To support students and raise awareness during this Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we are holding this interactive session for anyone with an eating disorder, those in ED recovery, those who struggle with their relationship with food and are worried, and those who want to find out more about recovery.
Because the session is interactive, it will give students the chance and space to discuss what recovery means to them, but also look at why recovery is both important and possible.
We'll also be welcoming Hope Virgo, author and mental health activist, who will be sharing her own experiences with anorexia, her journey to recovery, and the techniques she uses to stay well.
Hope is the Author of Stand Tall Little Girl, and an international leading advocate for people with eating disorders. Hope helps young people and employers (including schools, hospitals and businesses) to deal with the rising tide of mental health issues which affect one in four people and costs employers between £33 and £42 billion annually. She has been described by Richard Mitchell, CEO of Sherwood Forest Hospital, as "sharing a very powerful story with a huge impact". Hope is also a recognised media spokesperson, having appeared on various platforms including BBC Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, Good Morning Britain, Sky News and BBC News.
For four years, Hope managed to keep it hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But then, on 17th November 2007, Hope's world changed forever. She was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing. She was barely recognizable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope faced the biggest challenge of her life. She had to find the courage to beat her anorexia.
Come along to learn more and find out about how we can all help make the University a supportive space for students and staff who have experiences of disordered eating.