BEAT-ing Eating Disorders This Christmas

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Society Editor Jess Farmer discusses the work and aims of LUU BEAT Society during this festive period.

LUU BEAT society is a new society to the University of Leeds this academic year. Their primary aim is to raise awareness of eating disorders on campus, while hosting some regular fund raising and well-being events.

I decided to write about this society as BEAT is a charity which raises money for those suffering with eating disorders, an illness which I have a personal connection with and want to educate people about. Furthermore, Christmas can be an incredibly difficult time for those suffering with eating disorders with lots of pressures emerging around family and food therefore, I feel this article is really important in this Christmas issue.

Around this difficult time of the year BEAT has a helpline which will be open from 4-8pm from December 24th to the 1st of January for anyone struggling over the Christmas period.

As a relatively new society they are really eager to encourage more students to volunteer and get involved. 

You can get involved by attending weekly meetings, as they hold meetings every two weeks and you can join the society for free via the LUU societies page under the volunteering section. You should also go over to the ‘LUU BEAT society’ Facebook page to receive regular updates and get involved. As a new society, the volunteers and committee members have achieved some great things in their first semester. They have already collaborated with LUU Mind Matters and completed a five mile hike to raise money for BEAT and Papyrus. 

Furthermore, they collaborated with Ballet Society and held a pub quiz where they successfully raised £157.20. 

The society is also working with the School of Psychology to help with the delivery of sensitive topics surrounding eating disorders and food. Alongside all of this, the society have been working alongside personal trainers at The Edge gym to help others notice signs of eating disorders and develop healthy relationships with exercise.

LUU BEAT society have some really exciting events coming up this year too. On the 4th of December they are hosting a mindfulness activity which will include some fun stocking decorating. They will also be involved in a charity event at The Edge on the 6th of December where personal trainers will be doing a 12 hour cycle for Mind charity and LUU BEAT society will have a stall. If you would like to volunteer for this event please send a message to the Facebook page for LUU BEAT society.

The society will also be involved in an upcoming panel event. BEAT are part of a campaign to increase training and awareness of eating disorders in health-related degrees as Undergraduate Medical students currently receive less than two hours of eating disorder training during their degree. LUU BEAT society would love to hear from any medicine, nursing, dentistry and psychology students to discuss their opinions on this issue and gain their support in the campaign.

The society also has big plans for Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which falls in March 2020. LUU BEAT society would love to collaborate with other societies during this week, last year many societies wore colourful socks to raise awareness for the week as part of a ‘sock it to eating disorders’ campaign. The society would love people to volunteer to help fundraise or collaborate as part of this important week for BEAT charity.

The society is also working to raise awareness of available treatment and resources to those who may be suffering with an eating disorder. BEAT have a free dedicated student line (0808 801 0811) which is open 365 days a year from 12pm-8pm during the week and 4pm-8pm on the weekends and bank holidays. This is an anonymous opportunity to discuss your feelings with someone with some understanding of eating disorders. 

Nevertheless, if you feel you are suffering with an eating disorder it is recommended to speak to a GP. 

BEAT helplines can offer support and guidance during this process. If you would like to understand more information about eating disorder please visit, https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/ 

This society is doing so many great things to raise awareness and make changes to help those with eating disorders and reduce the number of those affected by this ever increasing illness which is particularly prevalent amongst the student population. 

If you would like to get involved in the society please visit the LUU BEAT Facebook page or contact leedsunibeat@gmail.com!

Photo credit: LUUBEAT society facebook page