We understand that the journey to recovery can be difficult. We are here to help you along the way.

I can’t believe the difference that SYEDA made to my daughter’s life, I am so grateful to the service and how it has helped her

Support groups are a chance to meet with other people who may have similar experiences to you so that you can provide each other with mutual support.

We run a support group for anyone suffering from an eating disorder. We also run a support group for family and friends.

The Peer Support Group and the Family and Friends group both take place on the first Tuesday of the month from 7.00-8.30 pm at our building in Sheffield. You do not need to book or make a referral to attend - just come along.   If you are attending for the first time then the facilitators will be happy to introduce themselves and explain more about the group so please feel free to come earlier for an informal chat.

The date for 2018 are as follows:

09 January, 06 February, 06 March, 03 April, 01 May, 05 June, 03 July, 07 August, 04 September, 02 October, 06 November, 04 December

In the group, you can share your experiences, or just listen.  You are under no obligation to say anything, unless you want to, but the atmosphere is warm and supportive and it is easy to join in.

 All groups are led by trained facilitators so everyone has a chance to speak if they wish to.  The groups for people with eating disorders are for anyone over 16 years of age.

Is a support group for me?

When someone first attends a support group, he or she will often feel a tremendous relief.  There is a sense of being understood, and group members talk of coming away afterwards feeling more hopeful and confident. 

 If you have an eating disorder and are not yet in treatment, a support group can help you take the first step.  If you’re already in treatment, it can give you additional encouragement and a safe environment to share your experiences.  If you've been in recovery for some time, but feel you need support occasionally, you can use the group that way.  You don’t need to come every time.

Both for people experiencing an eating disorder, and for those who support someone, a support group provides companionship, information and positive input.  It can be an important source of emotional and social support, and a chance to share and learn new, practical ways of dealing with the difficult situation you are in.

Being a member of a support group is about giving as well as receiving and group members often say how good it feels to know you have also helped someone else. 

Ground Rules

We have a simple set of ground rules for the group, these are:

CONFIDENTIALITY - what you see here, hear here, please let it stay here.  We appreciate that people want to talk about the group and share with friends and family what was useful (or not) but we ask that you don’t mention people by name or discuss in detail what others have said.

RESPECT - please respect the opinions of others, even if you don’t share them.  Please don’t judge one another, everyone’s experiences are very different.  Please don’t interrupt people when they’re speaking or talk over others.  We ask that if you have to leave the group early you let one of the facilitators know so we can make the rest of the group aware.

SUPPORT USEFUL BEHAVIOUR - We appreciate that sometimes when you come to the group you may be in a difficult place however we ask that you try to keep hope in the room and recovery focused if possible. People talk about food plans and weighing and measuring food but we ask that you don’t specifically talk about specifics in food i.e. amount of calories, sugar etc

IT’S OK TO SHOW EMOTION - it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to be frustrated.  You won’t be judged for showing your emotion in the group.

PLEASE DON’T MENTION EXTERNAL PROVIDERS OR THERAPISTS BY NAME - many people who attend the support group are also accessing services elsewhere, we understand that you may want to discuss your experiences and you are welcome to do so, but we ask that the providers and therapists remain anonymous. 

THERE IS NO PRESSURE TO TALK - no one who comes to the group is forced to talk.  We do a round robin of people’s names at the beginning, which we’d hope everyone would join in with, but after that we won’t ask people to contribute if they don't want to.  The facilitator will open the group to anyone who hasn’t contributed at the end but if you still don’t wish to speak then you’re under no obligation to do so.

We facilitate discussion groups on topics suggested to us by our service users. These are interactive workshop style groups lead by trained professionals and volunteers. Each session there is a chance to focus on a different topic with the opportunity to learn new things, as well as the chance to discuss issues with other people in a sympathetic environment. As with the support groups there is no need to book, anyone who is experiencing an eating disorder is welcome to attend.

Keep an eye on the upcoming events section of the website for info when groups are running or follow us on facebook for regular updates about what is on offer .

Previous topics have included portion sizes, mindfulness, finding your passion, goal planning, nutrition, self esteem and exercising appropriately.

The session has given me some good techniques to use. I think it will be really useful putting what I have learnt into practice

If you would be interested in attending a discussion group in Barnsley or Rotherham or you have suggestions for a topic that you like covered then please email us on info@syeda.org.uk.

Our friendly team of specialist therapists can offer a range of different talking therapies to support you on your journey to recovery. 

To access talking therapies, make an appointment. You will be asked for a bit of information about how you are at the moment. Once this is submitted someone will contact you to arrange for you to come in and talk through what the different options are and what sort of support would be most effective for you. We offer talking therapies in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley.

The therapy has given me a lot of insight into why I do things ... I feel more in control of myself and the eating.
— Mike

Our team currently offer the following types of talking therapies

  • Counselling
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (C.B.T.)
  • Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (D.B.T.)
  • Psychoanalytically Informed Psychotherapy
  • Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy
  • Guided Self Help

Occupational therapy at SYEDA provides individuals with an eating disorder emotional and practical support.  Occupation refers to any activity of daily living including self-care, leisure and work or education.

(Occupational Therapy) has reduced my stress around food in a way I thought was impossible. I feel happier in my skin and my life and I’m hopeful about the future.

Our occupational therapist is Fiona.

She will work with you to set practical goals and to help you engage in meaningful activities. 

Occupational therapy can help in the following areas:

  •  Meal planning and preparation
  • Self-care
  • Independent living skills
  • Leisure activities
  • Social interaction
  • Stress and anxiety management
  • Education and employment

The OT will talk with you to work out which areas you want to work on together. These could include: addressing anxiety when food shopping or eating in public, attending social groups to improve confidence and develop relationships or restoring wellbeing through engagement in leisure activities. The OT will work collaboratively with you at all times to set manageable and realistic goals.

I have grown in confidence... I binge less and in less amounts.

Sessions can take place at SYEDA or in the community depending on the nature of the goals and you will be encouraged to reflect on sessions and evaluate your own progress.

The Occupational Therapist can also work through Guided Self Help.

To access Occupational Therapy you need to make an appointment . You will be asked for a bit of information about how you are at the moment. Once this is submitted someone will contact you to arrange for you to come in and talk through what the different options are and what sort of support would be most effective for you. At the moment we only offer Occupational Therapy in Sheffield.

Both of the Universities in Sheffield offer support for students and employees experiencing eating disorders. SYEDA also runs a monthly "Bite Back" confidential drop in at SHU.

The Sheffield University Health Service has a specialist nurse who can support you and the University have a counselling service.

Sheffield Hallam University

SYEDA runs a "Bite Back" drop in at the Surrey Building on Pond Street on the second Wednesday of the month from 1-3 p.m.         (9th Nov, 7th Dec, 8th Feb, 8th March, 26th April). You will be able to discuss your situation one to one in confidence and get some ideas of what support is available. There is no need to book, just turn up . This is a completely confidential service - nothing will go on your university record or your NHS notes.

The Wellbeing Centre can also offer support.

All students are also welcome to access our services at SYEDA. You do not need to be a permanent resident in Sheffield.

Support from the NHS

The National Centre for Clinincal Excellence (NICE) has guidelines on what services should be provided through the NHS for people experiencing eating disorders.  

There is also a guide on the BEAT website to NHS services.  

Healthwatch England is the national consumer champion in health and social care. They have statutory powers to ensure the voice of the consumer is strengthened and heard by those who commission, deliver and regulate health and care services and so if you don't feel that you are getting the care that you need it is worth talking to your local health watch;

Local services


Sheffield MIND

MIND are a national charity which supports mental health. MIND offers a range of services to help people lead healthy and fulfilling lives. MIND have some places for longer term counselling.


Share are a local charity which offers psychotherapy services including Art Thearpy, CBT and Person-Centred Psychotherapy. There are some places for longer term therapy.

Sheffield IAPT

IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) is a NHS service which provide psychological treatments for anybody suffering from stress, anxiety and depression.


Chilypep (Children & Young People’s Empowerment Project) is a local Sheffield charity. Chilypep works in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Sheffield and with some of the most excluded groups of children and young people, supporting them to make a positive contribution to their communities and neighbourhoods.

Sheffield Carers

The service is for adult carers who are looking after someone who is also an adult (aged 18+). The organisation offers a range of services across the city.

 Sheena Amos Trust

We are a sexual health charity working with young people up to the age of 25, particularly those who are most vulnerable or marginalised. The Trust provides support and social opportunities for young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) or who are affected by HIV. 

Sheffield University Health Service

The University Health Centre is Sheffield University own GP surgery and is open to any Sheffield student. The GP surgery employees a specialist Eating Disorder nurse.

Sheffield University Counselling Service

This is a free confidential service available to all students at The University of Sheffield.

Sheffield University Advice Centre

The Student Advice Centre is based in the Students’ Union and provides a free, professional and confidential advice service to all students. The Advice Centre can help with a range of issues from student housing, money, visa and academic studies.


Nightline is a confidential, anonymous listening and information service provided by student volunteers from Sheffield University. You call on 0114 2228787 between 8pm and 8am during termtime.

Sheffield University Metal Health Matters Society 

Health Matters is a student run society which raise awareness of mental health issues within the University and to reduce the stigma attached to mental health problems.

Metal Health Team for Teen

Mental Team 4 Teen is a support group in Sheffield for all teenagers and young adults struggling with mental health issues such as self-harm, depression, anxiety, and general feelings of being low and lonely.


CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) is a NHS service which treats children and young people with a range of difficulties that are seriously impacting on their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

City Hearts

City Hearts is a Christian charity which supports vulnerable women with housing and other support services and work particularly closely with women surviving of human trafficking. 

Phoenix Futures 

Offer services in Sheffield to reduce harm from substance use and help you make positive choices.

Recovery Education Unit

The Recovery Education Unit is a NHS network which offers a range of course from our online introduction to Recovery from Mental Health to the Postgraduate Diploma.

Sexual Health Sheffield

Sexual Health Sheffield is an NHS service which offers free and confidential sexual health services on three sites in Sheffield- Central Clinic, Hallamshire Clinic and Firth Park Clinic.

Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre

The Centre offers a confidential helpline support as well as counselling and advice on giving support to others who have been raped or sexually abused. 

Sheffield Futures

Sheffield Futures is an independent charity which supports young people and adults to achieve their full potential in learning, employment and life to achieve a better future.  The majority of our work is with young people aged 14-25 who we support and equip for a positive transition into adulthood.


CRESST is dedicated to helping children and young people learn conflict resolution skills. The organisation offers training, advice and support


Interchange is an Emotional Wellbeing service for young people under 25 that offers a range of services from counselling and peer support.

Family Action

Family Action support families of all shapes and sizes to help them realise their full potential.

Sheffield DACT

Sheffield DACT offers support around domestic abuse, drugs and alcohol. DACT runs a support line providing a confidential listening service.

NOMAD Sheffield

An independent organisation which offers advice, support and practical help to homeless or inadequately housed people, or those in housing need.


YASY (Youth Association South Yorkshire) youth organisation that delivers education, advice and training to enhance the lives of young people and their communities across South Yorkshire.


Roshni Sheffield Asian Women’s Resource Centre is a city wide resource centre for South Asian women. The aim of the Centre is to advance the welfare and education of Asian women in Sheffield.

Girl Gang Sheffield 

Girl Gang Sheffield is a feminist network which run events and discussion around the city.

Healthwatch Sheffield

Healthwatch Sheffield is your local consumer watchdog for health and social care services.

LGBT Sheffield 

Is a NHS service offering a social network and sexual health service for gay and bisexual men and women.


Sheffield Alcohol Support Service (SASS) has been providing community alcohol services in Sheffield since it formed in 1970s. SASS help people to change their lives through a range of specialist alcohol, drug and family-centered services.

Sheffield’s Women ‘s Counselling and Therapy Service

Sheffield Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service offer specialist service providing free, confidential counselling and therapy services for women in Sheffield who have experienced abuse or trauma.

See also the "Support at Universities" section if you are at University in Sheffield.

Rehab Recovery

Offers a free helpline and intervention service for people suffering from eating disorders. Tel: 0800 088 66 86 Website: http://www.rehab-recovery.co.uk/

Most people who suffer with an eating disorder need more intensive support such as 1;1 or group work or a course of group or individualised therapy. However for those who are waiting for these options, for people who are trying to maintain recovery or for those who are trying to assess whether or not they need help with their eating difficulties, self-help materials may be helpful.

Self-help options can be useful tools to help you work on your eating difficulties, as well as helping you to explore your knowledge and understanding about yourself and your eating disorder. Many individuals find self-help useful, particularly when used alongside other therapies or when someone can help to guide you through the process – a practice nurse at your GP surgery, or a friend or relative. Self-help can also be used as an interim measure when waiting for treatment or if you are experiencing a relapse and need support to get ‘back on track’.

There are many self-help books available - come and browse in our Library at SYEDA where we have reference copies of the main books as well as copies of many different books to be borrowed. We also have a comprehensive book list, with short reviews too to help you choose the book that’s best for you.  Self-help books have different styles and approaches, so it’s worth looking at a few until you find one you 'click' with.  It is also worth bearing in mind that a book, however well thought out it may be, may not be solely sufficient in helping you and there may need to be support coming from other areas.  Everything will depend on how you use the book and it will take time, each journey is unique to the individual.

Useful websites and resources

BEAT (UK’s leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders)

The B-eat website (www.b-eat.co.uk) has a very comprehensive book list as well as information about eating disorders and support and encouragement to seek treatment and recovery

NICE Guidelines for Eating Disorders

National eating disorders guidance and advice to improve health and social care and recommendations for treatment. 

Centre for Clinical Interventions

This website includes a ‘Consumers’ section that has resources and printable workbooks to read and fill out on topics ranging from improving self-esteem, overcoming disordered eating and improving assertiveness. 

Get Self Help

A website for sufferers and clinicians which provides Cognitive Behavioural Therapy based self-help resources including worksheets, leaflets and MP3 downloads.  


Mindfulness can be a really useful self-help tool. Books such as “Mindfulness; A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world” ( Mark Williams and Danny Penman) can be very helpful (it has a CD included to guide you through some mindfulness practices). Mindfulness is a skill that can take some time to develop. You might want to try an 8 week mindfulness course - http://bemindful.co.uk has a directory of courses. Or there are apps such as Headspace which you can use to see if mindfulness is helpful for you.