Empowering Families project - by Hannah King, Empowering Families Project Officer
November 16, 2011 at 3:24 PM
Empowering Families is a relatively new project from Beat that has been working to set up accessible skills-training workshops for carers. For the last year, there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes, recruiting and training some fantastic volunteers to run the workshops, and writing the manual and materials for the workshops.
Excitingly, we’re now reaching the time when the hard work pays off, as the first groups get ready to open across the country. Workshops are based on the latest carers self-help manual from the leading Maudsley hospital in London, and focus on empowering carers to become change coaches for their loved ones, while finding ways to re-balance their own, and their family’s life, away from the eating disorder that can so easily take over.
As Empowering Families Project Officer, I’ve been writing and testing the workshops with the support of Janet Treasure and her team at the Maudsley. The Pilot workshops in Cambridge went fantastically, with the carers giving detailed feedback so that the workshops could be improved for others. Despite the difficulties experienced by the carers, the group was light hearted and we found plenty to laugh about together, so it was really very enjoyable overall. Two workshops have also been run in Maidstone and Tonbridge with similar success.
It has been a privilege to be involved in getting this much-needed information and practical support out to carers. While it involves a lot of work, particularly for the volunteers running the workshops, the positive feedback we have received, and seeing people have their ‘lightbulb’ moments, makes it all more than worthwhile.
Having just sent out the finished manual and materials for the workshops to the volunteers, you should see workshops pop up all over the country. If you are interested in getting involved, either as a carer or a volunteer, or would just like some more information, please see the Empowering Families page http://www.b-eat.co.uk/get-help/get-support/empowering-families/
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