Beat History


Beat began life as the Eating Disorders Association (EDA) in 1989 when two local charities, Anorexic Aid founded by Dr Pat Hartley and Anorexic Family Aid founded by Mrs Nancy Pearce merged to form the UK’s first national organisation devoted to eating disorders.  Both charities had noticed an urgent need for information, help and support and EDA developed to support people affected by bulimia and binge eating as well as anorexia.

In 1992, a third charity merged with EDA – the Society for the Advancement of Research into Anorexia – SARA. 

In February 2007 following extensive consultation with our service users and young people we launched our new Beat name and logo with a new vision – that eating disorders will be beaten.

Beat seeks to build on the reputation that EDA established 22 years ago, to prove our commitment to the work EDA began, and to drive forward with an increased impact.  We retain a commitment to supporting research by collaborating in research studies, encouraging people to take part in trials and by promoting evidence based treatment.


Anorexia Family Aid and Anorexic Aid merge, forming the Eating Disorders Association


HRH The Princess of Wales visited EDA’s Norwich Headquarters at Sackville Place 


EDA membership tops 3,000 for the first time

EDA Youthline service starts, opening 3 days per week


EDA holds its first training course for healthcare professionals


European Eating Disorders Review is launched

SARA (Society for the Advancement of Research into Anorexia) merges with EDA


EDA Norwich staff levels rise to 4 full- time and 12 part-time


EDA wins £32,000 lottery funding for the Youthline services


The first major EDA fundraising event is held at Lambeth Palace


EDA information is available on the internet for the first time


EDA answers 11,500 phone calls on the helpline


EDA responds in the media to the findings of Dr Anne Becker et al’s study in Fiji researching media impact on eating disorders by saying that the media does not cause eating disorders but the media world needs to be more responsible


The EDA helpline recruits its first paid staff

Lena Zavaroni dies on 1st October aged 35 after a long battle with anorexia


EDA launches its own website


EDA receives a major donation from the October Club


EDA releases its first eating disorders educational resource It’s Not about Food, It’s About Feelings


The Eating Disorders National Awards (EDNAs) are launched in October


EDNet conference held in London, developing EDAs relationship with health care professionals

NICE guidance on eating disorders is published


The first Young Ambassadors are recruited




EDA is awarded its first large scale funding from the Big Lottery Fund for Young People’s Participation work


EDA rebrands as Beat

Keira Knightly and Kate Winslet both make donations to Beat


British Fashion Council and Beat collaborate.  Training is provided for model bookers throughout the fashion industry


Beat Cymru is funded by the Big Lottery Fund to create support services for people in Wales

Beat works with the Royal College of Psychiatrists to create quality assurance standards for eating disorder services



Beat celebrates its 21st anniversary year

The first memorial service dedicated to lives lost to eating disorders is held at Southwark Cathedral


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