A young person who was treated at Newbridge has turned to her creative talents during lockdown to raise money for the eating disorders charity, Beat.

Hannah, who is 19, has launched her own handmade jewellery line, aptly named ‘feed beads’, which has been so successful that she raised £700. Her supportive sister, who used to regularly visit Newbridge while she was in treatment, has achieved match funding from The Pavers Foundation, the charitable facet of Pavers, the shoe company. Together, they have raised a total of £1,400.

“While she was at Newbridge, my sister was often doing all sorts of arts and crafts activities. She has always been creative, and I think it was a good, mindful thing to do things like crochet and art while she was struggling with her eating disorder.”

Covid and lockdown has brought many challenges for people who have been affected by eating disorders, but Hannah has found turning to creative hobbies is both helpful for herself and for others.

“She just picked it up from bit and bobs available, making things like necklaces and bracelets,” said her sister, Holly. “Then she started making orders for Christmas and it all took off.

“It’s fantastic that she has raised so much money for a cause close to her heart. I wanted to support her and applied to The Pavers Foundation, where I work, for a grant. I was so pleased when the committee offered to match my sisters’ funding and give £700.

The Pavers Foundation invites employees of Pavers, Jones Bootmaker and Herring Shoes to submit grant applications to causes they are passionate about, and make a difference in areas of health, education and community. The Foundation loves to make donations which will have impactful and long-lasting effects on the charities they reach, and also to recognise the hard work and dedication of its own colleagues, and those within the wider community. This donation on Hannah’s behalf not only acknowledges her wonderful efforts to help those in need, but will also go on to benefit many more people who have been affected by eating disorders.

“My sister was very poorly when she came to Newbridge and we will always be grateful to everyone who took such great care of her, and helped her regain her health enough to come home in summer 2018. It is so important to support charities like Beat, who not only consider those who are ill, but their families and loved ones as well, who can be equally badly affected by the traumatic impact of eating disorders.”

Natalie Maley, Hospital Director for Newbridge, said: “It is wonderful to hear of young people who have been with us go on to use their abilities in such a positive way.

“We know that lockdown brings particular challenges to people who have been affected by eating disorders; this is a great example of how mindful hobbies, such as making jewellery, can provide a great coping strategy during difficult times.”

Since achieving the match funding, Hannah has raised another £200 on her own, bringing the grand total raised to £1,600.