Lifting the lid on eating disorders in Dorset

19th February 2016

A campaign to break down myths and misunderstanding about anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and other food-related health problems will take place in Dorset next week.

Bournemouth University, supported by Dorset HealthCare, will host a series of events to mark Eating Disorders Awareness Week (22-28 February), highlighting the illnesses which afflict people of all ages – and the help available to overcome them.

As well as talks by a number of local people sharing their own experiences of battling the problem, staff from the Dorset Eating Disorders service will be on hand to answer questions, give advice and signpost people to further support.

Award-winning comic Dave Chawner will also take a sideways look at the issue with his stand-up show ‘Normally Abnormal’, while local schools, clubs and businesses will be urged to ‘Sock It to Eating Disorders’ by wearing silly socks on Friday (26 February) to help raise both awareness and money.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week was launched by national charity Beat, and aims to promote greater understanding of the illnesses, their causes and the support available.

Last year, there were 419 referrals to Dorset HealthCare’s eating disorders service, men and women – with the youngest person just ten years old.

Staff from the service will be available to talk to at the University’s Executive Business Centre from 3pm to 7.45pm on Wednesday (24 February). Dr Ciarán Newell, the Trust’s Consultant Nurse on eating disorders, said:

“There is still a great deal of ignorance about eating disorders. Conditions such as anorexia and bulimia are serious illnesses, and don’t just affect teenage girls and young women.

“But recovery is always possible, especially if people are aware of what to look out for and we can intervene early. This week will showcase some fantastic stories of recovery, and we would urge other people to come forward and share their experiences. They can offer real hope to people currently dealing with eating disorders.”

All events will be held at the University’s Landsdowne and Talbot campuses, are free of charge and open to everyone. You can also watch some case studies about living with, and overcoming, eating disorders online at:

In addition, you can do your bit to raise awareness and support the annual Beat fundraising ‘Sock It to Eating Disorders’ campaign by encouraging people in your workplace, club or sports team to wear silly socks for the day this Friday. Full details and fundraising packs are available at

Dr James Palfreyman-Kay, Equality and Diversity Advisor for Bournemouth University, said:

“We have continued to see more people coming forward to talk about living with an eating disorder. The close partnership between BU and the Trust has provided an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of eating disorders within and outside Dorset during the week.”

Details of all the events at the University are available at

You can also join in the conversation on Twitter @DorsetHealth and @bournemouthuni, #EDAW2016, #BUED15, #eatingdisorders.

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