Beat (charity)

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Beat logo.jpg
Formation 1989
Type Charitable organisation
Headquarters Norwich
Region served
United Kingdom
Chief Executive
Andrew Radford
Formerly called
Eating Disorder Association

Beat is the UK's leading charity supporting those affected by eating disorders and campaigning on their behalf. Founded in 1989 as the Eating Disorders Association, it celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014.

The charity is dedicated to helping people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder, emotional overeating, EDNOS and other eating disorders, and providing information to the public about these conditions.


The charity was founded in 1989 from the amalgamation of the existing UK charities, Anorexic Aid and Anorexic Family Aid, the Society for the Advancement of Research into Anorexia merged with the Eating Disorders Association in 1992.[1] Beat became the Eating Disorder Association's working title in 2007.


Support services[edit]

As well as campaigning for better services for those affected by eating disorders, the charity provides self-help support through a number of different projects:

  1. Helplines: The charity runs two national helplines, one for adults and one for young people under 25. Both telephone and email services are available.
  2. Online Services: The charity's website includes message boards, a young persons section, an online chat facility, online support groups and a HelpFinder directory.
  3. Support Groups: The charity has a network of support groups across the UK, led by Beat trained volunteer group facilitators.
  4. Emotional Overeating Support Groups: In 2012 the Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund of the Department of Health granted funding to develop a network of groups across the East Midlands, West Midlands and East Anglia. The first group launched in September 2013.


Beat actively campaigns for better services and understanding of eating disorders. Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) takes place every year in February and a campaign theme is centered during the week every year. Past examples include: Everybody Knows Somebody, Failing Families, Choice or Chance and Break the Silence. Sock It to Eating Disorders is Beat's biggest annual fundraising drive, taking place on the Friday of EDAW.

EDAW in 2017 will run from 27 February –5 March.

Young Ambassadors[edit]

The Young Ambassador scheme gives young people the opportunity to take an active part in Beat's work. Young Ambassadors across the country are aged between 14 and 25 and have personal experience of eating disorders, they represent Beat in the media or at conferences and events, speaking about their experiences to help reduce the stigma and educate others. Beat received funding in 2013 from Young Start to grow the scheme in Scotland.


Beat supports and encourages research into eating disorders, as well as conducting research – currently with the backing of lottery funding – for a project which looks at trials of CBT and CAT, Beat helps those undertaking research into eating disorders from post graduate level upwards. Beat is currently collaborating with King's College London in a study examining the way that people access treatment for bulimia nervosa, and is working with University of Exeter to compare user experiences of different health care services for eating disorders.

For professionals[edit]

Beat runs conferences and training for professionals, providing knowledge, education and training to health, social care and education professionals as well as other organisations in both the private and public sector.

Training includes: Understanding Eating Disorders, GP Training, and training designed specifically for school staff, students and parents.

The Eating Disorder International Conference (EDIC) runs every 2 years, the next event is in March 2016 with the main themes of neuroscience, economics, carers, psychological therapies and severe and enduring eating disorders.


ASOS[edit], the online fashion retailer, supports Beat's online support groups.

N Brown Group plc[edit]

Beat was chosen as charity of the year by N Brown Plc, the home shopping retailer whose brands include Simply Be, Jacamo and JD Williams. N Brown Group sponsored the PwC report "Costs of Eating Disorders - Social, Health and Economic Impacts".


Cosmopolitan magazine is Beat's media partner, supporting campaigns and helping to raise awareness of eating disorders.


In 2012 Beat partnered with Dove to deliver free self-esteem workshops in the Dove Self-Esteem Programme. A survey in 2010 revealed that self-esteem in young girls in particular prevents them from realizing their full potential,[2] the workshops were delivered to 200,000 schoolchildren during Key Stage 3 and were free following a £250,000 donation to the charity.

Norfolk Community Eating Disorders Service (NCEDS)[edit]

Beat has been commissioned to deliver certain eating disorder services by NCEDS in Norfolk, this includes Collaborative Skills Training and support groups for both carers and people with eating disorders.


The charity was a runner up in the healthcare and medical research section of the UK Charity Awards 2007,[3] it also received the national Wellbeing Award of the Children and Young People's Services Awards 2007[4] for its work in developing a forum for young people, and in particular for the charity's active involvement of young people in informing its work, via the forum.[citation needed] The charity was awarded NHS England's Information Standard quality mark in 2011 to ensure the healthcare information it provides is of high quality and reliable, it received the 2011 Nominet Internet Award, Empowering Young People & Citizens, Exciting Newcomer award for My Personal Best.[5] In 2015 Beat's young ambassador team in Scotland won the volunteers' award at the National Scottish Health Awards, in recognition of their contribution to improving health and wellbeing in NHS Scotland.[6]


Beat is funded from a variety of sources – from community fundraising, donations, trusts and grant applications to professional services and government grants. Often, the funding received is to focus on particular support services.

The Youthline is supported by BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief.


External links[edit]