East: More Help For Obesity Sufferers

13 November 2012, 06:00 | Updated: 13 November 2012, 06:16

There is soon going to be more help for people with obesity from new self help classes.

The eating disorder charity Beat ghas received a grant to provide support groups to tackle obesity -which is the first Government funding the organisation has received for its work in this area.

Through the Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund, 146 organisations bid for funding and 13 were chosen for outstanding achievement.  They have been awarded money which will help to support projects in local communities.

The funding, around £300k over 3 years for Beat’s new self help and support groups will extend and build upon Beat’s network of 125 groups across the UK already providing support to those suffering from an eating disorder and their families.   The pilot will be carried out across the NHS Midlands and Eastern Cluster.

The groups will complement existing NHS anti-obesity efforts, provide a cost service to the NHS and will be integrated into local services. They will address over-eaters unhealthy relationship with food and strongly support dieting and exercise.

By the end of the three year project 45 groups will be established across the Midlands and East cluster allowing 5,000 people per year to access emotional support in their local community.

Although not an eating disorder, Beat say obesity is often caused by emotional difficulties or can lead to similar problems. Low self-esteem, feeling guilty or ashamed, stigmatised and socially isolated can all be part of the picture.

Susan Ringwood, Chief Executive of Beat, said: “We are delighted that the Department of Health has awarded Beat this HSCVF national grant. We are pleased that the government is recognising and supporting the link between emotional support and obesity as we know that providing emotional support is essential for anyone to make lasting changes to their weight. Our many years of experience in providing this support have proved that the inspiration and encouragement of others who have already overcome their difficulties is vital.”