New eating disorder helpline arrives as lockdown sets in

Families and sufferers affected by an eating disorder can now access additional telephone support, thanks to the launch of a new listening service.

Wednesday’s Child, a Suffolk-based not-for-profit, has announced the addition to its offering, thanks to a generous donation from an East Anglian tech and telecoms firm.

DPS Technology has kindly sponsored the new Wednesday’s Child helpline, which will receive calls throughout the day and evening.

Call handlers have a broad mix of experiences and insights into eating disorders, and include parents who have helped children through an eating disorder, adults who overcame the illness, and therapists who regularly work with those experiencing a spectrum of mental health issues.

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The timing of the helpline arrival is particularly significant, with Covid-19 likely to prevent some sufferers and families accessing ‘in person’ appointments and support.

Debbie Watson
Debbie Watson, founder of Wednesday’s Child

Debbie Watson, founder of Wednesday’s Child, said: “This is a really significant step for us, and something we have been eager to implement in order to reach the large number of families or individuals who cannot, or do not feel able to, have physical meetings or appointments about eating disorder issues.

“It also allows callers to make contact with relative anonymity, so they can share concerns or anxieties with our team in a way which feels comfortable and empathetic.”

Expressing gratitude to DPS Technology, Debbie added: “As a not for profit organisation with huge demand for our services but little core funding, it simply would not have been possible for us to offer this solution if it were not for the generosity of DPS.

“Dean and his team have completely understood our challenges, and empathised with our desire to help as many families and individuals as we can.


“I am extremely grateful for this sponsorship and have no doubt it will make a huge difference to many.”

Dean Willingham, managing partner of DPS Technology, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be able to support Wednesday’s Child by offering this service.

“This helpline is essential for providing a connection to people who are struggling, and even more so in the current period of such uncertainty, and potential isolation.”

He added: “As a company, we are proud to be able to give our expertise and resource in a way which allows Wednesday’s Child to focus on its invaluable work – rather than being distracted by the need for funding and for sourcing the right technology.”

The new Wednesday’s Child listening service can be accessed by calling, for free, on 0800 844 5211.

If you are interested in becoming a call handler, please contact Debbie on debbie@wednesdayschild.co.uk

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