Archive for the ‘bethan jenkins’ Category

Call for ALL eating disorder services in Wales!

February 15, 2008


Eating Disorders Data Base

Graham Menzies Foundation and the Welsh Assembly Government’s Cross Party Eating Disorder Group are working to create a single comprehensive data base of all services available to people with eating disorders in Wales.

The data base will be used primarily for referral purposes – but will also enable the development a new funding/referral pathway strategies for the treatment of eating disorders in Wales.

If your organisation provides treatment or support for people with eating disorders at any level (telephone help line, internet support, therapy, day care, after care etc.) then we would like to add you to the central data base. Please complete the on-line form at our mail web site:

You will find it under the “resources” link.

What will happen to this information?

The data base will be shared with GPs and other health professionals throughout Wales. You will be able to access the data base at: by clicking the “treatment” link.

 If you have questions, suggestions or comments we would be very pleased to hear from you. Please contact:

Bethan Jenkins AM

Chairperson for the Cross Party Eating Disorder Group:

Tel: 01639 643549

Rowenna Menzies

CEO Graham Menzies Foundation:

Tel: 01970 881052

Progress Report January 2008

January 29, 2008

graham menzies foundation

progress report no. 4


Hi everybody!

From now on, our monthly report will always be available here on the last day of the month. Just log on to then click “blog”.

daffodilJanuary 2008


I’m not sure where to begin or who to thank first! So I think I’ll start with the letters. So many of you took the time and made the effort to send us letters of recommendation and support for our Welsh Centre for Recovery Project – and at a particularly busy time of year! I am truly grateful to you all and would like to say a BIG thankyou.



02 Community Awards are giving us a grant (hoorah)! …But they haven’t told us how much we will be awarded yet! Very mysterious… I’ll keep you up-dated!

The donation link on our web site will soon be active. I’m just waiting for our charity pay-pal account to be confirmed.


Web site

A million-billion-trillion thanks to the multi-talented Darren Jones who has created this site and blog. In addition to being a fabulous web designer I have it on good authority that Darren is also a health conscious cook and a marvellous constituency officer.

This site is still in progress but all the links will soon be active.


A beautiful logo is being designed by Suzanne Barrett and Joanna in Hamburg. It is so pretty I almost cried! The logo is winging it’s way to the UK as fast as it can – I can’t wait for you all to see it! It’s even better than this one (right). Graham would be so proud…


I was on TV! I was on TV! They made we walk up and down the stairs outside the Welsh Assembly about fifteen times – I felt as though I was on “America’s Next Top Model”.

I was also busy with radio interviews and formal statments, mainly because Bethan Jenkins AM organised the lauch of an All Party Eating Disorders Group. (To read more about the group click separate “Cross Party Group” link).

In brief… Edwina Hart was much funnier and less scary than I could have imagined. I ate all the grapes and bought some glittery gell pens from the millenium centre shop (but they didn’t work) which was rubbish because I was taking the minutes. Many clever people had imaginative thoughts and ideas regarding eating disorders awareness week. And…

I spoke to a couple at the end who have a niece with anorexia. Her bmi is dangerously low and they can’t find any appropiate help. They nolonger know what to do. It was heartbreaking.


Eating disorders Awareness Week (EDAW)

…begins on the 25th Feb. This year the special interest subject is carers. To take part in a study or to raise funds, visit the national eating disorders association at:

We are also planning an awareness raising day at WAG on Wednesday 27th. If you would like to be represented or to take part in some way then please contact me, or Bethan Jenkins AM.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2008

Bethan Jenkins AM,

Chair Cross Party Committee on Eating Disorders

Invites you to an event to mark Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2008

Venue: The Neuadd, National Assembly for Wales

Time: 17:30

Date: Wednesday, 27th February 2008

Details to follow


Wythnos Ymwybyddiaeth Anhwylderau Bwyta 2008

Mae Bethan Jenkins AC

Yn eich gwahodd i ddigwyddiad i nodi

Wythnos Ymwybyddiaeth Anhwylderau Bwyta 2008

Lleoliad: Y Neuadd, Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

Amser: 17:30

Dyddiad: Dydd Mervher, 27ain o Chwefror 2008

Manylion i ddilyn


I don’t write much about Graham here. There are a few posts under “grief” (right hand side of this page).

But… Graham Clifford Menzies died on the 24th January 2007. He was a giant amongst men. It was the one year anniversary of his death on Thursday and I am as completely, madly, crazily and wonderfully in love with him today as I was this time last year.

I miss you with every fibre of my being Graham and I am so proud and humbled and privalidged to have been loved by you.

Your Wenna





Graham with turtle XXX





Call for strategy on eating disorders

January 26, 2008

Western Mail Article:

Call for strategy on eating disorders

It’s estimated that 56,000 people in Wales have an eating disorder and yet there is no national strategy to tackle the issue and no dedicated treatment centre for sufferers. Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West, explains why she set up the Assembly’s first cross-party committee on eating disorders

WE LIVE in an age where the pressures of a reality television and celebrity role-model society weigh heavy on us all, not least on those who are most susceptible – young people.

The size-zero phenomenon is something that truly concerns me. As someone still young enough to get away with reading popular magazines aimed at young women, I am truly startled by the recklessness of many as they sit in judgment on those who do not fit their “perfect figure” criteria.

Since being elected as the youngest member of the National Assembly, I was struck by the apparent lack of headway made on the issue of eating disorders. It appears that social perceptions of such illnesses remain a taboo subject for many. But I am in no doubt that the magnitude of the issue is such that the Assembly and Government must act decisively.

To put eating disorders into context, it is estimated that there are around 56,000 sufferers in Wales and, according to the National Institute for Eating Disorders, one in five die as a result of their illness.

The mental health charity Mind says that as many as one woman in 20 will have eating patterns that are cause for concern – most will be aged between 14 and 25.

There is no dedicated residential treatment centre in Wales specifically for sufferers. While I recognise that community provision does exist, those who reach a more critical stage of illness have no option but to seek private care in England. Having said that, work is under way to provide residential spaces for children and young people with mental health problems in Bridgend. But this will not be an exclusive unit for those suffering for eating disorders.

My meetings with sufferers and with stakeholders have led me to the conclusion that we need joined-up thinking and a clear strategy for eating disorders in Wales.

There is no national strategy in Wales on eating disorders at the moment, and in order to rectify this I deemed it appropriate to establish a cross-party committee on eating disorders at the National Assembly. I was delighted that Assembly members from all parties attended, and was pleased with the honest input of Health Minister Edwina Hart.

The committee agreed that a national strategy was needed, and further agreed to compile a declaration of objectives in time for Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which we will launch at the National Assembly on February 27.

This new and exciting project is one that I am truly convinced will make a real difference to the lives of those who suffer from eating disorders, their families and friends.

My eyes were opened to the severity of the situation when I met a constituent who suffered from anorexia. She has been battling the condition for three years, and explained how she felt she would not get the treatment she needed until she was on the verge of death.

A lack of funding meant she had to wait a year before she was offered the specialist treatment she needed outside of Wales – at a private hospital in Bristol.

I am clear that any national strategy will need to tackle this problem on many fronts, not least in reversing current misconceptions – only 1% of young people recently surveyed by charity Beat felt they could talk to their parents about eating disorders.

The challenge we face affects us all. As we take the first tentative steps in addressing this issue in Wales, I am hopeful that we can reach a just outcome for those who need our care and support.

Eating Disorders- support for the cross party group.

January 26, 2008

Letter in the Western Mail:

Eating disorder need

SIR – I welcome the call by Bethan Jenkins to improve the services dedicated to treating eating disorders in Wales (Health Wales, January 21).

Despite over 50,000 people in Wales suffering from such disorders, the limited in-patient service offered in Wales is over-run and community services are limited and stretched to breaking point.

Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. It impacts on the patients’ physical and mental status, and also transforms their lives and that of their family and loved ones.

Unless patients are treated quickly then their obsession with food, exercise and their illogical desire to be thin turns into a live threatening, life-dominating condition.

As a medical student who has suffered from anorexia, I have seen the effects of this condition from both sides. I am only too aware of the dangers of the condition, as well as the illogical thoughts that possesses a sufferers’ mind.

At a time when preventing obesity seems high on the agenda in the UK, let us not forget those at the other end of the spectrum who are underweight, undernourished and suffering in silence as anorexia and bulimia torment and haunt their everyday lives. No family should have to travel over the border to receive treatment for what is an already immensely burdensome condition. I only hope WAG listen to Ms Jenkins’s call and also take note of the silent cries of many eating disorder sufferers across Wales. I only hope that as a practising doctor in six months time I will be able to offer help to my patients close to their homes to overcome their dying desire to diet.


Fifth year medical student, Cardiff University. Pant, Merthyr Tydfil

If you are interested, please join the launch of the eating disorders cross party group campaign on the 27th of February at the National Assembly for Wales.

Welsh Assembly Cross Party Eating Disorder Group (1)

January 23, 2008
WAG building
The All Party Eating Disorder Group was launched by Bethan Jenkins AM at the Welsh Assembly this month. Edwina Hart (health spokesperson) was also present, and requested that we draw up a stratagy/action plan. We aim to launch the aims and objectives of the group during Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which begins on the 25th of February.


Bethan Jenkins, AM

Vice Chairs
Joyce Watson, AM
Jenny Randerson, AM
Nicholas Bourne; AM

Founding Assembly Members
Nerys Evans, AM

Bethan Jenkins, AM
Joyce Watson, AM
Jenny Randerson, AM
Nicholas Bourne; AM
Dai Lloyd, AM
Lorraine Barrett, AM
Jonathan Morgan, AM

Other Members
Rowenna Menzies, Graham Menzies Foundation

Contact Point
Bethan Jenkins, 01639 643 549

Rowenna Menzies, 01970 881052

If you are a stakeholder or individual interested in joining to this group, please contace Bethan or me. We would love your ideas and contributions!