Help shape support

Young people in Norfolk living with eating disorders, their parents and carers are being asked to share their experiences to help improve services.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is relaunching its eating disorders forum.

It allows those who have been affected by eating disorders can connect, be supported to share their stories, and provide valuable feedback.

Lucy North, People Participation Lead for Specialist Services and Norfolk and Waveney Children, Families and Young People Services, said:

“Involving young people and carers is essential for creating person-centred, inclusive and effective services. Their lived experience offers unique insights into the challenges and preferences throughout their treatment and recovery. By actively involving them in decision-making, we can ensure that our services are responsive, accessible and supportive of diverse needs and circumstances.”

The forum  meets monthly online via Microsoft Teams and is open to young people up to the age of 25 whether they have accessed services with NSFT or received support for an eating disorder elsewhere. Parents and carers can attend as well.

It will work on a number of different areas including things like development and feedback on projects, helping create training materials, and reviewing and producing leaflets and posters.

“By sharing their insights, concerns and suggestions, the young people and their families will help identify areas for improvement, address existing gaps in the service and advocate for changes that prioritise their wellbeing and recovery journey,” said Lucy.

Young people who have been involved in other participation groups have had this to say about taking part:

“Participation has helped me gain confidence, build my self-esteem, learn new IT skills, become more confident about public speaking (which I never thought I could do) and helped me overcome my anxiety.”

“Through participation I have made so many close friends in a very short period of time and knowing we will always support one another has made me feel incredibly lucky to be part of such an amazing group.”

“My experiences of participation have only ever been positive. I have really enjoyed and benefited from working with and talking to professionals and groups to expand and improve ideas that they have bought to participation.”