S.E.E.D (Support and Education for Eating Disorders) is a registered charity based in Preston covering the whole of Lancashire. The charity was founded in 2007 to provide a network of support for sufferers of eating/food/weight related issues and their family members, carers, friends and colleagues. Breathe Therapies is the not for profit treatment arm of the charity and is run as a social enterprise.
What We Did
S.E.E.D and Breathe Therapies filled a gap as Lancashire was without community support or intervention for eating disorders. The main reasons for the charity and social enterprise are that eating disorders need to be treated as early as possible and in some cases they can be life threatening. The help, support and services that we deliver offers a responsive and bespoke care package promoting recovery and early intervention and ultimately having a positive effect on the client’s prognosis and wellbeing.
We are the only service of this kind in Lancashire, offering a vital lifeline providing information, advice, education, resources, training and practical help for anyone affected by eating distress delivering safe and effective therapeutic interventions. Locally, the NHS only accepts patients based on BMI and there is a massive delay in receiving treatment. We offer bespoke treatment packages treating the whole person, no waiting lists with treatment being as individual as the person, and access is not based on weight or body mass index.
As part of our physical healthcare services we offer dance and sport related services:
PERSONAL TRAINER/Dance tutor – working on a 1:1 basis with a client at their specific level of need. For weight management clients, a personal trainer can help teach and train individuals on the best way to keep themselves physically healthy and active. Working closely with individuals gives them motivation and individual plans for exercise, nutrition and routines are created that are specific to that client’s needs and requirements. Improved physical performance, heart conditions and health outcomes. Clients should see improved motivation and positive results with regard to general health and improved quality of life.
PHYSIOTHERAPY to help patients to recover their movement and function to full potential. For patients that have physical complications as a result of their eating disorder, physiotherapy will help patients to recover and improve their movement, quality of life or to an agreed goal by the patient and therapists. The use of movement and exercise within this kind of therapy helps to alleviate pain and restore strength at a safe, monitored and appropriate pace to the client. Leads to recovery or improvement of physical difficulties and essentially improves quality of life
SPECIALIST PILATES – Pilates is an exercise discipline that rather than focusing on aerobic exercise, is centred around the use of the body, muscle definition and relaxation, Pilates can help sufferers of eating disorders to engage in light exercise without pushing their bodies beyond their limits due to the poor physical health effects of the illness, Specialist pilates classes incorporate a range of simple movements for maximum effect, employing different tools to provide more challenge and vary every workout, Regular practice typically leads to a stronger body and can have an overall de-stressing effect.
Socially, the service is supported by a team of ten volunteers, who we recruit and put through an intensive training programme. Their time contribution equates to over 1000 volunteer hours a year and offers them an insight and real life experience of supporting people with eating disorders. Most of our volunteers are under graduates studying health related or social work subjects and so this training and experience provides a strong basis for their future careers. It also supports our organisations ethos of being community driven.
Wider Active Support
As a small, locally based social enterprise we find it difficult to engage with other delivery partners as there are limited resources in the area. We are however affiliated with B-Eat and sign post our patients to other community services such as debt help, employment services, Christian support networks and housing support. As part of the discharge process, or if required sooner, we will refer on to local community services and these include Safe Centre, CAP, Debt Management groups, Career-Nav (IAG for those who have had their work affected/are work ready), and Education Business Partnership (NW) to support people back into employment. Our services follow NMC (nursing and midwifery council) and BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). We operate in accordance with National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and Kings College London Guidelines. We also work closely with patients own GP’s.
Patient and carer services are evaluated through clinical scoring outcomes such as CORE, EDE-Q, PHQ9 and feedback forms following groups and interventions. This information is used to collate qualitative and quantitative data and reports to further inform service development and improvements. We involve service users, including families and carers, in the design and development of services and so we seek their feedback at every opportunity and involve them in making decisions about how the services should evolve based on changing needs. These consultations and evaluations are usually managed in house through debrief sessions, group discussions, questionnaires and steering group.
Staff and volunteers receive regular reviews and through this one to one time, we discuss the service and any issues that need resolving/raising in order for the service to grow and flourish. This includes any training needs, operational plans and patient care packages. We also hold formal and informal staff training days were we have team building activities and the staff/volunteers have the opportunity to feedback and have input into the future delivery and business plans for SEED and breathe therapies.
Looking Back/Challenges Faced
Would have recruited trustees from different backgrounds and disciplines in order to help inform and drive the business forward.“Business Start Up” accessed business start-up and growth support through different incentives earlier. “Business/Community Sponsorship” in order to meet our ongoing running costs and to help businesses meet their CSR requirements we have asked the local business community support us in lots of different ways. This is a fairly new avenue though but has proved quite fruitful.
We have only recently started working in schools raising the awareness of body image and linking to famous figures. This work is very much an added value service and is dependent on staff/volunteer resources but we have found that schools are willing to pay for such sessions. Better market research and having the right contacts would have informed this at an earlier stage.
Overcoming financial challenges to ensure the service can remain stable and sustainable for future service users. Since the initiative was set up it has never received any grants or Government funding. Shelley has delivered a nurse-led, individualised service as a not for profit, Social Enterprise. Through sheer hard work, determination, unwavering beliefs and the support of local people as volunteers and the business community, Shelley has been able to keep the service going and the impact has resulted in a specialist community service for eating disorders and weight management. Through planning, strong leadership and a growth strategy the specialist clinical team now consist of Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Dietician, Nutritionist, CBT Therapist, Expressive Art Therapist, NLP Practitioner, Hypnotherapist, Mindfulness Practitioner and is growing daily. Through the treatment service Breathe supports on average 15 clients and their families/carers on day care treatment at any one time.
Financial planning and cash flow in place; Grants and tenders being applied for and secured; Commercial (not for profit) sales being generated; On-going cycle of volunteer recruitment and training; Bank of self-employed consultants being grown, across all disciplines Office staff trained across all functions (HR, finance and Admin) Regular staff meetings and briefings
To remain operational we have had to develop a commercially sustainable model for delivery. This model has been being developed over the last four years and at one point both organisations nearly closed, however we have turned our fortune around and operate on a much more robust model and are now going through a period of growth.
We have recently undertaken the decision to widen our customer scope and are now looking a revenue streams from schools and colleges. We have recently launched a young people’s outreach project around self-esteem and body image, offering interactive workshops. We hope to engage with at least 20 high schools from around Lancashire over the coming 12 months.
The sports and dance services are still in the first year of delivery and no formal evaluations have taken place as yet.
We are happy to disseminate our work with others. We currently share: At S.E.E.D and Breathe Therapies AGM; To CCG’s upon request; To our service users and volunteers; To our wider partners including GP’s; On our website; At events such as school based projects and conferences; To our network of consultants; Raising the profile at our fundraising events such as our Annual Fashion Show With affiliated partners such as B-Eat; At our drop-in and community based sessions; Through Talk Lancashire (local TV) https://www.youtube.com/watch? time_continue=2&v=Nm8wE12aH7E
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S.E.E.D and Breathe’s founder, Shelley Perry, has poured in her own time, money and passion to develop a team and service that delivers effective care, treatment and support. She has worked into the night and early mornings on many an occasion to ensure the progression of the service, the team and that safe, effective care is delivered, managing a team of over 20 staff, consultants, and dedicated volunteers, taking time out of her own weekend to deliver training to the team.
Shelley is never more than a phone-call away for clients and their families/carers, also running on line support groups in addition to her clinics and drop in sessions. Shelley is not only Chief Executive, but is also Clinical Director. She delivers front line services as well as being an astute business leader. She makes a positive impact on people’s lives and the community on a daily basis.
We support on average 15 clients and their families/carers on day care treatment at any one time and support a further 12 people each week through our drop in clinics. We also run fortnightly carers advice and information clinics with up to 10 families attending each session. Over the last 4 years we have supported 88 clients through bespoke treatment packages, offering one to one support/counselling.
Outcomes evidence a reduced impact on inpatient and community services and therefore reduce costs for local government; Initiative offers Added Value through its sister charity S.E.E.D, further reducing cost and impact on GPs; Offers a management service to GPs with the aim of reducing impact of eating disorders on GP and other services, reducing costs to local authorities and commissioners; Addresses the targets of Health of The Nation around mental health, healthy weight and wellbeing; Service has evolved and been developed further based on client feedback and evaluation.