ABC’s sunflower logo is based upon the idea of growth and development – in the understanding and awareness of eating disorders and of our work in helping all those affected. Volunteering produces the seeds for this growth; welcoming and training people to become part of the work we deliver to those struggling with eating disorders.
There are many ways to volunteer for ABC and Make A Difference.
Our telephone helpline receives over 500 calls a month and we receive the same number of requests for support through our email service. If you have experience in helpline or supportive phone-based work or perhaps have or are undergoing counselling training and would like to develop your understanding of eating disorders, please get in touch. Full training is provided by ABC and the Helplines Partnership.
Become a Befriender and use your personal experience of an eating disorder and recovery to support a person currently struggling. Becoming a Befriender is a very rewarding way to help guide someone along the road to recovery, and you will need to commit to one weekly telephone conversation with your Befriendee.
If you’re a professional and looking to volunteer your skills and experience for a worthwhile cause, consider becoming part of our training team and help us to raise awareness and improve understanding of eating disorders. ABC delivers preventative training to schools, colleges, universities, corporate organisations and healthcare departments. To become a part of our preventative work and ABC’s future vision of care, click here for more information.
Perhaps you have less time available but would still like to be a part of ABC. Make an impact on the support we provide by joining our panel of Expert Advisors. Find out more here.
Participating in Research or Media Projects
If you are considering helping with research or documentaries then do consider carefully what might be involved by reading the participant safeguarding guidelines below. ABC cannot be held responsible should you contribute.
It is one of ABC’s charitable objects to support and publish research and we support suitable projects, programmes and studies that will benefit those struggling with eating disorders both now and in the future. However we do understand from being involved in qualitative research, that being a participant can create some challenges and consequences, and so we would advise you to consider the following points carefully beforehand:
Are you comfortable discussing your eating disorder in depth?
Do you feel sufficiently recovered to be revisiting some of the emotional areas or trigger factors that you may be asked about? Consider how you might feel if the programme was shown again in a year’s time for instance.
Have you talked about your desire to volunteer with a person you trust? Consider asking them to help you discuss matters further and be a part of the discussions or process even.
Have you thought about any travel involved, whether it’s feasible and whether you’d have expenses paid or a fee provided?
Do you want to be identified through your name? Consider not only your own needs for privacy, but also the feelings of your family and friends.
Do you have to be photographed or filmed? If you’re not comfortable with this but would still like to go ahead, ask what other options are available in order to safeguard your privacy.
Are you able to see a version before the editing process?
Would the programme creators accept any changes you’d like to make?
Would the programme creators contact you again directly for any further contributions?
Are your details kept on file?
It would be advisable to have some written guidelines and agreements, signed by both parties in advance of the project.
If you'd consider telling us your story and being a part of a media or research project, please email us here.
Please read the following pages of this section to find our more ways to get involved in ABC.
You are the seeds that enable us to achieve our mission – to live in a world where anyone affected by eating disorders is met with care and compassion, given emotional and practical support, timely professional treatment and guided towards recovery.