Chairperson's Report

Chairperson’s Report 2024

2023/24 has been a strange year. Attendances have not recovered as expected despite continuing enquiries about attending the group. The most likely reason for this is the growth of online support, which is much easier to access for those who find an evening slot difficult to manage or for those in rural areas. This is great, but we still feel that face to face meetings provide something more, and the opportunity to offer a helping hand or a hug if needed.

Although attendances are down, the same level of support is offered, with our personally experienced volunteers sharing the highs and lows of their recovery experiences. This is very highly valued by our group members.

Recently we had a Beat Lived Experience Ambassador come and talk about her recovery experience. She spoke from the heart, was inspirational and much appreciated by everyone.

Since our present numbers do not justify holding a Wellbeing Day, we continued to offer a voucher for a complementary therapy for our regular attenders. This was again very well received and appreciated.

We continue to have quarterly visits from Jake our Therapet who always brings a smile to our faces. He is such a chilled out gentleman!

We have also continued to be represented in our local schools’ Youth Philanthropy Initiative competitions. Two teams from Bucksburn Academy chose to represent us. Although neither group won this time, these presentations raise awareness of eating disorders in our school communities and are very valuable.

Sadly, our satellite group Bridging the Gap remains closed due to lack of premises and shortage of volunteers. Should it be able to resume, we will put a post on our website news page.

This year marks 30 years since two young women approached their church in Westhill requesting a room to offer support to anyone challenged by an eating disorder. Dr Harry Millar, who was the lead clinician for Eating Disorders in Aberdeen at that time found rooms for them to use at the Royal Cornhill Hospital where NEEDS(Scotland) still hold their meetings. We still enjoy the support of the services, NHS Grampian, NHS Tayside and also the North of Scotland Managed Clinical Network. We would like to thank everyone for their support over the years and as we move forward.

Thanks also go to our dedicated volunteers at home and abroad, our website designer, and our amazing administrator who always has a smile and a warm welcome for our group members.

We make our way through our thirtieth year with renewed dedication to supporting our group members through the recovery process, and hopefully encouraging more people to come along and sample what NEEDS(Scotland) has to offer.

Heather Cassie April 2024.