Stevenage addiction charity set to increase eating disorder support

Chris Noble from Hertfordshire Freemasons, chief executive of The Living Room Adrienne Arthurs, The

Chris Noble from Hertfordshire Freemasons, chief executive of The Living Room Adrienne Arthurs, The Living Room's fundraising manager Mark Wiseman, former client of The Living Room Jill, and Jay Patel from Hertfordshire Freemasons. Picture: Terry Mitchinson. - Credit: Archant

People suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia will be able to access support through a specialist programme thanks to a £60,000 charity grant from Hertfordshire Freemasons.

The Living Room will launch a new service at its addiction rehabillitation centre at The Glebe in Stevenage this month.

More than 13,000 people in Herts are thought to be living with an eating disorder.

Jill, who attended a support group at The Living Room’s St Albans centre two years ago, said: “Finding something that truly contributes to the long-term healing of an eating disorder can be very difficult, but this is what I found at The Living Room and I’m so grateful for all the help and support they gave me.

“I’m delighted this generous support will allow more people with eating disorders to get the support they need.”

The Living Room, which treats people who suffer with substance and behavioural addictions at its two centres, hopes to treat 90 people over three years through the new group, based on a capacity of up to 15.

The charity, founded in 2000, will adopt peer-led counselling treatment facilitated by specialist counsellors.

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Within the safe space of group therapy, clients can step away from the isolation and secrecy so common among sufferers, and will be encouraged to trust, share and support each other.

The grant from Hertfordshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation – funded by Freemasons and their families and friends from across England and Wales.

Adrienne Arthurs, chief executive of The Living Room, said: “We’re really grateful for their generous grant.

“Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to treat. There’s a great deal of stigma about the condition and, even when a sufferer recognises they need help, treatment is hard to come by.

“We can now offer a weekly treatment programme that will be free and not time limited.”

Jay Patel, from Hertfordshire Freemasons, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to help The Living Room, which is doing excellent work helping people with eating disorders.

“These are conditions which are terrible for individuals and their families and it’s wonderful news that a new treatment programme is available.”

To get in touch with The Living Room in Stevenage call 01438 355649 or visit