by an eating disorder. It offers support for the mental health condition (which carries the highest mortality rate of all such illnesses), social events, empathy training and activities focused on those living in the midst of an eating disorder.
People living with an eating disorder are currently struggling as statutory services suspended provision of services including face-to-face therapy and counselling appointments. Using funding from the Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund, Wednesday’s Child supported 25 eating disorder sufferers and 42 carers and partners through a four-month project during Covid-19. The organisation provided 70 hours of one-to-one support sessions and 100 hours of befriending support, as well as craft support groups attended by 16 sufferers. They also prepared and distributed 25 wellbeing boxes.
With mental health issues exacerbated for so many people by the onset of the pandemic, it came as little surprise to us at Wednesday’s Child to see the number of referrals increase rapidly. Covid caused many sufferers and families to find themselves with new issues and anxieties around food shopping, access to community treatment, isolation – and all against the backdrop of virus fears and threat to household income.
Wednesday’s Child was able to respond swiftly, providing one-2-one support via video platform, producing numerous multimedia information resources, changing the format of our parent group support sessions into an online interface, and delivering a craft and conversation session as a weekly wellbeing activity every Sunday by Zoom.
As the months have progressed, we have been able to pivot slowly toward a more ‘in person’ model again, while retaining some of our remote services to support those who prefer to access us through technology. The funding from Suffolk Community Foundation has been pivotal in enabling us to keep consistently supporting those who have desperately needed us in this difficult time.