Archive for the ‘cross party group’ Category

Poem by Ali Valenzuela

March 4, 2008
Ali wrote this poem about her experience of recovering from an eating disorder and kindly sent it to me for publication on this site. I would like to take this opportunity to commend Ali’s courage, determination and generosity. In her struggle to gain treatment for anorexia and despite being desperately ill, she has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of eating disorders in Wales.

I was lost and alone, didn’t know who to be,
and felt like an outcast, unaccepted for me.
When I needed a friend; a voice to console,
I heard a small whisper: “You’re not on your own.
I’ve seen you around and you’re needing a friend,
and i promise to be there right until the end.”
I jumped at the offer of close company,
but little did I realise quite how close it’d be.
I felt proud to decline food-it showed me my strength
To say bno to the things I would want at great length.
I felt so in control and my confidence soared,
what with all of the exercise, I was never bored.
People said “what willpower it takes to do this!”
but little did they know it came with a twist
I was hungry and needed to eat a good meal
But the voice would get louder and started to squeal:
“what the HELL are you doing, you fat, dirty BITCH?!
We’ve got you SO far, now you shovel down THIS?!
It doesn’t make sense to delay your progress!”
But by this point, I only began to obsess
about every morsel that passed my lips
Added shame and disgust to the top of my list.
Temptation’s no match for this beast that’s insidethat slowly consumed me- I had nowhere to hide.
It was eating me up, and rotting my soul-
If it were to continue, it’d swallow me whole.
My clothes wouldn’t fit and my body was frail,
but no matter my state I couldn’t possibly fail
The anorexic voice that drowned out the lot
of my terrified family, begging me to stop.
Who crept into my room in the dead of the night
To see if their daughter was still breathing alright.
People gasped at my bones that protruded my skin,
pointing with horror at ‘the girl that’s so thin!’
I was ashamed and afraid, so much internal pain,
I thought i would never become me again
It was the worst nightmare i could possibly know
as even when I woke up, it was there in full flow.
At a rock bottom where I could have easily died
Finally, hospital help had arrived!
It took all away control of anorexia’s ways
and slowly but surely I started to change
My passion for life started to get on track
I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back!
With recovery started, I learnt to control
The anorexic voice, and listen to my own.
But I still live in terror of the voice I followed,
Dragging me back to it’s world of sorrow
So I’m sharing my story of horror and pain
to prevent this from happening to anyone again
I can never repay those who supported me through
the hardest time of my life- all i say is Thankyou.

xxx
Ali Valenzuela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EDAW UK events…

February 22, 2008

Three days…

EDAW’08 will take place between Monday 25th February to Sunday 2nd March

See below to find events in your area. If you know of additional events occurring throughout the week, please let us know.

 

Events in Wales

Cardiff

Wednesday 27th February at 5:30 pm, WAG building.

A range of speakers and the launch of the cross party for eating disorders aims and objectives…

If you are a service provider please also complete our data base form on-line at www.grahammenziesfoundation.com (under the resources link).

 

Events in Scotland

Presentation evening at Royal Edinburgh Hospital

Medical students will be presenting their research at the Young People’s Unit at Royal Edinburgh Hospital on Thursday 28th February from 6-8pm.

Patients, parents and interested professionals are welcome to attend.

For more information please e-mail jane.morris@lpct.scot.nhs.uk

 

 

The Priory Hospital Drop-in days:

Free Information, support and advice is available for those affected directly or indirectly by eating disorders. Sessions starting at 10am, 2pm and 5pm will cover the following topics:

  • Families Beating Eating Disorders
  • Understanding Eating Disorders

To book your place at Glasgow on the 28th February or for more information contact Deborah Martin on 01416 366166 or deborahmartin@prioryhealthcare.com

 

Events in England

 

The Priory Hospital Drop-in days:

Free Information, support and advice is available for those affected directly or indirectly by eating disorders. Sessions starting at 10am, 2pm and 5pm will cover the following topics:

  • Families Beating Eating Disorders
  • Understanding Eating Disorders

Spend time with our Consultant Psychiatrist and trained Eating Disorder Professionals as well as taking away self-help literature.

To book your place at Highbank on the 25th February or for more details contact Jennifer Yates on 01706 829540 / 07717 507079 or jenniferyates@prioryhealthcare.com

To book your place at Altrincham on the 26th February or for more information contact Sarah Carroll on 0161 904 0050 or altrincham@prioryhealthcare.com

To book your place at Preston on the 26th February or for more information contact Ruth Brooks on 01772 691122 or ruthbrooks@prioryhealthcare.com

 

 

EFT – Free Workshop

Wednesday 27th February, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

EFT – Emotional Freedom Therapy is a simple tapping technique that can help to dramatically reduce the anxieties and behaviours of many eating disorders.

This 2 hour introductory workshop, will demonstrate how you can apply EFT to manage your:

  • Emotions
  • Cravings
  • Behaviours with food & self

Venue: Healthy Living Centre; Thornton Heath; CR7 8LF

To book your ticket, e-mail: info@awakeningdawn.com

or call Vathani on 0845 639 8248

 

Newcastle Public board

Thursday 28th February

Between John Lewis and Charles Clinkard, Newcastle. 9am – 8pm

It is going to be a big magnetic board in centre of town where we are going to have lots of magnetic coloured letters and we are going to be asking the public to either write the first thing( or poem, riddle anything) which comes in their head when eating disorders are mentioned.

 

 

UK wide

Free Teleseminar:

Tuesday 26th February, 6pm

Awakening Dawn – Eating Disorder Counselling and Training Services, is offering a free teleseminar. This one-hour call will cover your most frequently asked questions on all aspects of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, obesity and compulsive eating.

Call spaces are limited to 150 people so please register now, and post your own question before the 22nd February. To book your place visit www.awakeningdawn.com/html/ask.html

Eating Disorders Awareness Week Wales – Free Event

February 17, 2008

Eating Disorders

Awareness Week 2008


GMF & the 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

Wednesday, 27th February 2008, 17:30pm

Please e-mail Rowenna Menzies at:

thegrahammenziesfoundation@hotmail.com

 

or contact Bethan Jenkins AM for more details.

**********************************

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 Mercher, 27ain o Chwefror 2008

Manylion i ddilyn

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: grahammenzies.com

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: http://www.grahammenziesfoundation.com 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:

www.bethanjenkins.blogspot.com

Tel: 01639 643549


Rowenna Menzies

CEO Graham Menzies Foundation:

www.grahammenziesfoundation.com

Tel: 01970 881052

Call for ALL e.d. services in Wales!

February 2, 2008

business-card-imagejpg.jpg

The Graham Menzies Foundation is currently working wit the WAG Cross Party ED group to create a single comprehensive data base of all services available to people with eating disorders in Wales.

The Graham Menzies Foundation is collecting data on voluntary sector services in Wales.

The data base will be used primarily for referral purposes – but will also enable HCW to develop a new funding/referral pathway strategy for the treatment of e.d.s 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, residential care, after care etc.) then we would like to add you to the central data base. Please copy and paste the questions below and return them to: thegrahammenziesfoundation@hotmail.co.uk by 20th Feb 2008 or e-mail us and we will send you a form.

Thankyou,

Rowenna Menzies

Eating disorders Treatment in Wales

Please tell us about the following:

1. Your location within Wales

2. The name of your service/organisation

3. What type of service or support do you offer? (If you offer multiple services then please tell us about them all).

4. Contact details (such as address, telephone number, e-mail address and web-site)

5. Organisation type (NHS, voluntary sector, religious organisation etc.)

6. Opening times/hours

7. How do individuals access your service?

8. Any restrictions (such as minimum bmi, age range, gender etc.)

9. (If relevant) Cost of service? / is financial help available?

10. Any additional information

Thankyou for completing this form. We will continue to update you.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions, suggestions or comments- we would be very pleased to hear from you.

Progress Report January 2008

January 29, 2008

graham menzies foundation

progress report no. 4

envelope

Hi everybody!

From now on, our monthly report will always be available here on the last day of the month. Just log on to www.grahammenziesfoundation.com 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.

 

Funding

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.

Logo

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…

PR

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: http://www.b-eat.co.uk

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

Finally…

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

XXXXX

XXX

XX

X

Graham with turtle XXX

 

 

 

 

Progress Report, November – December 2007

January 28, 2008

business-card-imagejpg.jpgSefydliad Graham Menzies Graham Menzies Foundation

November/December 2007

Dear friends,

We hope that November and December were positive for you and we wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

This is our third progress report. Please feel free to contact Rowenna Menzies on 01970 881052 for further information or details.

Can you help us?

We are currently developing a comprehensive data base of all services in Wales that treat or address eating disorders at any level. We are particularly interested in promoting voluntary sector services.

If your organisation helps people with eating disorders (even if it is not your primary “target” group) then please tell us. If you know of another organisation that works in this area, please forward them this mail or send us their contact details.

What then?

We will send you a brief form to fill in. The form will request basic information such as your geographic location within Wales, the type or level of care you are able to offer, who you can help and how people should access your services.

What will we do with this information?

The data base will be available to everybody, free of charge, on our web site. It will enable anybody looking for help to rapidly identify treatment options and facilities near their home. It will also allow services to locate and contact each other.

Where appropriate we will also include links to individual web pages.

Finance

Thankyou to Carmarthenshire County Council who awarded us a grant of £628! Every penny counts!

Thankyou also to Laura Ashley for their generous donation.

Other happenings…

We were visited by a representative from the lottery who is helping us develop our application further. There is a great deal to do now – I will be a very busy bee in the New Year!

Partnership & promotion

Cyswllt Contact Ceredigion

I gave a presentation about our project to the directors of Cyswllt Contact Ceredigion last month. The board have approved our shared grant application for dual diagnosis treatment. Hoorah!

Now all we need is funding for a residential unit!

Gorwellion

I also gave a presentation to a cross section of staff from Gorwellion. They were incredibly supportive, enthusiastic and it will be an absolute pleasure to work with them in the future.

CAVO

Visiting cavo (Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations) was such a positive experience. They offered information, support, contacts and ideas. What a brilliant organisation, thankyou!

To all of you

Many, many thanks to the fifteen organisations who wrote letters of support for our project. We deeply appreciate you taking the time (particularly at this busy time of year). Thankyou very much!

Events and activities.

 

ll-party group

Bethan Jenkins AM facilitated an initial meeting for the all party group which aims to address treatment options currently available to people in Wales who suffer from an eating disorder.

The next meeting will be held in The Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff, in 15th January.

We welcome representatives from any related or interested organisations – please contact me if you are interested.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Feb 23rd-29th 2008

We are planning an awareness raising day at the Assembly in Cardiff. If any interested/associated organisations would like to take part, please let us know. Involvement could be anything from a presentation to leaflets which advertise your organisation. All are welcome.

Are you interested?

BBC Cymru are developing a new, multi-platform discussion programme for young people in Wales and are putting together a feature on eating disorders.

If you have suffered from an eating disorder now or in the past, and would be interested in raising awareness and helping others by being interviewed on t.v. then please let us know.

You need to speak Welsh and be under 18.

Your Story

If you have suffered from an eating disorder (now or in the past), or if you have cared for/been affected by someone with an eating disorder… we would like your story!

Short stories for our web site to inspire, interest and engage…

Longer stories to be published as part of a collective volume.

Season’s Greetings to you all!

Thankyou for your support this year.

Warmest wishes,

Rowenna Menzies

 

Sefydliad Graham Menzies Graham Menzies Foundation

Canolfan Adfer Lechyd Cymru Welsh Centre for Recovery

Contact

By mail: Preswylfa, Dolypandy, Capel Bangor, Aberystwyth SY23 3LY

By telephone: 01970 881052/07866547751

By e-mail: thegrahammenziesfoundation@hotmail.co.uk

www.grahammenziesfoundation.com

 

treatment for eating disorders DATABASE

January 26, 2008

Calling all eating disorder services in Wales…

Graham Menzies Foundation with the Cross Party E.D. Group and HCW are constructing a comprehensive data base of ALL services that treat E.Ds in Wales.

If you represent, or know of a service; please let us know by e-mailing us or by responding to this post. We are interested in every type of support and every level of care.

Below is the information we will need:

1.Your location within Wales

2.The name of your service/organisation

3.What type of service or support do you offer? 

4.Contact details (such as address, telephone number, e-mail address and web-site)

5.Organisation type (NHS, voluntary sector, religious organisation etc.)

6.Opening times/hours 

7. How do individuals access your service?

8. Any restrictions (such as minimum bmi, age range, gender etc.) 

9. (If relevent) Cost of service?/Is financial help available?

10. Any additional information

 What happens to this information?

It will be passed to Health Commission Wales who will use the information for referral purposes. The data base will be available to the general public and will be published on the Graham Menzies Foundation web site under the “treatment” heading.

It will also be shared with GPs and other health professionals within Wales.

Thankyou for your support 

please call with any questions… 

Interview with Nicholas Bourne AM

January 26, 2008

graham menzies foundation

 

nich Bourne


Eating Disorders

January 23rd 2008

Interview with Nicholas Bourne, AM, leader of the Opposition

Hi Nick,

You are a founding member of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Cross Party group on Eating Disorders and you are a trustee of the Graham Menzies Foundation…  We’d like to ask you a few questions.

Today’s youth often feel detached and alienated from politics… it’s fantastic that you are campaigning for a health issue that significantly affects young people.
Are you particularly interested in this demographic?

I think politicians do have a responsibility to ensure that younger people are engaged with national politics.  Young people feel passionate about many issues whether on global poverty, the environment or health issues, and it is our responsibility to ensure that younger people are involved in political campaigning,  hopefully on a Party basis, but certainly on issues that they see as important.

Do you know anybody who has been affected by an eating disorder?

I don’t know anybody well who has been affected by an eating disorder, but certainly relatives of friends have been affected and are still affected.

It’s quite unusual to find a man campaigning for an issue which is perceived as largely feminine. Any comment?

 It might be unusual to find a man campaigning for such an issue, though there are quite a few male Assembly Members at our inaugural meeting and although the issue may affect more women than men, it certainly does affect men and I suspect there is under reporting of men with eating disorders, perhaps because of the idea that it somehow affects women exclusively or largely.

What is the situation regarding eating disorders in your constituency?

 I know throughout my constituency that there are people suffering from eating disorders and there is sometimes a problem with access to services because of its rural nature and the fact that it is the furthest area away from England where a lot of services that Welsh people access are based.

Are you self conscious about your own appearance/body image?

 I suppose, like everybody else, I am self conscious about my own appearance and body image, but it is not something that I give a massive amount of thought too.

What’s your favourite meal?

My favourite meal is Roti Canai and Tehtarik, which is Indian bread with meat or vegetables and Indian tea. Literally it means pulled tea because it is sieved and tipped from a great height.

roti canai
Thankyou so much for your time. We appreciate everything you are doing to improve the situation for people who suffer from eating disorders in Wales.

I look forward to continuing to campaign for people who suffer from eating disorders in Wales!
If you would like to ask Nick a question on this issue… please do so here; he will be pleased to hear from you!
Alternatively, visit Nick’s blog at:

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.