Our latest Guest Blogger shares her fundraising initiative for Beat’s 125 Challenge, spreading the message of “strength, solidarity and hope” to the 125 million eating disorder sufferers in the UK.

Throughout my recovery in the summer, I taught myself to crochet as a form of distraction. I started by making amigurumi bees which I sold on DePop and managed to raise over £50 for the eating disorders charity, Beat. I then experimented with crocheting clothing, and I made a few tops to continue to keep my hands busy and brain distracted.

Therefore, in September 2021 when Beat advertised their 125 Challenge, I knew I wanted to take part.

This was a challenge created for the duration of October 2021 to spread the message of “strength, solidarity and hope” to the 125 million sufferers in the UK. Beat were founded in 1989 and their mission “is to end pain and suffering caused by eating disorders”. There are many ways in which eating disorders severely affect the quality of life of both those suffering and those who care about them. They steal childhoods, devastate relationships, and pull families apart. But, with the right treatment and support which Beat helps to provide, recovery is possible.

They do this through their national Helpline which exists to encourage and empower people to get help quickly. People can contact them online or by phone 365 days a year to find help in understanding the illness, and support sufferers to take the positive steps towards recovery. They also help to support family and friends, equipping them with essential skills and advice, so they can help their loved ones recover whilst also looking after their own mental health.

Before my diagnosis of anorexia, I relied on Beat’s helpline to support me with taking the initiative to ask for help towards recovery. I also made the most of their information and resources to learn about the illness and understand what was going on with me. The resources angled towards family and loved ones were vital to my family’s understanding of the illness and how they could aid me with my recovery. Beat also campaign to increase knowledge among healthcare and other relevant professionals, and for better funding for high-quality treatment, so that when people are brave enough to take vital steps towards recovery, the right help is available to them.

Using Pinterest and Youtube videos I found 61 crochet square patterns which are all brightly coloured and textured. Using these online resources, I was able to teach myself a variety of stitches and techniques to create them. I wanted this blanket to be a source of anti-anxiety/comfort and mindfulness for sufferers, so I knew it was important for the squares to play on both the visual and physical senses.

My favourite squares are the light blue bunny and the rainbow. The cute smiling face of the bunny with 3D ears is perfect for fiddling with and reminds us of the joy that celebrations such as Easter bring but also how important it is to look after our bodies through food and rest. Rainbows have always been a sign of support and solidarity as it was the symbol for, the LGBTQ+ community. Even more so now, the rainbow has become a symbol of gratitude and a brighter future throughout the global pandemic.

Across the blanket I embroidered positive affirmations and phrases of encouragement:

  • Take A Leap
  • Be Afraid & Do It Anyway
  • Be Your Own Hero
  • Eat It to Beat It
  • You’re More Than the Way You Look
  • Nourish 2 Flourish
  • Food Is Fuel
  • Challenge Accepted
  • Don’t Let Your Mind Bully Your Body
  • Keep Going
  • Be Kind to Yourself
  • Become Comfy in The Uncomfy
  • Life Gets Better When You Do
  • You’re Enough
  • You Can’t Have a Rainbow Without a Little Rain
  • The World Is a Better Place with You In It

I chose to include these phrases as during my recovery they rang true with me and helped me keep going. I wanted them to be short and easy to read for when a sufferer has the blanket so they can quickly and easily read these phrases and feel a sense of motivation and drive or can find a message to take with them into their day to day lives.

If you would like to peruse Beat’s Website: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/

Or, if you would like to access their helpline: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/get-information-and-support/get-help-for-myself/i-need-support-now/helplines/

Also, if you would like to donate to my Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/darcey-norman-crotchets?utm_source=sms&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=darcey-norman-crotchets&utm_campaign=pfp-sms&utm_term=8f6ef73eb7434a96b78388dc4a6fc87f

Or place a bid in the auction: https://www.32auctions.com/BeatBlanket

Or even purchase a bee for a loved one or yourself from my Depop shop: https://depop.com/dotsgiggles

Do you have any questions? Get in touch with us!