History

We began life in 1989 as the first national charity for people with eating disorders as the result of a merger of two local charities: Anorexic Aid and Anorexic Family Aid. Called the Eating Disorders Association, we have grown and developed over time to become Beat, the UK’s leading charity supporting people affected by eating disorders.

Throughout 2014 we are celebrating our 25th anniversary we are looking back at our past achievements. We have adapted and changed as people’s needs have changed. We continue to drive forward and strive to make a difference to the lives of those affected by these serious mental illnesses.

1989 Anorexic Family Aid and Anorexic Aid merge forming the Eating Disorders Association

1990 HRH The Princess of Wales visits our Norwich headquarters

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

1997 Our information is available on the internet for the first time

1999 We recruit our first paid staff to the helpline, working alongside our valued volunteers

2002 We launch message boards on our website

2005 We recruit and train our first Young Ambassadors

2007 We change our name to Beat

2011 We launch our guidelines for the media to promote honest, truthful and compassionate reporting of eating disorders

2013 We publish results of a survey showing unacceptable waiting times for treatment and campaign for parity of esteem between mental and physical health

Today we are not only helping people with eating disorders but also providing support for those with emotional overeating and difficulties with food, weight and shape. What remains at our heart – as true today as it was when we were founded – is the need to give help and hope to anyone affected by an eating disorder. The need to reach out and help is vital and our essential support services do that each and every day with our helplines, website, self help and support groups and online support. No one should have to face an eating disorder alone.