The National Botanic Garden of Wales, in partnership with Mental Health Matters Wales, has secured funding to provide a monthly carers’ group, open to loved ones living with someone with an eating disorder.
The money – from a successful bid to the People’s Postcode Lottery – will also provide day care for people recovering from an eating disorder.
The carers’ group will host specialist speakers giving insight into areas such as behaviours, distractions, nutrition, therapy and benefits. The day care element will offer sufferers practical help such as body image work, goal setting and assisted meal support along with education and activities set around the therapeutic and picturesque setting of the Botanic Garden.
At the formal launch of the project, regional AM for South Wales West and a member of the cross-party group on eating disorders, Bethan Sayed described the move as a “wonderful, supportive and necessary project”.
Islwyn MP Chris Evans also spoke at the launch event and said: “I was pleased to hear about the plans. This group has the potential to be a model for eating disorder services throughout the country and I look forward to following their progress.”
The Garden’s Head of Education, Paul Smith explained: “This group will be open access, which means you don’t need to book an appointment or make a referral, and will run for 12 months.”
He said the project would be relying on the considerable expertise of Mental Health Matters Wales, as well as the counselling services of Area 43, the therapeutic setting of the Botanic Garden’s own Regency Restoration Project, BEAT Eating Disorders and other activity and therapy providers as needed.
The first dates for the carers’ meetings at the National Botanic Garden of Wales are Thursday 7th November 6pm-8pm and Sunday 10th November 12-2pm.