Jumping out of a plane may not be on everyone’s bucket list but for one young woman this was an achievement not just conquering the skies but also a way to say thank you to those who helped save her life.
Lauren suffers with an eating disorder, Anorexia Nervosa. The fact that she knew she had to be weighed in order to be able to take part in her sky diving fundraiser was a scary step for her but one she was able to take because she had been given the ability and confidence to move forward due to the help she received from the All Age Eating Disorders Service in Maidstone.
When first seen, Lauren had been through a few other routes to try and help her gain control of her disorder. These had not worked and both her and her mother were having difficulties seeing the way forward. It was upon meeting Dr Susie Greenwood, Clinical Psychologist, that they began to see the light. Lauren started Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Taking the time with Lauren to work through her thoughts, feelings and her past have helped Lauren to understand why her eating disorder started and what kept her stuck. Lauren was able to start to accept and value herself and her body and to recognise the importance of looking after her health and wellbeing.
"Every day is still a battle and I have down days"
"but I also understand that this is part of my recovery and learning to live with my disorder and change the way I think."
Since completing therapy Lauren has started a new job and they have been extremely supportive of her and understanding about the difficulties she may have around eating, allowing her to work around it. It is this understanding of eating disorders that Lauren found was not present when she was first struggling and can now see how far knowledge and understanding can go.
With this in mind, and an adventurous spirit, Lauren decided to fund raise for the Health Way Foundation, NELFT’s NHS Charity, with the money going towards the Eating Disorders Service so they can continue to work with and offer support and treatment to other people with an eating disorder. And why a sky dive?,
"I’ve always wanted to do one and during therapy I was pushed to remember what I could do and be proud of. This is one of those things that I can be proud of."
Approaching local businesses to support her, and setting up her own tombola to raise money for her sky dive, Lauren raised £900 for the Health Way Foundation. Armed with this cheque, some sweet treats and lovely bouquet of flowers, Lauren, her mother and the Health Way Foundation charity manager, Kerri Springer, surprised Susie at work and presented the cheque to her.
"From the whole team at the Kent and Medway All Age Eating Disorder Service, we would like to congratulate Lauren for her amazing achievement and to thank her personally for all her efforts in raising money for our service. It means so much to all of us to see the progress Lauren has made in overcoming her eating disorder and we hope that Lauren’s story inspires others to seek support."
Kerri Springer, Charity Manager, said;
"People like Lauren are the reason that our NHS charities exist; we want to continue to work with the NHS to help our service users to be able to get the help they need and seeing Lauren work so hard to give back to the service that helped her is such a rewarding part of the job. This funding can now be used by the Eating Disorders Team to support more young people like Lauren to be able to start understanding their condition and the skills they need to live fulfilling lives. We thank Lauren so much as we know how far this donation can go and hope that she has inspired others out there to support their local NHS charity."
Supporters like Lauren can help our NHS charity go a long way in supporting those who are struggling. If you would like to donate please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.