STUDENTS and staff at King’s Ely have been getting silly with their socks to support Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Run by the eating disorder charity, Beat, the ‘Sock it to Eating Disorders’ campaign was set up to raise awareness and understanding of eating disorders, challenge stereotypes and raise funds for the charity, which provides information and support to people affected by eating disorders and their families and friends and campaigns for improved services.

Students and their teachers wore silly socks to school and ran a cake stall, raising over £200 for the charity. The money will be used to fund vital research and to help the charity run its services.

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses affecting around 1.6 million people in the UK, of which approximately 11% are male. They affect people of all ages and claim more lives than any other mental illness, but are treatable and recovery is possible.

Sixth Form student Lucie Clift, who facilitated the fundraising events at the school, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to raise such a fantastic amount for the charity, as well as doing even more in school to raise awareness and challenge stigmas.”

To raise awareness of the issues and support students, parents and staff, the school provides health education and hosts events such as information sessions for parents.

Principal, Sue Freestone, commented: “Independent schools are often accused of failing to provide a structure under which our charges can receive shelter. If that is true of any, is it certainly not true of King’s Ely. We are open about the many issues that challenge our young people living in a world that makes demands of them, unimagined by earlier generations. Counsellors are available to our pupils and we offer a comprehensive programme of health education. We recently ran an information session for parents about eating disorders in young people, and two of our Sixth Form students addressed King’s Ely Senior on the subject of mental health earlier this term.”

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