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Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity funds Healthier Thinking for Me project

imageA new initiative to fight eating disorders has been funded by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity, boosted by a £94,000 grant from NHS Charities Together

The two-year Healthier Thinking for Me project, run by Spring North Consortium with a host of community-based partners, has already supported over 23 young people in Lancashire and South Cumbria. 

The project is in response to local voluntary sector organisations and agencies seeing a worrying increase in the number of young people accessing healthy eating projects, many presenting with a variety of eating disorders. 

Whilst issues are low level, there is the risk that if these go unsupported, it will most likely escalate. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, eating disorder referrals have increased by 70%, and children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) referrals have increased by 60%, according to Mental Health Services Data Set

Activity is currently running two to three times higher than in previous years, particularly in the age range between 13 and 18 years. 

A series of 12-week support session work have allowed young people to learn how to monitor their eating and moods, exchange unhealthy habits for healthy ones, and explore healthy ways to cope with stressful situations. Over 100 young people are expected to receive help through the programme over two years. 

Healthier Thinking for me will also support children and young people on the eating paediatric eating disorder wards in Blackburn Royal and Blackpool Hospital. 

Angela Allen, Chief Executive Officer, at Spring North Consortium is pleased with the progress: “We are absolutely thrilled to be conducting this fantastic piece of work with our partners. It will allow us to make a tangible difference to the lives of children and young people in Lancashire. 

“Without this funding and therefore the interventions there was a real risk of further stress being placed onto the system, requiring a higher level of support by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust.” 

Paula Wilson, Head of Charities at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity, said: ‘We are delighted to secure funding of £94,000 from NHS Charities Together to enable this new collaborative service that will support young people across the region facing eating disorders and associated conditions.’’ 

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “The rise in eating disorders amongst young people in Lancashire and South Cumbria is heart-breaking to see, and it’s vital they have access to effective support. 

“As the national, independent charity caring for the NHS, we feel privileged to have helped fund this project, which will allow Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, Spring North Consortium and community partners to provide much needed interventions across the region. 

“By supporting children and young people before conditions escalate, these initiatives can help children and young people get early help and reduce the impact of eating disorders in the longer term, and we look forward to seeing the positive difference they make.” 

Healthier Thinking for Me is supported by: Child Action Northwest, New Era Enterprises, Serenity Self Care & Well Being CIC, PAC, and One Voice Blackburn

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01772 716565

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