King’s Lynn anorexia support group is based on experience

A King's Lynn mother, who has watched her teenage daughter battle anorexia, has launched a support group in the town.

Karen Easthall has first-hand experience in caring for someone who has the condition and now she wants to offer help and support to others who find themselves dealing directly with anorexia.

Her daughter Hollie Mabley, 16, is now studying for her A-levels at Springwood High School but she became dangerously ill and missed a lot of education during her GCSE exam year – although she still managed to achieve 10 passes.

'We have launched the group with the backing of the Beat charity and hope that both those with anorexia and their carers will come along.

'If we get a good number, we would like to split the group into two with support for each,' said Mrs Easthall.

Hollie was diagnosed with anorexia in August 2009 after she was admitted to hospital for another problem. Her weight was very low and she went to hospital four times before being taken as a patient at The Phoenix Centre, Cambridge, a specialist facility for teenagers with eating disorders.

She spent three months as an in-patient with an intensive regime before being allowed home.

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Mrs Easthall, of Fairstead, said: 'We are very lucky here because we have good, intensive support and everyone has been really good. I just felt I needed something to support me too and I met another mum who said she felt the same.'

Although Hollie is now a good weight and has made good progress, her mother said it was something which would possibly never completely go away. 'It is something you have to live with,' she said.

Mrs Easthall and another carer for someone with anorexia, Gary Bramham, have trained as facilitators with eating disorder charity Beat and took their first meeting earlier this month. The group meets at the Discovery Centre, North Lynn, and the next get-together is on Thursday, February 3, from 7pm to 9pm.

For further information, contact 07917 428494 or 0795 6009472.