Eating Disorders Support Group Aberdeen


2021 Meeting Dates

Hello everyone,

With the easing of the current COVID restrictions, we are now in a position to reconvene our monthly support group meeting.

Unfortunately, at present we are unable to access the Macrobin centre at Cornhill Hospital, however we have managed to secure the use of 2 rooms at Caf4e Credo on John Street. Due to the size of the rooms available, and to ensure we comply with the current Government guidelines, we are only able to offer 4 places within each group ( 1 person per household for each group).
These will be allocated on a first come basis to be as fair as possible until we are able to resume a normal service.

Meetings will be held on the 1st Monday of each month, with our first scheduled for July 5th, 7.30-9pm at:

Caf4e Credo
14-20 John Street
AB25 1BT

If you wish to book a place, or require any additional information, please contact NEEDS.


Coronavirus update

Hello everyone,

We hope you are all keeping well and coping as well as you can with the ongoing challenging times. We want you to know that NEEDS(Scotland) are still here, and although we cannot function as normal presently, we do hope to resume our group sessions as soon as Scottish Government guidelines allow. We have secured a room in premises located in central Aberdeen where we can hold small socially distanced meetings once we are permitted to do so. Obviously numbers will be limited, and meetings will only be for those personally challenged by an ED initially, on a “first come, first served” basis. If you are a carer, and you would be interested in a group meeting via Zoom, please email our administrator via our contact form.

Should you feel in need of advice or support the agencies listed below can help.


The NEEDS(Scotland) volunteers in Aberdeen and Dundee are thinking of you all as we move through this pandemic. Hopefully now, with a vaccination programme, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep going, little steps help make big changes.

“Asking for help isn’t giving up,” said the horse, “It’s refusing to give up.”

Christmas Greetings 2020

We know that the festive season is a challenging time for those with eating disorders and their families, but this year with the pandemic, it is even more so. You will get through this by taking a little step at a time, and being kind to yourself. Everyone at NEEDS(Scotland) wishes our group members and their loved ones the best Christmas they can have, and hopefully in the New Year we can look to the longer days and Spring bulbs. Although we cannot hold our usual group meetings, we can direct you to telephone and or online support through the national eating disorders charity Beat at

Merry Christmas, best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year and remember,

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Unknown

“I can’t see a way through, said the boy,

“Can you see the next step?”


“Just take that.” said the horse.

“What else do you think?” said the boy.

“I think you are doing better than you think.”said the horse.

“Asking for help isn’t giving up,” said the horse, “It’s refusing to give up.”

Charlie Mackesy


Beat extends helpline hours and support services to help people affected by eating disorders

Hello everyone,
Due to the very high demand for support during lockdown, the national charity Beat have expanded their support services on the telephone and online. They were fortunate to secure National Lottery funding to enable them to do this. As our usual group meetings continue to be suspended, we hope that one of the following Beat support services may suit your needs.

  • Bolster – a telephone coaching service for sufferers
  • Nexus – a telephone advice and coaching service for carers supporting their loved one.
  • Solace – a peer-supported video group for carers, facilitated by experienced eating disorder clinicians.
  • Raising Resilience – a new workshop for anyone caring for someone with an eating disorder, so they can learn the skills to help their loved one towards recovery.
  • Extended Helpline opening hours – the Helpline, which covers phone calls, one-to-one webchat, email and online peer support groups 

For more detailed information, you can read more here about how Coronavirus has impacted those affected by an eating disorder and how Beat are able to help.

Stay safe and well everyone, and we hope to see you as soon as we can.


Eating Disorder Support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Hi to all our group members out there.

As you probably know, hospitals are still closed off for non- essential appointments and meetings such as ours. Like everyone else, we have to wait for guidelines on how we can proceed. We do not offer one to one consultations, as we only have a few volunteers who are only trained to facilitate groups. Until then, we would still refer you to Beat for specialised support online. However, Mental Health Aberdeen are offering a telephone helpline to anyone who is finding it difficult to cope just now.

Take care folks, stay safe and stay well. We are thinking of you all.

Mental Health Aberdeen phone number

climb a hill instead

Another poem to help you through the days ahead

The Mountain

If the mountain seems too big today

then climb a hill instead.

If the morning brings you sadness

it’s ok to stay in bed.

If the day ahead weighs heavy

and your plans feel like a curse,

there’s no shame in re-arranging,

don’t make yourself feel worse.

If a shower stings like needles

and a bath feels like you’ll drown,

if you haven’t washed your hair for days,

don’t throw away your crown.

A day is not a lifetime

a rest is not defeat,

don’t think of it as failure,

just a quiet, kind retreat.

It’s ok to take a moment

from an anxious, fractured mind,

the world will not stop turning

while you get realigned.

The mountain will still be there

when you want to try again,

you can climb it in your own time,

just love yourself ’til then.

by Laura Ding-Edwards

take care always

Self Care Top Ten

  1. Light a candle.
  2. Drink some tea.
  3. Have a FaceTime catch up with a friend.
  4. Put on your cosiest socks.
  5. Watch your favourite old movie.
  6. Have a good soak in the bath.
  7. Stretch for 15 minutes.
  8. Write down 3 things that make you smile.
  9. Put your phone on airplane mode.
  10. Buy yourself some flowers.
Zoom video chat support group

Online support during Lockdown

Another Scottish support group is going to start up a Zoom support group on every Wednesday in July for anyone over 18 who is challenged by an eating disorder. Our administrator has the details and will be emailing all our group members shortly. If you do not receive these details, please email Irene.

Hope spreads its butterfly wings


I found this poem whilst looking through some folders. It provides a light during these strange times when many of you may feel this lockdown to be a real challenge. We can’t be with you at the moment, but all our volunteers are thinking of all our group members and their carers and wish you well.


spreads its butterfly wings

tentatively, cautiously

it takes its flight.

Delicate, beautiful fragility

it dances in the morning breeze.


rays of colour, light

glimpses of a brighter day

enjoy its touch

feel the caress

breeze caused by butterfly wings


not to be clutched at

do not grasp it too tightly

afraid to let it go,

Life continues, hope remains,

seen or unseen the dance goes on.


the butterfly emerges

at times drawing near

other times tantalisingly out of reach.

Fragile yet battling even the strongesr


Not easily destroyed.


can you see it?

Can you feel it?

Open your eyes

welcome it here

hope comes

in the beat of butterfly wings.

by Kate (2005)

stay at home and stay positive

Suspension of group meetings due to Coronavirus

As you will all now know our monthly group meetings are now suspended until further notice due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We will follow government guidelines as to when these meetings will resume. Until then, we refer all our group members to the Beat website at for any support they may require. There are various helpful topics and also helplines and ED specific online support groups.

If anyone is in crisis and needs to speak with someone there is a service called 1st response run by Penumbra which is a telephone and email based service due to the current climate. It is open Mon-Fri 9-5pm. If you live in Aberdeen and are over 16 the number is 0800 234 3695 or email [email protected]

There is also Breathing Space at

One publication which is very helpful, and accessible to all is at Under the heading Coronavirus information, scroll down and you will find Support for Individuals. Scroll down from there and almost at the bottom, there is a Corona Anxiety Download. This is a 16 page document which is very informative and useful.

This is a quote from Colie Taico, a North Carolina based psychotherapist,

“Don’t let this pandemic stand in your way. You can do this. One step at a time. ”

Some of the advice she gives in The Huffington Post includes

Be compassionate with yourself. It’s normal for eating disorder thoughts to creep back in during stressful times.

Remember that eating disorder behaviours don’t actually solve any problems- and, in fact, make things worse.

Don’t let old eating disorders thoughts prevent you from buying what you need at the supermarket.

Establish a routine to help keep eating disorder thoughts at bay.

Stay digitally connected to friends, loved ones and online support systems.

Remind yourself that recovery is a very worthwhile process and that you’re so much more than an eating disorder.

One book of illustrations which is really uplifting is The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. You can view some of his drawings or buy the book through his website

All the volunteer facilitators at NEEDS(Scotland) hope that everyone stays safe and well and we look forward to meeting you all again when we can.