Facebook page Eating Disorder Support North East Scotland

Stay Connected with NEEDS (Scotland) – Facebook Launch and Meeting Dates

NEEDS (Scotland) now have a Facebook page! We will post our next meeting dates there and also if there are any events happening. If any of you have any ideas or suggestions of what to include, such as podcasts, books or links which have helped you, please let us know.

We continue to fundraise through https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/needsscotland, and have recently achieved the fantastic total of £347.14 for our charity! That puts us in the top 50% of charities registered with them! So many of us make online purchases now and it really is easy to do. There is an app as well. A big thank you to those who already support NEEDS (Scotland) in this way.


Our next face to face meeting is on Monday 1st July in the Macrobin Centre at the Royal Cornhill Hospital. Jake our charming canine Therapet will be in attendance from around 7.15pm until the meeting begins.

We truly value the format our group takes, as getting support from fellow group members and facilitators who have been/are challenged by eating disorders, is so valuable. All carers are also very welcome. We have a separate group which runs currently but in a separate room facilitated by volunteers with experience as carers.

Do come along to one of our group evenings, you would be very welcome.

Eating Disorder Support Meeting Aberdeen Dundee

Update on Eating Disorder (ED) Support Meeting Dates and Locations

Unfortunately, due to an ongoing shortage of ED experienced volunteers and also a problem with staffing at the group’s venue, we cannot hold meetings in Dundee at present. However, should you wish to travel to Aberdeen, you would be most welcome to attend our group sessions.

Supported Scotland run face to face meetings currently in Kirkcaldy and in St Andrews.
Next meetings are:

25th June 2024Kirkcaldy
11th July 2024St Andrews
23rd July 2024Kirkcaldy
1st August 2024St Andrews

Please go to their website to register and for further details

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.


Inspiring Journeys: A Glimpse into Recovery with Beat Lived Experience Ambassador Claire and the Impact of Support Groups at NEEDS(Scotland)

This month, our NEEDS(Scotland) community was fortunate to welcome Claire, a Beat Lived Experience Ambassador, who generously shared her inspiring journey toward recovery. Claire’s presence was a catalyst for meaningful conversations, sparking introspection and inspiration among both individuals personally challenged by eating disorders and their dedicated caregivers.

Claire, with unwavering honesty, walked us through the twists and turns of her recovery journey, creating a space where everyone felt comfortable asking questions. Her openness was a powerful reminder of the importance of sharing these stories, turning them into beacons of hope for those navigating their own paths to wellness.

We extend our gratitude to Beat for training and supporting such remarkable individuals. Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of collaborating with four Beat Young Ambassadors who, as volunteer facilitators, have become beacons of hope for our group members and carers alike.

At NEEDS(Scotland), we meet on the first Monday of each month at the Macrobin Centre, Royal Cornhill Hospital. As a grassroots charity, we offer face-to-face sessions for adults facing eating disorders and also carers of both adults and young people. Our volunteer facilitators, who share personal experiences as either survivors or caregivers, foster a safe and confidential environment.

We are immensely thankful to Claire for dedicating her time and sharing her journey towards good health. Her presence at our sharing sessions, split between those personally challenged by eating disorders and their caring supporters, was an invaluable bonus.

If you believe you or a loved one could benefit from our sessions, we extend a warm welcome. Reach out to our administrator via our contact form or leave a message at 01224 557672. This is an answer service, but our administrator will return your call.

Your journey matters. You are not alone.

Journeying Through December and Building a Jar of Joy

The end of a year is a time for getting together with family and friends to celebrate the holiday season.
It can be daunting with its festive gatherings and abundance of food, however, it’s essential to recognise
that this period is just a few days in the grand scheme of the year.

Acknowledging your concerns and sharing them with a trusted friend or family member can be a valuable
step. Also, having someone to help you plan ahead as to what you could have, will help to ease any anxieties.

As we approach the year’s end and reflect on the journey of the past months, it’s crucial to embrace the
idea that progress is continuous, even in the face of setbacks. Starting afresh in the new year offers an
opportunity to cultivate a positive mindset. Consider kickstarting your year, by keeping a daily journal of
uplifting moments. These moments could be real achievements or simple joys—a heartfelt triumph, a
meeting with someone special or a walk in the countryside.

Create a ritual by jotting down these positive experiences each day and place each one in a dedicated
box or jar. By the close of 2024, you’ll have a container filled with happy memories to reflect on. This will
not only serve as a testament to your personal growth but also provide you with a tangible reminder of
the positivity and resilience within you.

Remember, the journey toward recovery is unique for each individual and the holiday season is just a
quick snapshot in the album of your year. Celebrate the victories, no matter how small and surround
yourself with a support system that uplifts you during challenging moments. You have the strength to
overcome obstacles, and each step forward, no matter how small, contributes to the remarkable story of
your resilience and progress.

Wishing everyone a very happy and relaxed festive season, and best wishes for the coming year,
from everyone at NEEDS(Scotland).

Our next meeting is on Monday 8th January 2024 at 7.30 pm

2023 eating disorder support Scotland - we can offer you support to help you achieve that goal

Happy New Year to all our group members and their families

Everyone at NEEDS(Scotland) wishes you all the very best for 2023. Remember that all steps in the right direction, whether big or small, get you closer to your goal. NEEDS(Scotland) can offer you support to help you achieve that goal with monthly group self help sessions. Our facilitators all have experience of eating disorders, either personally or in supporting a friend or family member. We welcome any adult challenged by any eating disorder, carers and family members too, to come along to our group. For more details, contact our administrator.

We have now had a few months back in the Macrobin Centre which is our usual location, and we have seen our numbers return to pre- pandemic levels. Face to face meetings are so valuable for everyone, and we are lucky enough to have rooms where our group members can share their experiences safely and in confidence. Last month we resumed the quarterly visit from a Therapet and owner for the half hour before the start of our sharing sessions. We have had a variety of canine visitors now, some who love attention and strokes, and some who just want to lie on the floor contentedly, waiting for a treat or two. Animals can be so therapeutic, offering unconditional love, and bringing a smile to everyone’s faces.

We have also been fortunate to have three new volunteer facilitators join us, and we welcome their enthusiasm to support our group. One of these is a Beat Lived Experience Ambassador and she has been a great asset to our Carers’ group, recounting her story with the highs and lows along the way. This has been very much appreciated by our carer members giving a real and meaningful example of how recovery is possible.  Since we now have a few more facilitators, we hope to resume our Coffee Care and Share sessions with the Young Peoples Department within the next couple of months.

We also hope to restart inviting speakers to the group over the next few months and also planning for our next Wellbeing Day.

Although the start of a new year may be cold, dark and gloomy, we can look forward to the year ahead, brighter days, and new beginnings.

Eating Disorder Support Meeting Aberdeen Dundee

Aberdeen meetings update

We have now returned to our usual meeting rooms in the Macrobin Centre, Royal Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen and have already seen an increase in our numbers. This means we have our library and refreshments available once more. It also means that we are the only group using the facility at this time. Entrance to the Macrobin Centre is at the back of the building just past the entrance to the Adult Outpatient Eating Disorders Service. See our printable map.

Please also check out easyfundraising.org.uk, There is information and a link to the registration form on our Help us web page. With fewer shops in Aberdeen nowadays more and more of our shopping is done online. There is an easyfundraising app which can prompt you to ask for a donation when you shop with a huge number of retailers, including Amazon, Expedia and Booking.com This is such an easy way to raise money for NEEDS(Scotland).

Finally, in the Christmas 2021 post, we were able to announce that Peterhead Academy had won their school’s Youth Philanthropy competition by composing a presentation on our behalf. A team from Alford Academy also did a presentation on our behalf and won! We remain committed that this huge sum of money will go directly to support the wellbeing of our group members and carers, through complementary therapies, speakers and workshops. 

Eating Disorder Support Meeting Aberdeen Dundee

Dundee meeting news

Unfortunately Bridging the Gap is still unable to meet as there is an ongoing problem with evening staffing at the Dundee Carers’ Centre. We will advise everyone when meetings can resume. However, all those seeking support in the Dundee area are very welcome to attend meetings in Aberdeen on the first Monday of each month.


Update on meetings for group members and carers

Wishing everyone a very belated happy New Year and hoping that at last, we can see some light at the end of the Covid 19 tunnel. We continue to have face to face groups in meeting rooms above Cafe Credo in Aberdeen city centre. There are two groups, one for adults with any eating disorder and one for carers of anyone with an eating disorder. These meetings continue to be held on the first Monday of every month at 7.30pm. The dates for the next two meetings are

Monday 7th March

Monday 4th April

Entry to the meeting rooms is to the left hand side of the entrance to the cafe. Places still need to be booked through our administrator beforehand. We are currently in discussion with Cornhill Hospital regarding our return to the Macrobin Centre, and will keep everyone informed via our website and email.

Bridging the Gap in Dundee hope to resume their meetings as soon as possible. Our administrator will confirm this by email and also on this web page.

NEEDS(Scotland) is a self help group who value the opportunity to share experiences in a welcoming and caring setting. All our volunteers have experience of eating disorders either personally or as carers. Some people attend regularly every month and others prefer to come along for extra support when necessary. If you have only just found our website, do please come along and feel the benefits of shared support and the knowledge that you are not alone.

2021 Christmas

Christmas Greetings 2021

I can’t believe it is December once more, and we are getting closer to the festive season. Once again Covid means that we may be facing some restrictions, but some gatherings will certainly go ahead. This may mean that some of our group members may be feeling apprehensive. It would be good if you can share your worries with someone, either a friend, loved one, or perhaps the online/telephone support at www.beatingeatingdisorders.org.uk.

Decide what you are having to eat beforehand if you can. If that’s not possible, don’t worry. Try and make sure you have someone on hand to give you support if you need it. Remember, an eating disorder is like a bully, it does not take kindly to you having friends and family to help out. Some of you may not have as much support as others, but remember, Christmas is only one day, and it too will pass. Don’t worry, you are doing well and you will get there!

If you are a carer, try to help your loved one plan what they’re eating well ahead of the event and then focus more on the other Christmas activities such as, a walk in the fresh air, the present opening session, Christmas movies and games, or even caring for pets. Animals can be very therapeutic.

….. and something to look forward to ……

A team from Peterhead Academy chose to represent our charity for their school’s Youth Philanthropy Initiative and won £3000 for us!! This means that we can plan another Wellbeing Day with workshops and complementary therapies to be enjoyed by our group members and their carers. Many thanks go to the winning team for all their hard work and also for raising awareness of eating disorders in their school. We really do appreciate it.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year from everyone at NEEDS(Scotland).