A Message From Our Chair
Hello and welcome to this year’s Annual Review of the Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorder Association or SWEDA. My name is Sarah Brennan and I was invited to become Chairperson 18 months ago. I was proud to be asked as already I had seen how this community organisation showed its big heart in its impressive delivery to help young and old with their eating problems.
We were then still in the stranglehold of Covid 19, but SWEDA had responded so effectively our services had increased not diminished. We learned a lot about new ways of providing support remotely and we have incorporated the best into our long-term work. Once again, we increased the number of people we helped last year – by over 63% . We increased our services for children and young people, were invited to deliver community eating disorder services in Bristol which have just started, and we built relationships with our partner community eating disorder organisations across the UK to create a national network, REDCAN.
Overall, we continue to grow and are set for ongoing growth with increased future services to help address the high levels of need within the community.
Many factors have enabled these achievements. First of all, we are enormously grateful for the ongoing support of our funders. Their crucial support has helped SWEDA through the challenging times and more recently helping us to respond to demand, build our services as well as the important infrastructure behind the scenes. We have focussed on these areas in the last year so that we are strong to support both the current and future demand for our services.
Strong and thoughtful leadership has been another critical ingredient leading to our success. The senior management team ably led the Chief Executive Paula Blight have provided a balanced, strategic and stable organisational leadership. As a Board of Trustees, we recognise how essential, and often unsung, leadership skills are. I have been very impressed with their professionalism and dedication to SWEDA. I know that along with us, they, in their turn, highly value the whole staff team – both paid and volunteer staff. We all value the warm culture of support, creativity and friendly challenge to get the job done.
I look forward to what I know will be a challenging, but nevertheless impressive year ahead.
Thank you for your interest and support.