I am the mother of 3 children, 1 son and 2 daughters. My daughters have both suffered with an eating disorder. One had anorexia and the other bulimia/binge eating. My brother also suffers from schizophrenia.
It was whilst I was caring for my two daughters that I saw other carers struggling with their care giving role due to a lack of support, information and recognition by services.
With this in mind, I started the London Carers’ Group which has now been running for 6 years. Leading on from my group I have given presentations to professionals, network meetings, conferences and carers’ groups highlighting the plight of carers and the value of carers’ role in the recovery process. In addition to my speaking roles I have assisted Professor Janet Treasure and others with Collaborative Caring workshops. Professor Janet Treasure is Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College, London, and head of the Eating Disorders Unit at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.
My work also includes speaking to the media to breakdown the stigma surrounding mental health. I have appeared on television and radio, contributed to magazine and newspaper articles and to Professor Treasure’s book The Clinician’s Guide to Collaborative Caring in Eating Disorders. I am often asked by media organisations to comment on articles or programmes that they are running on eating disorders.
In 2008 I was awarded an Eating Disorders National Award from beat (formerly the Eating Disorders Association) in recognition of my contribution to the world of eating disorders.
I feel passionately that carers are a vital link between those they care for and professionals. Carers should be recognised and supported for this role.