A mum who set up an eating disorders support group for families in our district has been hailed as an inspiration to others.
Cherie Hinchliffe was among the first women to be nominated as part of Volunteering Kirklees’s Stepping Up scheme.
It aims to celebrate the abilities, skills, determination and achievements of women who volunteer and make a difference in our communities.
Cherie, who helps run FEDS Kirklees, said: “My daughter was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa in 2009.
“An eating disorder is a life threatening mental illness. As a carer you stumble through each day wondering if you’ve made the right decisions.
“In 2011 my daughter’s doctor asked me to speak to another parent who was really struggling and by February 2012 we’d set up FEDS, a local support group for families and carers of people with eating disorders.
“We don’t give advice, but we do share our experiences.
“When you live with an eating disorder you understand the strain it puts on families.
“It’s good to know that you can help to give people a bit of hope, but we want to do more.”
The group is working with local schools to raise awareness about eating disorders.
It is also working a university to help develop better psychiatric nurse training.
Cherie said: “Lots of people are willing to help if you knock on the right doors.
“ It has given me a new lease of life and, to be honest, I’ve surprised myself.”
Stepping Up, which is being run alongside Kirklees Council, will culminate with a celebration event in March.
Make a nomination via http://steppingupkirklees.org/.