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Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2021 1 – 7 March

EDAW 2021, 1-7 March

#YouMightKnowMe

Each year, Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, runs Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Beat’s purpose is to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders which affect around 1.25 million people in the UK. Beat provides services to encourage and empower people to get help quickly, equips family and friends with essential skills and advice and campaigns to increase knowledge of eating disorders and for better funding for treatment.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a huge opportunity for us to highlight the impact of eating disorders. This year, we’re focusing on binge eating disorder.

Binge eating disorder will affect one in fifty people in their lifetime.

More people live with binge eating disorder than anorexia or bulimia. It’s more common than most people think and can affect anyone of any age, gender, ethnicity or background. You might not think you know anyone affected by binge eating disorder, but you probably do. Binge eating disorder will affect one in fifty people in their lifetime.

"I could be your sister, your brother, your neighbour"

Eating disorders can affect anyone, any week of the year, but Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a great opportunity for you to get involved and support our vital work. Coronavirus is impacting the way we’re running Eating Disorders Awareness Week this year, but there’s still lots you can do! This document will help you support Eating Disorders Awareness Week across your digital channels.

Watch and share our EDAW 2021 campaign video

This year, those living with binge eating disorder have told their story through this animation.

We've drafted a post for you to use to accompany the video on social media.

One in fifty of us will experience binge eating disorder in our lifetime. It is the most common but least understood eating disorder. Share our video to help start the conversation this #Eating Disorders Awareness Week. #EDAW, #YouMightKnowMe.

Support us on social media

Follow the link to find example posts and downloadable resources to support us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to help you champion Eating Disorders Awareness week and our support services.

Tag and follow us on social media

Use our EDAW hashtags, and don’t forget to tag us so we can share and retweet your posts!

Facebook - beat.eating.disorders

Twitter - @beatED

Instagram - @beatEDSupport

If you're in Scotland, Wales or Ireland find us on Twitter on

@BeatED_Wales

@BeatED_Scotland

@BeatED_NI

Use our Eating Disorder Awareness Week hashtags

#YouMightKnowMe

#EDAW

#Eatingdisordersawarenessweek

Help people understand binge eating disorder

I’d have asked for help sooner if more people knew what it was like to live with binge eating disorder.

Binge eating disorder is a serious illness but one that is misunderstood.

Sharing information about binge eating disorder and how someone can get support is a simple but vital way to help during Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The reality of binge eating disorder

Below are some facts, statistics, and accounts from people with lived experience that you can use as part of your activities to explain what binge eating disorder is.

• Binge eating disorder will affect one in fifty people in their lifetime.

• More people live with binge eating disorder than anorexia or bulimia.

• One in three of those ever affected by binge eating disorder considers taking their own life.

• One in six of those ever affected by binge eating disorder attempts suicide.

• Only one in four who have had the condition ever receives treatment.

“When I was in the grip of binge eating disorder, my weight was very high – not what most people picture when they think “eating disorder”. While seeking help, I met with a lot of unhelpful judgements about my weight and was dismissed as being lazy and weak-willed.”
“Eating disorders completely take over. I neglected relationships and was difficult to live with. When I was bingeing, I was very depressed; I felt like I wasn’t worth the love and care of my friends and family so I hid myself away, made excuses to get out of social events and was very moody and irritable. Binge eating disorder really brought out the worst in me.”
“For a long time I thought my bingeing was a character flaw, not an illness. I blamed myself for not being able to control how much I ate. I felt guilty and ashamed that I couldn’t just go on a diet, or get a grip. For years I thought all I needed was some self-discipline.”
“Contrary to what people believe, there is so much more to binge eating disorder than a mere lack of willpower. It's a complete absence of control.”
“I had never talked about my bingeing. It was my terrible secret that I always hoped I could sort out on my own, so I would never have to admit it to anyone else.”

Recovery is possible

Beat offers lots of resources to support with binge eating disorder that you can share.

• Beat’s Helplines are open 9am – 8pm weekdays and 4pm – 8pm weekends and bank holidays on 0808 801 0677. We support anyone affected by binge eating disorder, whether you’re worried about yourself or someone you know.

• Nightingale online support groups are confidential, inclusive, welcoming spaces for anyone with concerns about binge eating disorder, allowing people to share experiences with others in similar situations. Nightingale runs Tuesdays and Fridays from 6.45pm to 8.00pm. Visit beateatingdisorders.org.uk/nightingale

• Our GP leaflet for anyone with binge eating disorder explains what someone should expect from treatment, and provides a factsheet to give to the GP. Get a copy at beateatingdisorders.org.uk/support-services/downloads-resources

• Further information about binge eating disorder, including the signs to look out for, is available at beateatingdisorders.org.uk/BED

Raise vital funds during Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Lots of traditional fundraising activities might be out of bounds at the moment, but we’ve got lots of fun virtual and socially distanced ideas for you to raise funds, start conversations and change lives.

Our two main fundraisers this year offer something for everyone! Get out into the great outdoors with our Walk & Talk fundraiser, and start an open conversation about mental health. We’re encouraging you to get out and get talking, while raising funds for Beat’s essential services.

Walk & Talk for EDAW

How to get started

Pick a route. It could be laps around your local park, a route around the block from your workplace at lunchtime or a famous hiking route.

Pick a date for your walk. Choose 6 March – the Saturday of awareness week or walk a section of your walk each day through the week – you could invite a different friend, family member or colleague to join you each day.

Set up a Just Giving page. Personalise it by sharing why you’re joining us for Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Share your page in the lead up to the week to let everyone know your plans. Keep an eye out on our download section for images to share to help raise awareness and funds to support people affected by eating disorders.

Walk and Talk! Whenever you walk during the week, your fundraising will help us support people who contact our Helpline services every day!

Tips for your fundraising

Live stream sections of your walk to talk about eating disorders to raise even more awareness

For those friends and family across the country who won’t be able to join you on the day ask them to organise their own walk, share your page and contribute their ‘virtual’ steps to your walk.

Post updates on your page with different myths about eating disorders to spread awareness and be talking points on your walk.

Or get your Game On by streaming a gaming session! Big or small, FIFA or Final Fantasy, fundraising while you stream for Eating Disorders Awareness Week can help us make sure we’re there for everyone affected by an eating disorder.

Game on!

Play. Stream. Fundraise. Help raise awareness to support people affected by eating disorders.

Whether you are new to streaming a gaming session or have done it 100 times before – fundraising while you stream for Eating Disorders Awareness Week can help us support people affected by eating disorders.

From Fifa to Final Fantasy, create your own gaming challenge to share during the week.

How to get started

  • Choose your gaming challenge.
  • Set a date - 6 March is the Saturday of Eating Disorders Awareness Week
  • Link your twitch account to your Just Giving page. Use this guide to help you get started.

Personalise your Just Giving page by sharing why you’re joining us for Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Game On! Use the fact sheet from your fundraising pack to update everyone during your stream about how your fundraising will support Beat and raise awareness.

Not for you? We’ve seen so many amazing virtual fundraisers, including craft workshops, yoga classes and quiz nights over the last few months, and we’re excited to see what creative ways to raise funds you come up with this Eating Disorders Awareness Week!

Ready to get started?

For more on how to run any of our fundraisers in a way that’s fun, safe, and successful, as well as advice on fundraising with your school, university or workplace, head to beateatingdisorders.org.uk/fundraise-for-edaw

And whether you’re fundraising with friends, family, colleagues, or doing something solo, we’ve got plenty of resources included in this toolkit! Download factsheets, posters, leaflets and more below!

Campaign for change

Everyone living with an eating disorder, including binge eating disorder, deserves compassion, support and respect. But to see meaningful change, we need policymakers, healthcare commissioners, and the wider public to understand how serious eating disorders are, and the issues faced by those affected by these serious illnesses when trying to get the support they need.

Writing to your political representative or getting involved with your local healthcare system, and sharing your personal experiences, is a vital way to increase that understanding and push for the change we need.

Want to know more? We’re excited to be running an Introduction to Campaigning webinar in the runup to Eating Disorders Awareness Week on 24 February! Join the campaigns team as they talk about what it means to campaign, Beat’s current work, and what you can do to raise awareness.

Find signup details and more about how you can campaign in your area at beateatingdisorders.org.uk/campaign

Created By
Beat Eating Disorders
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Beat Eating Disorders