First Steps offers online befriending for anyone who might benefit from one to one support over email. Befriending provides support by creating a means of communication to discuss the sufferer’s difficulties in times of need. It allows service users to talk things through with someone who understands, someone who has often been affected themselves by an eating disorder. It gives a space to work on recovery, offload and express how someone might be thinking or feeling.

We also understand the difficulties a family member or friend goes through when a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, so befriending is open to carers, too.

The befriender is a trained volunteer or member of staff who will be matched up to the sufferer, according to their similar interests and/or experiences. As well as talking about the sufferer’s eating disorder, they can also discuss their hobbies and interests. The befriender will contact the sufferer on a regular basis, typically twice a week. You are able to email your befriender any time with as much or little detail as you like, however, we do ask that you make regular contact and reply to each email.

Befriending does not offer a “miracle cure”. However, it does give you regular support alongside other support you may be accessing. Your befriender will also be able to signpost you to other services and help available. It is important that you access the support available from your GP and other health professionals alongside this.

To register your interest in befriending, please contact First Steps on 01332 367571 or [email protected]. Or alternatively, you can make a referral here