News Update

Here is a news update from our groups in Tayside and Aberdeen. NEEDS2 Bridging the Gap have been busy lately, fundraising and raising awareness in Tayside with a very successful sponsored walk across the Tay Road Bridge, bridging that gap and raising well over £500 for the group to spend on resources and accommodation amongst other things. More details of the exact amount raised will follow later.

Following the winding up of the Aberdeen group’s Arts and Crafts Group, due to low attendance, the materials purchased have been distributed to group members along with scrapbooks for individual use to create their art and design work and record positive affirmations, writing and poetry. One of our group members very kindly shared her own scrapbook which was beautifully done and inspired others to have a go at producing their own. Larger materials such as paint and card making items will go to the Eden Unit, and colouring books and pencils to the Young Persons’ Department. Donating in this way should raise awareness of our self help group in the wider hospital community and hopefully encourage others to attend the group when they can. Although we are an adult group, carers of younger people can attend.

On that note, two volunteers from NEEDS(Scotland) are initiating a Coffee, Care and Share Session on Thursday 24th August in the Oak Room, Young Peoples’ Department, Lower Garden Villa, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen AB25 2ZH from 10.30-12noon, and on Thursday September 28th from 7.30-9pm. The aim is to offer support informally to those caring for young people affected by an eating disorder, and encourage carers to support each other. If you are interested in attending, please email our administrator at nhsg.needsadministrator@nhs.net.   

Chairperson’s Report 2017

Chairperson’s Report   24.04.17

Firstly, as always, I must thank all our volunteers, both in Dundee with NEEDS 2 Bridging the Gap and also in Aberdeen. Time is precious to all, but the time you give to those who are challenged by eating disorders, either personally or as carers, is priceless. We all recognise the benefits of support, especially facilitating self help. Our group members acknowledge this, as do the professional services in Tayside and Aberdeen, so thank you for your time and your individual skills. Thanks also to Irene, who diligently organises meetings and does our administration, and also to George Baird who maintains our website so efficiently.

A very special thank you goes to Emma Lindsay for going that extra mile this year, as well as holding down a job, and doing her finals. She has continued to support patients from the Young Peoples’ Department along with Katie Bedford, which is proving a huge success. She has also been instrumental in inspiring two winning Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) teams, Robert Gordon’s College and also Albyn School, talking candidly to pupils about her experience and raising awareness of eating disorders. She has also shared that experience at the second Aberdeenshire Schools’ Conference, which was widely appreciated by her audience of teachers and other school based staff. She also continues to work as a B-eat Young Ambassador, and support our group members each month. Well done, Emma, and all the best for your Master’s year wherever you choose to go.

We have focussed on looking after ourselves this year, with two very successful Wellbeing Days which were totally free of charge to group members, speakers on Kinesiology and Photography as therapy, and the launch of our Arts and Crafts Group, suggested by a group member. All these were made possible by monies raised by Rosehill TSB, Aberdeen University Raising and Giving Campaign 2016, and £3k from Robert Gordon’s College YPI team.

The attendance at the Wellbeing Days was low, but enjoyed immensely by those who did attend; volunteers, some past group members, some present and some carers. Presentations included Yoga, Mindfulness, Movement as Therapy, and Body Image. There was also a selection of alternative therapy taster sessions, Shiatsu, Reiki, Aromatherapy Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Reflexology available and a Nail Bar. Since we have recently won another YPI, thanks to Albyn School, and we hope to hold more Wellbeing Days next year using this extra funding. Comments ranged from “It was good to spend some time on me.”, to “I feel grounded, relaxed, chilled.”

Our Arts and Crafts Group has also had low numbers attend, but was very much appreciated by those who did attend, and latterly became involved in the Can You Hear Me? Recovery Song project led by 4th Year music student, Nadine Allan. This project used art, mind mapping and music to produce a song for the group. Unfortunately the Arts and Crafts Group will have to fold due to those low numbers, but hopefully we will be able to re-start it in the future.

During Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we were invited to attend a Wellbeing Fayre at Banchory Academy. This was an excellent event for raising awareness, as we were able to chat with pupils from all the different year groups and also school staff.

It has been an immensely satisfying year, with the Wellbeing Days and some group members deciding to move on, acknowledging the role NEEDS(Scotland) has had in their sustained recovery. We have had three new babies born, and we have a wedding, a graduation and an emigration ahead. Life goes on and NEEDS(Scotland) will have to adapt to the changes. It has before, and it will again.

Sourcing volunteers is a constant struggle, but we will survive in whatever way we can to continue to offer support in both Aberdeen and Tayside. I am still keen to pass on the mantle of Chairperson, due to increasing personal commitments, but I will endeavour to do the best I can to keep the group running until someone comes forward.

 

The following report is from our volunteers at NEEDS2 Bridging the Gap, who continue to provide a much valued and needed service to those in Tayside.

NEEDS 2 Bridging the Gap Report 24.04.17.

 Our group was established in October 2015 and has been very successful since then. Our time has been spent developing a routine and settling in to our meeting rooms which are within Dundee Carers’ Centre.

This year we want to focus on fundraising for ourselves and hope to arrange a bagpacking event in a store such as Sainsbury’s, but so far there has been no response. We are also looking at using a pop-up café for an event. Our biggest event is to be a sponsored walk over the Tay Road Bridge on Sunday 11th June. The timings of this event are still to be confirmed. We have also had a team represent us in Carnoustie High School’s Youth Philanthropy Initiative competition. Unfortunately we were unsuccessfull this time, but there is always another chance! We hope to publicise NEEDS2 Bridging the Gap so that other schools may select us as one of their charities.

Our volunteers are very appreciative of the local ED Service offering us supervision, which is proving most beneficial. We are most appreciative of the time that this involves out of hours. Unfortunately we have two volunteers leaving. Natasha and Duncan have been a great asset to both groups in Aberdeen and in Dundee, and we wish them well in their new home. Three of our volunteers hope to attend a training event which is being organised by Anne Tremble of the Linda Tremble Foundation in Fife.

Attendance has settled in the group with 8-12 members attending monthly with 3-4 volunteers. Sometimes there can be only one volunteer for carers as there are two needed for group members. It would be good if we could find more volunteers.

Tayside CAMHS have said they would like to become involved. However, there has been little contact so far. They are very keen to set up peer mentoring as in Aberdeen Young Persons’ Department, but sadly there are no younger volunteers available at the moment.

One evening which proved very popular with most group members, was a poetry reading session. Sara Preston’s poem, There is a light and there is a door, was read out and group members discussed their own favourites.

There continues to be regular enquiries regarding the group coming in to South Lodge in Aberdeen, and attendance remains excellent, which shows the continuing need for a group in Dundee.

 

 

Sponsored walk

Sponsored Walk across the Tay Bridge

Tay Bridge

We’re holding a charity walk on Sunday 11th June 2017, so please join with friends and family to raise money in aid of NEEDS 2 (Bridging the Gap), supporting sufferers and carers dealing with an eating disorder in Dundee and Tayside.

Meet at the Apex Hotel on Sunday 11th June at 11am.

The APEX Hotel has kindly offered us the use of toilet facilities and water.
There is car parking opposite HMS Unicorn at City quay.

Flyer
Sponsorship form

Music

Music and Art as a celebration of recovery… an update

There’s been quite a bit of interest in this project, which has been really terrific. Here is Nadine’s summary of where the project is so far…

So far for my community music project ‘Can You Hear Me?’, I have been working alongside participants to create a recovery song using art. Two sessions have already passed and I am so pleased with the effort and results from these.

Our first session resulted in mood boards being made from our favourite songs – where we all thought about the musical reasons these songs meant what they did to us. In our second and most recent session, we created lyrics using the four core aims of NEEDS, and together as a group selected phrases from our responses. Next session will be creating rhythms to our lyrics and it would be great to see some more faces! Both members and carers are welcome.

The next session will be held in Room M5 at Rosemount Community Centre in Aberdeen, on Tuesday 14th March at 7-9pm. All group members and carers welcome. You don’t need to have been before!

Community Music Project

SEDIG Carers’ Conference

The Scottish Eating Disorders Interest Group (SEDIG) held their annual Carers’ Conference in The Eric Liddell Centre, Edinburgh on Saturday 4th March. The event, which usually takes place at the end of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, was hosted by Fiona Duffy who has recently become SEDIG’s chairperson, and featured some excellent speakers on a variety of topics. Fiona highlighted that Ben McPherson, MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith had raised a motion in the Scottish Parliament to note and appreciate the theme of EDAW 2017, which focussed on early intervention and raising awareness of these serious mental illnesses.

Kathleen Taylor, Engagement and Participation Officer with the  Mental Welfare Commission gave the first interesting and illuminating presentation on her role within the MWC and her own personal experience as a carer. She highlighted the importance of The Triangle of Care, rolled out in Scotland several years ago which aims for better collaboration and partnership with carers in their journey through the mental health services, and also acknowledgment that carers need care too. Amongst other topics covered were The Mental Health Act and the issue of confidentiality. She stressed that carers can request a meeting with the professionals treating their loved one. If refused they should,

  • put the request in writing
  • repeat if necessary, and copy in the Mental Welfare Commission.

There is an information and advice line (call back service) at 0800 389 6809

She also spoke about an Advance Statement. These can be useful but need to be completed by the service user when they are well. They may be useful as the brain can become impaired if food intake has been restricted for some time.

Sara Preston, Senior Young Person’s Officer (Scotland) for B-eat then gave a very interesting presentation about her Winston Churchill Foundation Fellowship Research trip to the US and Canada. The focus was on

  • Children and Young Persons’ treatment models
  • Education
  • Stigma
  • Raising Awareness

Sara travelled extensively across the US and Canada meeting with individuals from many different organisations supporting those affected by eating disorders and their families. My own personal favourite and dream for Scotland, was Sheena’s Place, www.sheenasplace.org which is a large house where a variety of different support is available such as

  • Art and Craft
  • Emotional Control
  • Bereavement
  • Dads
  • Sufferers
  • Siblings

Eating disorders sufferers, their friends and families can feel very isolated and alone, and this concept provides a safe environment in which to access help and support.

Sara concluded her presentation by reading out a very moving poem which she had written.

Finally, Gill Todd, Clinical Trainer and Supervisor in Eating Disorders talked about Collaborative Skills-based Learning for Carers. She also highlighted the importance of The Triangle of Care, and discussed helpful and unhelpful beliefs about eating disorders.  One concept which is often neglected by both the carer and the sufferer, is the need to learn compassion for themselves. This was a very interactive session, which continued into the afternoon, working  in different groups with plenty of opportunities for input from conference delegates.

Gill stressed the need to remain calm and try to step back from high anxiety/confrontational situations. Eating disorders thrive in these environments, so they are to be avoided as much as possible. She also stressed the aim to support the sufferer to build new “train tracks” in the brain of coping mechanisms, to replace those the eating disorder has put in place and begin the process of change. We looked at the stages involved in making that change and did some exercises to illustrate how Motivational Training could help. The idea is to make goals realistic and timely. Little steps make big strides!

Many thanks to the SEDIG Committee for their organisation and provision of a great venue and delicious lunch. SEDIG now have a Facebook page and also a Twitter account.

I highly recommend going along to SEDIG Carers’ Conferences as they are informative, but also gives carers a chance to network and share their experiences with others going through similar challenging times.

 

 

Banchory Academy Wellbeing Fayre 2017

Banchory Academy Wellbeing Fayre 2017

Fitting in very nicely during EDAW 2017, NEEDS(Scotland) were invited by Banchory Academy to their Wellbeing Fayre on Tuesday 28th February. We spent the afternoon stamping pupil “passports” as they made their way round the various stands. This was a novel way to make sure they engaged with all the stallholders. It gave us ample opportunity to chat with the different year groups and staff, to raise awareness of eating disorders and to encourage the youngsters to talk to someone if they feel they or one of their friends or family may be at risk.

It also gave us a chance to model our newly acquired NEEDS(Scotland) hoodies……..

SEDIG Carers Conference

Carers Conference 2017

The Scottish Eating Disorders Interest Group, SEDIG, are holding their 2017 Carers’ Conference at The Eric Liddell Centre in Edinburgh on Saturday 4th March 2017. Like last years conference, there features an interesting and varied programme.

Date & time
Saturday 4th March 2017, 9.30am – 4pm

Venue
The Eric Liddell Centre,
15 Morningside Road,
Edinburgh,
EH10 4DP

Please note this conference is open to Carers’ in the first instance.  Professionals who wish to attend will be put on a waiting list and in the event there are free places then they MAY be allocated one.

Please click here for a downloadable version of the programme.
Please click here for a booking form.

Music

Music and Art as a celebration of recovery

Nadine Allan is a third year music student at Aberdeen University. She visited our group on Monday 9th January 2017 to talk to group members about creating a pro-recovery song and related art work. This is a short explanation of what is involved. We hope as many group members and carers will become involved in this as possible as it is an extremely worth while project.

‘Can You Hear Me?’ is a community music project that aims to create a pro-recovery song for those who have experience with eating disorders. The project will use a multi-arts approach that will allow a positive and creative outlet through group music making. In order to create this song, we will use art as a tool to make lyrics and melodies in a sensory way. The art work created can be put on display at the end result of the project to showcase what you have accomplished – as well as recordings of the song for you to keep. This project’s main aim is to give you a voice and a platform to express yourself in a positive way. Both group members and carers of NEEDS are welcome to attend! Sessions will be held during the Art’s & Crafts group nights.

Dates and times of both the group  nights and Arts and Crafts group are on our website on this news page. Please telephone or email any queries to our administrator.

Crafts Paint

Arts & Craft Group – 2017 Meeting Dates

NEEDS (Scotland)

North East Eating Disorders Support (Scotland) Reg Charity no SC043640

Arts & Craft Group 2017 dates

  • January 17th
  • February 14th
  • March 14th
  • April 11th

7-9pm

Free admission, refreshments provided. All group members/carers welcome.
You can register on the night.

Crafts Paint

Art Room M5

Rosemount Community Centre Belgrave Terrace Aberdeen AB25 2NS.
Parking available through barrier. Code to exit.

 

Crafts Paint

Arts and Crafts group continues

Our Arts and Crafts group continues in Room M5 at the Rosemount Community Centre.

So far we have enjoyed a “free” session using the materials provided, and also a Christmas card making session using the iris folding technique. The cards were stunning, very effective!

Many thanks for Alison Lynch for sharing her time and talents with the group. The next group will be held on Tuesday 17th January 2017. All group members welcome, although you can register on the night.

Please see our flyer for more info.