Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

15 JUL 2015

Young eating disorder survivors meet with Steve Brine MP

A trio of youngsters who overcame anorexia and bulimia presented a report on eating disorders to MP for Winchester Steve Brine at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 15th July.

The report was compiled by the charity Fixers, which gives young people a voice, and features testimonies from 12 survivors who are campaigning for better care.

Representing the charity, Danny Bowman, 20, Shannon Finan, 21, and Imogen Smith, 25, handed the report to Steve Brine and spoke of their personal experiences battling eating disorders.

Steve Brine said: "It was great to meet Fixers and receive their report on issues facing youngsters with eating disorders. It's so valuable to hear from young people as they are living it day to day and are best placed to know what works for them."

Shannon Finan, from Coventry, West Midlands, said: "I'd like to see waiting times for treatment reduced and criteria to access that care changed.

"When I went to see my GP, I was told that my Body Mass Index wasn't low enough to receive treatment.

"It made me feel angry and that I wasn't 'good enough' at being ill, so I began to restrict my food intake even more.

"Three months later I was finally admitted to an eating disorder clinic to get the care I needed.

"When I was lying in a hospital bed I never thought I'd find myself at Parliament speaking to an MP and calling for change.

"I'd like policy makers to realise that an eating disorder shouldn't just be judged on a BMI because it's a mental illness as well."

Imogen Smith, from Bristol, added that families of people suffering from eating disorders need more support in order to spot the signs early on.

She said: "I'd like to see earlier intervention to treat eating disorders and more support for families so they are equipped to help sufferers."

Danny Bowman, from Alnwick, Northumberland, called for treatment centres for men with eating disorders.

He said: "When I was admitted to an eating disorder clinic it was just me and one other guy among 50 women.

"It makes you feel like you shouldn't be there, like you're a man and you're not supposed to have an eating disorder."

Steve Brine handed the report to Alistair Burt, Minister for Communities and Social Care to review and consider the recommendations.

The report is the culmination of an eating disorders campaign called The Feel Happy Eating Fix, organised by Fixers and supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Fixers works with young people aged 16-25 across the UK and provides them with resources to help them campaign on issues they feel strongly about.

The charity has helped more than 16,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community.

Fixers aims to work with more than 70,000 young people by 2020 and to do this needs to raise funds.

Pictured; Dr Gemma McKenna with Steve Brine and the group


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