Guest speaker – Neil Gibson 7th Nov 2016

North East Eating Disorder Support Group

Would like to welcome

Neil Gibson

As a Guest speaker on Monday 7 th November 2016

Neil Gibson is senior lecturer and course leader for the BA (Hons) Social Work course at Robert Gordon University. He has been researching the therapeutic use of photography in social care settings as part of his PhD submission. His social work experience includes working in residential childcare, substance use, criminal justice, care management and adult protection.

*sharing time will go ahead as usual after the presentation

“Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.” – Bruno Barbey

“Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.” – Bruno Barbey

Arts and Crafts

Arts & Craft Group Tuesday 11th October 2016


Arts & Craft Group

  • Tuesday 11th October
  • 7-9pm
  • Free Admission
  • All group members and carers welcome

Crafts Paint

Art Room M5

Rosemount Community Centre Belgrave Terrace Aberdeen AB25 2NS

Wellbeing Day 2

Wellbeing Day 2 Saturday 22nd October 2016

Sat 22nd October 9.45 – 4pm
Please Arrive at 9.30 to Register


Positive Body Image Creative Workshop


Francine Dulong is an interdisciplinary performing artist who hails from Nova Scotia, Canada. She recently completed  an MA with distinction in Applied Theatre from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, holds a Double Major in Theatre and French from the University of British Columbia, and has a background in physical theatre and art education (International School of Jacques Lecoq). Francine is passionate about the exploration of positive body image and gender equality in our current society. Working with Body Gossip and all the young people involved with the Performance Project is both a daily source of inspiration and a life changing opportunity. When she is not facilitating and designing educative adventures for Body Gossip, she is working for her participatory environmental theatre company, Blooming Ludus.  You can see her portfolio here:



The Feel Good Factor


Eveline Nicolette is a Body Oriented Psychotherapist who integrates body-mind approaches to creatively help people step into their lives more fully. In this work, she draws on trainings in Dance Movement Psychotherapy, trauma treatment models, meditation, the arts, and her personal life experience. Currently, her practice includes individual and group work with children, young people, adults and families.

Eveline has a particular interest in working with people with eating issues. An important aspect of this is collaborating with a person to find the body-mind tools that help make a positive difference to how they feel and cope with life.

In The Feel Good Factor taster session, Eveline’s warm and easy-going manner will invite you to get creative with others and have fun through movement, music and art. Come and play with possibilities and discover what the Feel Good Factor is for you!


Complementary Therapy Taster Sessions



  • This is a free event  with a light lunch & refreshments included.
  • Cafe Coast, Inspire Building, Beach Blvd, Aberdeen AB24 5HP
  • Parking Available
  • Please click here for the downloadable programme.

Youth and Philamthropy Initiative Scotland logo Generously funded by Robert Gordon YPI

Settling in for an introduction to yoga

Wellbeing Day Saturday 3rd September 2016

This was a new venture for us suggested by one of our volunteers, and brought into life with funding awards from Aberdeen University Raising and Giving Campaign and also the Youth Philanthropy Initiative. It was held at Cafe Coast, which is a super venue for such an event, with a bright and airy room for both presentations and workshops.

The day began with a Mindfulness session where Louise Martin introduced the concept and led us through some exercises to focus our thoughts. The key is to accept that the mind will wander, but that you can bring it back to focus at any time.

After a short coffee break Morgan Windram introduced us to yoga and some exercises which could be done at any level. The focus was again on breathing which followed on from our Mindfulness session. The stretches were easily adaptable and felt very good. By this point we were all feeling totally relaxed and enjoyed a light lunch and chat with the speakers and also the 5 therapists who were joining us for the afternoon.

Using two extra rooms at Cafe Coast, we were able to offer 30 minute sessions of various complimentary therapies and also a file and polish. Among therapies offered were aromatherapy massage, deep tissue massage, reiki, shiatsu, reflexology, hand/foot massage and indian head massage.

Alongside these treatments were two taster sessions of Movement as Therapy, which was a new concept to us all. Eveline Nicolette gave us all a short introduction to the concept and then we experienced it for ourselves. The workshop was called The Feel Good Factor, and I definitely think it gave us exactly that, judging by the smiles at the end of the day!

The event has been hailed a great success and we hope to make them a regular event if we can secure sufficient funding. The next one is already booked for Saturday 22nd October 2016, so get the date in your diary.

The main presenter will be Francine Dulong from BodyGossip, a charity who take workshops on body image round schools and universities. We are also hoping to have a session on music as therapy and our complimentary therapies available once more. Watch this website for more details!

Many thanks to all involved for an extremely refreshing, informative and most importantly, fun day!
Apologies for only three photos…. too busy chilling out…….!!

Settling in for an introduction to yoga

Settling in for an introduction to yoga

The Yoga session was pitched well for all levels, floor based and chair based.

The session was pitched well for all levels, floor based and chair based.

Finlaying watching on

Finlay decided just to spectate! He’ll maybe do it next time!


Wellbeing day

  • Venue

    Café Coast, Beach Boulevard AB24 5HP

  • Date

    Sat 3rd September 9.30-4pm

  • Arrival time

    Please Arrive at 9.15 to sign in

  • Registration deadline

    Monday 22nd August 2016


A little bit of information about our guest speakers…..

Louise Martin
Louise was trained in Mindfulness under the guidance of world renowned experts Rob Nairn and Choden. As part of this training Louise has attended Meditation retreats at Buddhist Centres across Scotland and is in the final year of the Mindfulness Studies Master’s Degree at the University of Aberdeen.

Louise is a fully qualified mindfulness teacher, having completed a PG Cert and Diploma in Mindfulness Studies at the University of Aberdeen and the Mindfulness Associations Teacher Training Programme. Louise now teaches Mindfulness for the University of St Andrews and runs 8-week courses for both individuals and organisations in private and group settings.

After many years working in the field of psychology, Louise was originally drawn to mindfulness not just as a way to manage stress and emotional difficulties but also as a way to live life more fully and happily.

Add a stone to the stack to heighten mindfulness


Morgan Windram
Morgan is co-owner and yoga teacher at yogaontay based in Newport on Tay in Fife.

She says, “Yoga taught me how to breathe deep, quiet my mind & listen to my body. Yoga was the final and most crucial step towards my healing from anorexia and excessive exercise.

Today I am a confident, happy and grateful person. I have chosen to follow my dreams rather than the dreams that others have for me. I balance my yoga teaching with parenting my twin daughters.  I also remain committed to endurance running as an elite athlete in mountain and ultrarunning. I hope I can teach you how to access your breath, and bring your mind and body back in synch.

Sitting, looking down over the city


Eveline Nicolette
Eveline has many years experience working with body-mind approaches and the arts, supporting people to reconnect with what matters to them. Her warm and easy-going manner invites people to step into their lives more fully and begin to play with possibilities. She says, “Come along and find out what the Feel Good Factor is for you. Life can sometimes drag us down, and it can be hard to get back on track and feel good about ourselves. “

“Getting creative with others and having fun through movement, art and music can wake up and shake up the Feel Good Factor! “

Water lilies bloom with the coming of the sun


There will also be 20min taster sessions of complimentary therapies available in the afternoon such as hand/foot/shoulder massage, reflexology and aromatherapy, and also simple file and polish for nails available. These will be free of charge, and bookable earlier in the day on a “first come, first served’ basis.

Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided.

Registration closes on Monday 22nd August 2016. To register for Wellbeing Day, please email Irene our administrator using our contact form.

Aberdeen-RAG-Adopt-a-CharityYouth and Philamthropy Initiative Scotland logo

Cheque Donation

Rosehill TSB’s final fling!

For the past year the Rosehill Branch of the TSB have tirelessly and very inventively raised money on behalf of NEEDS(Scotland). This partnership is now at an end and today, Heather was presented with a cheque for £1838.11. This is almost double what the branch was aiming to raise, and we are absolutely delighted.

We can’t thank the Rosehill Branch staff and customers enough for this fantastic achievement. We must also thank Amanda Bain, the former Assistant Manager who has since moved to be manager at the Castle Street branch, and Sam, who is holding the right hand side of the cheque. Sam Mitchell has been the charity co-ordinator and worked very hard to organise events, and has also attended several events which we have organised using monies raised.

We have purchased various items to make the group room more welcoming, and now intend to start an Arts and Crafts group. this money will go a long way to help with venue costs and materials. Thanks again, folks!


Cheque Donation

Youth and Philamthropy Initiative Scotland logo

Another win in schools’ YPI competition

Once again, NEEDS(Scotland) are the winning charity in the Scottish schools’ Youth Philanthropy Initiative. A group of fourth year pupils from Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen triumphed with their presentation, raising awareness of eating disorders and highlighting the work that our charity does. The winning team were, Rhia Badial, Lloyd Ledingham, Jovana Jojo, Harriet Fyfe, Aidan Fulton and Albert Ibekwe. Other charities represented in this competition were Social Bite, Somebody Cares, The Archie Foundation and ACIS Aberdeen. The team were awarded £3000 for their chosen charity. NEEDS(Scotland) are absolutely delighted and look forward to working with the group to put their development plan into action, building on our concept of Wellbeing Days, and establishing a relationship with Sport Aberdeen in order to raise awareness of eating disorders amongst the coaches, young athletes and their parents.

The Youth Philanthropy Initiative challenges groups of secondary school pupils to choose a local socially based charity and present on their behalf, in front of their year groups and a panel of judges. This is a great opportunity for pupils to work together to raise awareness of their chosen charity.  A team from Portlethen Academy won their school competition for us last year. The winning team produced a short and very effective video highlighting a young girl’s struggle to recover from an eating disorder. NEEDS(Scotland) volunteers appreciate the chance to work with young people all over the north east. To win a competition like this twice is unbelievable, but we must also thank all the teams who participate in these initiatives as they all get important information out to their fellow pupils.


National Carers’ Conference

Alison Lynch, one of our volunteers, represented NEEDS(Scotland) at the National Carer’s Conference in London in November 2015. We are very grateful of all donations to our charity which allowed us to fund this. Alison very kindly wrote this report on the presentations which is very informative and inspiring, stressing the importance of hope and working together when challenging these illnesses. 

On Friday 27th November 2015, I attended the National Carers’ Conference in Eating Disorders at King’s College London. This turned out to be a very interesting and informative day, highlighting some new ways of providing treatment and support to both sufferers and Carers. I also enjoyed meeting Carers from other parts of the UK and hearing their stories.

The event opened with the Keynote Speakers Dr Hind Al-Khairulla & Dr Amy Harrison from Ellern Mede Service (Inpatient CAMHS) giving us an overview of current strategies and treatment. Dr Hind said they constantly strive to “PROMOTE A POSITIVE MOTIVATIONAL STATE”. Keeping belief alive is crucial “Unless you believe you are unlikely to achieve”. Their aim is to provide HOPE ………” I BELIEVE I CAN AND SO I WILL”

Eating disorders thrive on draining hope. Dr Hind told us that her team and the Sufferer’s Carer need to carry the HOPE for the patient until they can carry it for themselves. The team frequently encounter Carers who have ‘drained themselves’. At that point they stop caring for themselves and are consequently unable to care for their loved one suffering fm an ED. Dr Hind stressed that no matter how bad, how far progressed ED has become – “THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE”.
She talked about a case where a Mum had been caring for her young daughter with an ED. When the young girl became very seriously ill she had to be admitted to Ellern Mede. The Mum described her relationship with her daughter as ‘An unbreakable bond’ although when ED took a firm hold she could not reach her daughter as she had before. Ellern Mede reinforced their message that there is always HOPE. Mum started to write letters to her daughter in the HOPE she would get a reply ……..and eventually she did.

Dr Jennifer Danby & Wendy Whitaker discussed benefits of
“Emotion Focused Therapy with Families in the Treatment of EDs”
Carer is shown how to become a
Behaviour & Emotional Coach and is supported to help feel empowered to
Heal Wounds
This therapy offers Family & Emotion Focused, Parent Empowered skills training.

A parent spoke of her own experience, saying that her daughter would listen to
“Her old friend the ‘reliable anorexic voice’ so that they felt disempowered to reach her”
“We felt like we had lost our daughter and we could only see an illness –
Emotional Coaching has been successful in helping to get her back”
Information on Emotional Coaching can be found here –
[email protected]

There was a very interesting presentation from Rosie Tressler entitled “Student Minds”.
This discussed “Looking after your mates” by pairing a youngster seeking support with a Psychology Student as a support and Mentor at Uni. The students follow the New Maudsley Method. Leaving school and potentially leaving home to go to Uni can be a traumatic time for any youngsters, let alone one who suffers from an Eating Disorder. Support can be provided to assist with the potentially difficult transition from CAMHS to AMHS. The typical problems they have come across when supporting youngsters are
Fear of being judged
Finding confidence to talk about ED
Fear that any mental health problems will be seen as a weakness

The students can offer support via Instant Chat Sessions which are Smart Phone friendly. This can be arranged once per week on a one-to-one basis with a recovered sufferer for people currently receiving Outpatient treatment.

“Student Minds” University Support website is
Dr David Veale, Consultant Psychiatrist at The Priory Clinic spoke about
“Obsessional Compulsive Disorder & Body Dysmorphic Disorder”

There is a well-documented link between OCD behaviours and EDs. The relentless rigid behaviours and strive for perfectionism can be crippling for Sufferers and Carers. Dr Veale encouraged us to read Howard Hughes’ Autobiography “The Aviator” which depicts the life and struggles of the eccentric and reclusive aviator/director whose OCD behaviour became very life-restricting.

Dr Janet Treasure gave an excellent talk. She spoke about CASIS/ECHO projects.
ECHO is Expert Carers Helping Others (A Carers Support Network)
Content has been provided by Carers/Ex patients. DVDs/Book/10 Coaching Sessions have been put together. This support has potential to mean less medical intervention and less inpatient treatment for sufferers.

Dr Treasure told us the ED illicits NEGATIVE EMOTIONS from the Carer, which feeds the Anorexic Bully. Families need to present a united front to tackle ED. if individual family members are divided then this allows ED to thrive.

To sum up Dr Treasure gave us this message from a Sufferer…….
” An Eating Disorder in one word ‘ISOLATION’ ED becomes your only friend”

Aberdeen University RAG campaign cheque

Raising and Giving Campaign cheque

On 16th May, two of our volunteers Paul Donald and Alison Lynch went along to Aberdeen University’s Duncan Rice Library to collect this very generous cheque for £2000. This money has been allocated to us by their Raising and Giving Campaign and was presented to them by Holly Bruce, President of Charities and Community.

We are absolutely delighted to accept this amount, which will go towards funding our Wellbeing Day to be held at Cafe Coast on Saturday 3rd September. Thank you so much to all those students who have worked so hard to raise money for so many local charities. It is very much appreciated.


Annual General Meeting

Annual General Meeting

When : Monday 9th May 2016 at 7.30pm
Where : Macrobin Centre, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen.

All group members and charity trustees are invited to attend our AGM on 9th May 2016 at 7.30pm. There will be reports from our treasurer and chairperson. Following that, we will be discussing any changes/additions to our committee and any other business. This is your group and we welcome any suggestions on its structure and further development.