Hatfield-based Tesco to host self-help groups

PUBLISHED: 17:02 23 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:02 23 February 2016

Tesco Hatfield

Tesco Hatfield

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The Tesco store in Hatfield is hosting the first of two self-help groups for people with eating disorders in Hertfordshire.

The supermarket giant is allowing the group to use one of its community rooms on the first Thursday of every month.

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) successfully bid for a £9,000 lottery grant last year following calls from service users for additional community support.

The grant helped pay for the training of seven facilitators to run the groups who have either recovered from an eating disorder themselves or are the parent of someone who has lived with the condition.

Julia Bartsch, who is one of the people running the Hatfield group, said: “I have been recovered for about 12 years now but the biggest challenge in overcoming my eating disorder was the support I was offered, it wasn’t enough. It was a very lonely time for me and very tough not having the right support. I’m doing this to hopefully make others feel they are not alone.

“I think the group is a brilliant idea - again mainly because there is very little local support and we hope these groups will give the extra support that’s needed in Hertfordshire.”

HPFT treats more than 500 people a year for conditions including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.

Tanya Lovett, professional lead for the Hertfordshire Community Eating Disorders Service, said: “There’s a lot of value in speaking with people who have personally experienced a condition as they have a unique emotional insight that can be very supportive.

“The facilitators are all volunteers and the groups are primarily aimed at individuals who think they may have a problem but haven’t seen a professional, those who have relapsed or simply prefer the convenience of a more informal group and those who need some extra support following treatment from a service.”

The Hatfield self-group will be launched at Tesco, 164 Great North Road, Hatfield. AL9 5JY, from 7.30-9pm on Thursday, March 3. The second group will be based in Tesco in Watford and will be held on the third Monday of every month.

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