Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2013

13 February 2013, 05:51 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Recovered anorexic, Rachel Cowey from South Shields, is aiming to help others recover from their illness with 'Team Recovery'

Rachel developed anorexia when she was 16 and was told eight years ago she would die.

She got help and was treated at a clinic but her recovery's taken many years. 

She was discharged from the recovery unit 3 and a half years ago and from there has had to work on her self esteem and confidence around food.

Now she says she "wants to turn a negative into a positive" and promote the recovery aspect of eating disorders.

The idea behind 'Team Recovery' is to spread the word that recovery is possible -  by offering women support and stay-well groups.

It's mostly promoted through social media and the 'Recovery Ninjas' who help spread the word about recovery.

These groups aim to be a safe place for people to talk about their eating disorder and the knowledge that recovery is possible and worth it.

Rachel says: 
"I hope to have more places of support up in the North East because there's not very much up here. It's all very centred down South.

I want there to be high quality treatment services around the country - instead of sufferers having to be treated far from home or told they need to lose more weight before they can be helped.

I like to think I survived for a reason and that is to help others."

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence estimate that 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder, of which around 11% are male.

However, more recent research from the NHS information centre showed that up to 6.4% of adults displayed signs of an eating disorder.
There's more information about the 'Team Recovery' project on their Tumblr page HERE 

You can also see the work Team Recovery do on their Facebook page HERE