The Eating Disorders Association is a charity based in Belfast City Centre and was founded by Mrs Ann McCann in 1992. The vision of the organisation was and still is straightforward and clear-cut, that is, to support and be a voice for those struggling with the destructive and devastating effects of what living with an eating disorder brings. That is, support for both the person struggling and for those endeavouring to support their loved one on their journey to recovery from the illness.
EDA recognises that recovery from an eating disorder is no easy and straightforward feat, rather it is often a difficult, tiresome and non-linear journey. Recovery from an eating disorder is always possible and with that ethos EDA endeavours to deliver a first class service providing support, hope and understanding that will facilitate and enable the person’s individual journey to recovery. EDA, recognising the individuality and the complexity of the illness and the fact that different approaches work for different people, provide a wide range of services in their bid to support those living with an eating disorder. From email, phone and online social media support to drop-in and support groups, it is our hope that we have a support service suitable for many needs. We strive to ensure that individuals struggling with an eating disorder know that they are not alone and know they do not have to live in silence with their difficulties.
In addition to the supportive role, EDA works determinedly to raise awareness and reduce the stigma often associated with eating disorders. It cannot be denied that the lack of awareness and understanding about these illnesses are of a great impediment to those who are struggling desperately with the illness. Behind the sufferer struggling with an eating disorder, be that binge eating, anorexia, bulimia or other specified feeding and eating disorder (OSFED), there is a person desperately wanting to be understood.
EDA currently employs two part-time members of staff who conduct the day to day management of the Charity, as well as having a small team of extremely dedicated unpaid volunteer support workers. 2017 is an extremely important year for EDA as it marks our 25th anniversary. This year we celebrate 25years of having the privilege of working with and supporting people with eating disorders. With this in mind, we enter 2017 with a resolute and determined mind-set to continue in our work; supporting and being a non-judgemental, empathetic listening ear to those who are struggling; utilising our advocacy role to give a voice to those who are struggling to find their own voice; campaigning and raising awareness in the mission to reduce stigma and increase understanding; working effectively with statutory bodies to improve the lives of those with eating disorders.
We strive to instil hope and the realisation that recovery from an eating disorder is always possible and with the right help and support their recovery can become a reality.