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Published: 29 March 2023

The next 12 months…

I’ve been at Eating Distress North East for just over five months and have spent that time learning about the organisation: the people, the services, and our partners and funders.

As well as me being new in role, we’ve also recently appointed Rachel Cowey as our new Counselling Lead. Rachel has been a counsellor with EDNE and Deputy Counselling Lead, so brings lots of experience and skills to the Lead role.

Following many conversations with staff and the Board of Trustees, I’ve been thinking about where we go from here and have set out some key areas we’re going to be working on over the next 12 months:

Organisational and service development

We’ve outgrown our current base. We need at least three counselling rooms to help us meet the need for specialist eating distress support in our community. We’re actively looking for new premises, so if you know anywhere that might be suitable for a counselling service and charity on a budget – let me know!

Along with the move, we’re going to develop our understanding of the impact of trauma on the people who use our services to ensure our new environment reflects this understanding, and embed this at every stage and in every interaction.

We’re going to explore different ways of developing our future workforce, and invest in our current workforce by reviewing our staff benefits and thinking about what other steps we can take to recruit and retain staff.


We’re going to review our use and understanding of the data we capture and ensure we’re asking the right questions – and know what to do with the answers.

We’re going to develop a Theory of Change for EDNE which clearly states our activities, outputs and outcomes (‘what we do and why’) and helps us articulate our impact.


EDNE produced a new website and branding in 2021 which has given us a strong base.

We’re going to produce a communications strategy, underpinned by our Theory of Change, which is going to strengthen our messaging and help us tell more people about eating distress, its impacts, and our services.

Fundraising and income generation

We’re going to develop our fundraising activities and explore different ways of raising income, all of which will go towards the cost of running our services and help us reach more people who need support with eating distress.

That’s not all…we’re also about to launch a network for VCSE organisations who work with people experiencing eating distress and their loved ones; we’re reviewing our group work with a view to expanding our reach and making services more accessible; and our training and education programme is developing in new and exciting ways.

I’m sure the next 12 months will bring lots of challenges, but I’m really looking forward to working with the EDNE staff team to achieve our aim of being a centre of excellence for eating distress support in the North East.

Anne Fry, Chief Executive


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What you say


"Thank you so much for all your help over the past few months. I’ve never been comfortable enough to open up about my eating struggles so honestly and detailed to anybody (including other professionals!) like I have been able to with you and I can’t put into words how much I appreciate all the support, kindness and time you have given me through a really difficult period. Whoever has you as their therapist next is very lucky 😊"


You think you’re the only person in the world. Now I’ve found out I’m not the only one.


The counselling sessions were absolutely amazing and life-changing.


I used to block out feeling with food, it’s not like that now’


Once I got through the door it was easy. They didn’t judge. EDNE helped me to get to be this new person. The old one never looked up and never spoke.


The EDNE counsellor’s the only person who has helped me.. the big high walls have come down


It has literally changed the quality of my life.


Eating distress ..is such a secretive thing. This has been the first time I didn’t feel alone with it.


The counselling has been a big turning point and the support from EDNE has been amazing.


‘..has given me life-changing help. They’ve helped me overcome the barriers. It’s been about unravelling decades.


EDNE started me thinking about what resilience is and how I could manage day to day and have strategies’


EDNE was friendly welcoming and flexible

Health and Wellbeing Sessions

I actually came off the session feeling I'm genuinely not alone in the types of thoughts I have. Useful tips given right through the session which I will hold on to.  Thank you 

Friends and Family

The group is helping me to open up and have a more open mind, to feel supported.

Friends and Family

Thank you!  It’s very relieving to know others are in similar situations and have come out at the other side. 


‘I couldn’t have managed without coming here. I genuinely think this place has kept me alive. I have a sense of hope now.’


..entire process has been incredibly supportive and empathetic, giving me the support I needed to move forwards.


‘It was not just putting a plaster over something, it was about healing it. I can’t describe how it feels to have switched my mindset, after 50 years it is mind-blowing’


I was given permission to feel. Instead of being a person with an eating disorder, I was a person who could feel feelings’


I’ve really appreciated the help I’ve been given at EDNE, I didn’t feel like I was just there as a client who just needed to get to the end of their sessions. I actually felt heard and understood.

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Email: enquiries@edne.org.uk

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