Should auld acquaintance be forgot? Natasha Jones - North Wales Project Officer

December 29, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Since returning from my maternity leave in September, I have been busy re-connecting with my volunteers, carers, supporters, professionals and third sector agencies with whom I work in North Wales.

After a year away, I feel so fortunate that I have come back to the same smiling faces, my volunteers (who work so hard campaigning against the stigma suffered by people with eating disorders, promoting Beat and operating Self Help Groups) have welcomed me back with open arms. And I’m glad to be back amongst them, I am the only member of the Beat team in the area and I rely on my volunteers and professional networks to help me “get the job done”.

For those that know it, the area of North Wales is a large, mainly rural part of the country, and without my volunteers and the third sector agencies who work alongside me, I really would struggle to get the word out to everyone about Beat Cymru. The infrastructure of North Wales (though improving) still means that there are villages and towns prone to isolation, some are off the beaten track and others have few, or poor transport links.

We currently have 3 Beat Cymru self help groups in North Wales, located in Bangor, Holywell and Wrexham, with two new groups about to launch in the new year in the Llandudno and Prestatyn/ Rhyl areas. These groups are in more densely populated areas, although I hope that we can open satellite groups in more rural areas in the future. We also have Beat information on the Rural Information Service bus in North Wales which is endearingly nicknamed Doris!

So it’s with excitement that I look forward to the New Year. To the launch of two new Beat self help groups in North Wales. A Beat training day in our area. A regional event for Eating Disorders Awareness Week. A tour of the universities and colleges to promote Beat and our self help groups, and raising awareness of eating disorders and training GPs in North Wales at one of their CPD events.

So should auld acquaintance be forgot? Not for me.

I am looking forward to working with my wonderful volunteers and professional networks in the New Year and beyond, and forging friendships with the newly recruited volunteers, professionals, carers and everyone else I meet along the way.

And it is with hope too that I look forward to 2012, that our new year’s resolutions are healthy ones, and that together we can prove that eating disorders can be beaten.

Blwyddyn Newydd Da i chi gyd. Happy New Year to you all.


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