Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorders Association
"Serving those affected by eating disorders"
Having an eating disorder or supporting someone who has can be a painful and distressing experience. Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorders Association (SWEDA) offers a wide range of services to ‘those affected by eating disorders’ in Somerset and the surrounding counties.
Getting in touch can be difficult, so SWEDA provides a number of contact points - ‘Frontline Services’ - which you can use to find out more about our organisation and its services, or as support services in their own right. Hopefully you’ll be able to find one that feels comfortable. SWEDA's Frontline Services are available to anyone 'affected by eating disorders' whether a suffer, someone caring or concerned for a person and a professional working with clients with eating disorders.
This page aims to provide information about our frontline services, the Telephone Helpline, Letter and Email Support and our new Microsoft Messenger Support
The Telephone Helpline is SWEDA's longest running Frontline Service and aims to offer sufferers of an eating disorder and their carers a chance to.
Trained listeners are available to take your call and an answerphone is available when the Helpline is closed.
Help by Letter & Email
If, for any reason, you feel unable to use the helpline but would still like to get in touch or if you would just prefer to write then SWEDA's Help By Letter service could be for you.
The Help by Letter scheme offers a similar service to that provided by our Helpline but allows people to write rather than use the phone (although you can of course do both if you wish). Many of the same volunteers that operate our Helpline are also involved in the Help By Letter service. Just write to us and a SWEDA volunteer will respond to your letter directly and as quickly as possible.
This service is open to all but if you live outside of Somerset we would ask that you provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope to help cover our costs. Please send you letters to the SWEDA offices, the address is on the back of this leaflet.
This service is also available through email but please be aware of the security and privacy implications and limitations of email correspondence. If you would like to use Help By Letter using email then please send your emails to:-
Microsoft Messenger Support
The popularity of the internet has grown hugely over recent years and it has become a popular method of communication in a variety of forms and many organisations are now offering information and support online. Providing support via email is one way SWEDA has tapped into the popularity of the internet but we also offer a new Windows Live Messenger based service to provide an information and support service, similar to the helpline, online.
Messenger is a real-time, text based chat service (provided by Microsoft) in which people can communicate by typing messages to each other. In order to use this service you will need to have Microsoft Windows Live Messenger installed and add:- email@example.com to your list of contacts
You can download Messenger at:-
SWEDA usually runs Messenger on two or three computers during helpline times and contacts can be passed between machines if things get busy. If you feel able to set your online status to Available when first contacting SWEDA we can manage the contacts more easily (we don't seem able to pass contacts between computers when someone's status is set to Appear Offline), however if it feels safer to appear offline, that's fine too.
If you are passed to a free volunteer you may notice that someone has been added to your conversation; this will be the volunteer you've been passed to. Please don't worry about this, but if you are concerned, just ask.
© 2004 ~ 2013 Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorders Association