Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all our group members! There are still a few This is Me calendars for 2014 available and the campaign organiser has now reduced them to half price. This is an excellent way to remember all those important dates, and raise money for NEEDS(Scotland) and Body Gossip. Contact Irene by phone or e mail to order yours. Please remember Irene is in the office on
Mondays each week.


As our fresh and new website goes live, there are a few people, whose time and talents have to be recognised and acknowledged.


George Baird of Resourceful.IT, for his talents, flare and oceans of patience during the development of the website.


Alison Fitzgerald, committee member and facilitator, for her support and IT skills in mapping out and designing the content.


Dr Philip Crockett, Consultant Psychiatrist at the Eating Disorders Service, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, for his advice and support on medical issues.


Dr Jane Morris, Consultant Psychiatrist, Eden Unit, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, for her support and advice on maintenance and recovery after an eating disorder.


Stewart Mitchell, of Earthly Light Photography, for allowing us to use some of his amazing photographs.


Past and present members of our committee and group members who have given advice, support and testimonials.


Irene Kerr, our administrative assistant who is our linchpin, and will be keeping our website updated.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

“Step lightly into Christmas….with an open mind and an open heart…with no expectations…..no should, no shouldn’t, no pressure, be true to yourself, and to those you love.” 

A Christmas thought from a former facilitator

The NEEDS(Scotland) team wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Merry Christmas

What Schools know about Eating disorders: Sharing Good Practice September 30th 2013

What Schools know about Eating disorders: Sharing Good Practice  September 30th 2013

Heather attended this conference held at Porthlethen Academy, which was pitched at school staff from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, hosted by the latter. The conference was opened by Dennis Robertson, MSP, who’s daughter sadly died from an eating disorder. He now spends much of his time raising awareness of eating disorders, and keeping their profile high on the agenda in the Scottish Parliament. Dr Jane Morris from the Eden Unit looked at what eating disorders actually are, and that was followed by staff from Westhill Academy looking at how schools managed eating disorders. Following a short break, Dr Rachael Smith looked at what professional services are available, and Jan McDonald, a parent, suggested ways in which schools may support any affected pupils. The final presentation was given by a b-eat Young Ambassador, Sara Preston, who gave an account of what is was like to be a young person struggling with the illness. The following workshop looked at all the presentations and groups were asked to develop three questions to present to a panel made up from the speakers. Aberdeenshire Council delegates then rounded off the day by making relevant pledges to support those affected by eating disorders in schools. It was a very informative and awareness raising day, which allowed lots of networking with delegates from all over the north east.


Presentation about Body Image by The Young Persons’ Department

Presentation from Young Persons’ Department (YPD)
Two ladies came along to our September group meeting and gave a presentation on body image. After a short presentation, there was time to discuss the topic and how it impacts on our lives through the media.


Sara Preston, Scottish Young Ambassador for b-eat

Sara Preston, Scottish Young Ambassador for b-eat

We were extremely lucky to secure the services of Sara Preston, one of b-eat’s Scottish Young Ambassadors to come and talk to us at the November meeting. Sara started by giving us an insight into the work of b-eat and what the Young Ambassadors do. She then gave us an account of her own experience of having an eating disorder as an adolescent and subsequent recovery and the completion of her studies. Many of our group members were very moved by her words, and inspired by what she has achieved. She then, very generously took part in our sharing time, spending time with both carers and sufferers.


“This is Me” Calendar

“This is Me” Calendar

One of our group members and some of her friends and family came together to produce a calendar which celebrates positive body image, raising funds for the national charity Body Gossip and NEEDS(Scotland). The group have included a positive statement about body image on each page. The calendar has been featured in Trend magazine, the online publication Aberdeen Voice, and also the Evening Express.

We wish them well for their launch night at The Albyn, on Saturday November 9th at 7.30pm.

Youth Philanthropy Initiative

Youth Philanthropy Initiative

This is a project involving secondary school pupils with the aim of getting them involved with local charities. Groups of pupils choose a charity which has an emphasis on some aspect of social care, and they do some research in their chosen field. They then do a presentation to their fellow pupils. The winning group then goes forward to national level, and the ultimate winning group wins £3000 for their chosen charity. Some groups also fundraise for their chosen groups.

We have been involved with several schools so far, St Margaret’s School for Girls, Ellon Academy, Banchory Academy, Elgin High School, Mackie Academy and two groups at Keith Grammar School. So far, we haven’t been in the top slot, but we have been in the semi finals. All this exposure means that eating disorders awareness is raised in schools, and for that we are immensely grateful. We are also very appreciative of any fundraising activities the schools undertake.

We cannot speak too highly of the enthusiasm and commitment of all the young people we have worked with.



University Freshers Fairs 2013

NEEDS (Scotland) were able to attend the Freshers’ Fayres at both Aberdeen University and The Robert Gordon University. This raises awareness of eating disorders, and also about our group and the support we offer. It also provides the opportunity for anyone to share their concerns, or perhaps offer assistance to the group in some way.


Don’t ever let worries about food or weight hold you back