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East Anglia Future 50

'Eating out can be hugely daunting' - kindness lunch for people battling eating disorders to be staged at Honey + Harvey

PUBLISHED: 15:20 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:42 12 July 2019

Wednesday's Child is set to host its first kindness lunch. Photo: Wednesday's Child.

Wednesday's Child is set to host its first kindness lunch. Photo: Wednesday's Child.

Archant

A series of 'Kindness Lunches' designed to help people battling eating disorders are set to be staged across Suffolk.

Wednesday's Child will begin hosting a number of carefully curated lunches and suppers this month.

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The social enterprise was started earlier this year by 41-year-old Debbie Watson who is using her own 20-year experience of an eating disorder to develop services focused on helping those dealing with mental health difficulties.

The initiative begins with a lunch at Honey + Harvey, in Riduna Park, Melton, on Wednesday, July 17.

But the initial pilot phase will also include events in Woodbridge, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Ipswich and Framlingham.

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Ms Watson said: "Eating disorders may still seem to many to be a mere matter of 'someone being difficult about food', or 'wanting to look thin', but they carry the highest mortality rate of any mental health illness and really need more understanding and solutions to address the growing rate of those affected.

"We have been developing lots of events and training initiatives designed to enable more people to gain freedom from their distressing mental health illness - whilst also helping those who provide care and support in family and community networks.

Each of the events are being delivered under Wednesday's Child's 'Heal Kitchen' initiative, and will feature a light meal in a privately hired venue for around 12 people each time.

Ms Watson added: "I know such events would have been exactly the sort of thing which I would have been looking for at times in my recovery, when the thought of a large restaurant felt just too overwhelming.

"The natural assumption is that someone with an eating disorder hates food and dislikes eating, but the truth is, many have a great desire to get back into cooking and dining, but want to do this in a way which feels less intimidating.

"At a time when mental health resources are so stretched, but eating disorder rates are rising it's imperative we find new ways of serving those in the community who are struggling with their issues and who might end up becoming socially isolated if their illness is allowed to take over."

For more information and to book tickets for the events click HERE

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