F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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this group has helped me to save my daughter life and I continue to turn to it daily. Sometimes I feel “qualified” to post something and other times I feel others may be better placed to offer help. Because of this support I’d like to try facilitate something similar but not on line.

I am based in the highlands of Scotland. Would like to set up a face to face informal monthly support group for carers and anyone affected by an ED. The current one locally restricts membership to carers looking after an adult. (Already asked them to review but no luck) has anyone got any advice or experience of this? Thanks in advance.
I have no experience but just wanted to say that I think it is sooooo nice from you that you want to do that and share your experience with others. This is really a gift to all those poor families in Scotland and I sure they will be blessed to see you there.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Hi there is advice about how to do this on feast website - coffee mornings or similar. X
Courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair
Hi silvermoon,

Here is a link as mentioned by Sandie above to help guide you. It is a wonderful initiative and I wish you luck and success.

Warm wishes,

2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
Hi Silvermoon. Is this the group that is based at Raigmore? 
There have been attempts at setting up support groups in the Highlands before but for various reasons they have failed .
You can get free facilitator training from SEDIG early next year, even if you don't have a group set up yet, which will give you an idea of what is involved.  SEDIG is putting a lot of its focus into helping the support groups as we think they are paying dividends in terms of offering effective ongoing support for parents 

You probably need four facilitators to run a group successfully as good practice promotes that groups should not be run with less than two facilitators. I think the difficulty in sustaining a group in the Highlands is that families are widespread and have to travel a fair distance to come.  And facilitators will always have occasions when they cannot make it which is why you need more than two. 

Groups in Scotland in general are run monthly. I think it is great that you want to create a support group in this area of Scotland.  They need to be run according to strict guidelines as there is a risk of them turning into get togethers where parents find themselves complaining about services, which doesn't help anyone.  Please email me separately if you want.
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
Hi Slivermoon, Yes I have set up a carers support group in 2016 that has been fairly successful in my area of Bedforshire. I have run this solely on my own for most of this time but have recently made one of our regular carers co-facilitator and vice-chair of our group. I approached local eating disorders services first to ask if they were interested only to be told that carers support groups have been tried and don't work. I then approached a local disability charity in our area that get alot of funding for carers and they allowed me to set up free of charge at their premises. Their support have been invaluable as they printed flyers and room hire free of charge for our first 3 years. This year we are formalizing our group and applying for funding so we will be more self sufficient. There are definite difficulties far bigger than I envisaged at the start but the rewards do far outweigh everything. 
I would also advise trying to have at least one other person with you to set it all up and have a second co-facilitator at all sessions if possible. But more than anything you just need to be very clear that you are merely peer support and not advisory and not clinically trained. If you can get some form of facilitator training that would be good. Also training for suicide awareness and safeguarding for vulnerable adults is also helpful. I've trained through BEAT to be one of their Echo Carer Support coaches and that also helped me alot. I use the rules and regs(with a few tweaks) from the FEAST website which I give to every new member on joining. Maintaining a positive and pro-recovery atmosphere is important to me at the group and our sessions are usually fairly upbeat despite the difficulties that everyone is facing. Eating Disorder services are cautious at the beginning but if you can prove yourself then in time you hopefully will be able to make good connections and they will hopefully will start to refer to your support group. We recently opened up a 2nd session due to demand and we have a very loyal number of carers who attend regularly and report gaining much benefit from the group. We even have one member who travels over 50miles to attend a few times a year - so there is definitely a need for more support groups. I never specified which carers could attend other than they must be over 18years. The majority of our carers have an adult loved one but we have a mix of parents, husbands and boyfriends who attend. I do think there would be benefit to a group solely for carers with a young person. I have attached a flyer for our group. Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/CEDAsupportgroup 
Thanks for all the replies especially Hope-Full mum. Such a fantastic reply and very inspirational to see how far you’ve come in just three years. What an achievement. Definitely need to find out if there is a demand and start the ball rolling from there.