SWEDA Annual Review &
Impact report 2021/22

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.

Sarah Brennan



SWEDA is the ONLY charity in Somerset addressing the issues below

  • People identified by national statistics as having a possible eating disorder may not reach the thresholds required for a formal clinical diagnosis of an eating disorder or the thresholds for NHS, private or charity support and services. (NHS Digital 2021)
  • Unmet and escalating need has a significant cost impact on the individual, families and wider society. The estimated total cost of anorexia and bulimia in England by EY in 2020 is said to be £8bn (health care approx. £1.3bn; carer costs approx. £0.1bn. (The Heart Mind and Genes Coalition for Eating Disorders EY 2021)
  • Eating disorders are a serious mental health condition
  • Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
  • Prevention, early intervention and post-treatment (condition management) support at a pre and sub-clinical level and post treatment (for condition management) is cost-effective and stops unnecessary escalations of (met and unmet) need on the NHS and other services. (NHS England 2016; 2019)
  • In 2019, 16% of adults aged 16 and over (19% of women and 13% of men) screened positive for a possible eating disorder. This included 4% (5% of women and 3% of men) reporting that their feelings about food had interfered with their ability to work, meet personal responsibilities, or enjoy a social life. (NHS Digital 2020)
Sweda UK

GSK Awards

Challenges We Faced During This Year

  • 1 High demand for our Children and Young People’s Services
  • 2 Demand for our advice and services from national NHS Health Trusts following the roll out of Mental Health Transformation
  • 3 Introduction of a blended service model including face-2-face and online services, whilst effectively managing the risk for our more vulnerable clients.
  • 4 Recruitment of good quality staff in the current recruitment crisis post COVID and BREXIT.

“SWEDA gives me the help, support and tools I need to help myself start a recovery from this restrictive mental torture. Thank you, thank you, thank you SWEDA x”

Service User

Our Impact


Individual clients received 1-2-1 support; a 63% increase on last year


Support & Guidance sessions were delivered: 8% increase


Counselling sessions were delivered to 104 individual clients: 47% increase on last year’s sessions and 68% increase in clients


Individuals attended our monthly support group: 71% increase


Hits to our website: 21% increase


Young People have attended our ED awareness training


Counselling sessions were delivered to 29 Children and Young People: 190% increase on last year’s sessions and 107% increase in number of clients.


Volunteer Hours contributed by our wonderful volunteers valued at £36,423 (based on minimum living wage)

Income 2021/22

Charitable activities £229,997

Other trading activities £3,555

Investment income £140

Donations & Grants £274,684

Expenditure 2021/22

Charitable activities £344,201

Fundraising £28,910

Charity Investment for 2022/23 via designated funds

Digital platform development £20,000

Development of fundraising £80,000

Additional equipment
for increasing numbers
staff & volunteers £35,000

Premises, need additional space £30,000

IT increased staff team £40,000

  • Won the GSK Impact Awards 2021 which included the development of a promotional film
  • Negotiated and secured a contract to expand our services into Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucester (BNSSG)
  • Negotiated and secured a contract to expand our Children’s Service in Somerset
  • Set up a support group for friends and family of people with eating disorders.
  • Recruited a digital marketeer and fundraiser to help raise our profile through digital platforms.
  • Worked alongside CORC (Children’s Outcome Research Consortium) to review and introduce new outcome measure tools. This will enable us to benchmark our work against the NHS and other ED services
  • Expanded our opening hours to 4 days per week 8am to 8pm
  • Created a new fundraising CRM
  • Formed an alliance with other regional eating disorder charities, called REDCAN (Regional Eating Disorders Charities Alliance Network)
  • Increase our counselling service by a further 15%
  • Increase our Children’s services by 25%
  • Recruit 7 new members of staff to join the clinical team
  • Recruit 3 new members of staff to join the infrastructure team
  • Recruit 6 new Trainee Counsellors to join the counselling team
  • Launch a new counselling service in Bristol
  • Initiate an awareness campaign to address the shortfall of men and people from ethnic minority backgrounds using our services.
  • Re-design and re-launch our website
  • Explore expanding our services into new geographical areas
  • Gain accreditation for our counselling service through the BACP
  • Work towards gaining an accreditation for all our training packages
  • Expand our services to 5 days per week



Increased delivery on support & guidance sessions


Of people said that lockdown made their eating disorder harder to manage


Increase in 1-2-1 support


Increase of individuals attending our monthly support group

Our Vision

Our vision is to support everyone affected by eating disorders across Somerset & Wessex.

Mission Statement

We engage with people affected by eating disorders, including family, friends and carers, by offering hope and enabling access to support services to empower recovery

9 Core Values


Respecting boundaries and confidentiality


Providing family friendly services and workplace environment


Being an exemplar of good practice in all aspects of our work

User Influence

Listening to our clients to ensure they are at the heart of all we do


Motivated and aspirational in our work


Working in partnership with our clients, their families, statutory and voluntary organisations


Supporting our clients to remain hopeful that recovery is possible


To our clients, staff, and volunteers in time of need.


Responding to the complexity of our clients’ needs

  • “I had consistently been losing weight for more than 8 months and had become accustomed to eating very little. This triggered a return of my anorexia, after a 20-year period of recovery. SWEDA were able to offer me an appointment the very next day. When we met I was feeling very ill and frightened.I spoke to them about my fears, but then took the decision to go to my doctor on the way home. I was admitted to hospital within a few days.”

    Adam, 56

It’s important for us to be able to continue supporting those affected by Eating Disorders for as long as they need our help. It can take ten years of support for an individual to achieve full recovery and whilst many of our clients contribute to the cost some are financially unable to do so.

SWEDA will never turn anyone away for financial reasons.

Donate Now

Like many charities SWEDA could not survive without our funders and supporters – a big thank you to everyone who kindly donated and supported us throughout the year.

If you’d like to donate to SWEDA there are many ways in which you can do this. Donate online through our website www.swedauk.org and use the donate button.

Send us a cheque posting to:
The Coach House
Harvest Court
Park Road
Shepton Mallet

Donate online through our website Donate Now

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