Friday, 28 February 2014

Day five - Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

Welcome to day five of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, today I will be writing about Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).

EDNOS is a psychological disorder, like other eating disorders. It can take many different forms, and include many different behaviours. Some examples are
-All the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa are met, except they have regular menses or despite significant weight loss, they may currently weigh within the normal range.
-All the criteria for Bulimia Nervosa are met except binges occur at a frequency of less than twice a week or a duration of less than three months.
-A person of normal body weight who regularly engages in purging after eating small amounts of food.
-A person who repeatedly chews and spits out, but does not swallow, large amounts of food.
-Orthorexia, when the person is obsessed with only eating foods they consider healthy.
-Drunkorexia, where the person "saves up" their calories in order to binge drink.
-Diabulimia, where the person already has diabetes, and binges but restricts their insulin intake to stop weight gain. 

There are many other parts of EDNOS not covered here, and some people may present with a mix of different aspects of disordered eating. Anyone can get EDNOS, at any time in their life. It is also worth saying, that people can move between diagnoses, they may start with anorexia, but become bulimic after a while, this doesn't mean they have necessarily got a different eating disorder, it just means the eating disorder has changed or developed into different behaviours, because it is psychological, the root behind it is still the same.

Here is what a friend of mine would like to share about having EDNOS:
-How did you first realise you had EDNOS? Didn’t start to accept what it was for years. Until started to cut the control I had when it came eating.
-How did EDNOS affect you and those around you? Physically its still haunting me a year after started seeing an improvement. Three examples are severe jaw pain through purging, rectal issues through laxative abuse and my weight has stabilised (which wouldn’t have happened a year or two ago) but I would still be classed as underweight.
-What support did you receive/are you receiving? Has is/is it helping? Hasn’t helped – forcing me to get support when I didn't want to caused me to regress. Has helped – me being ready to change eating habits and accepting that will have bad days. 
-What things can people do to help someone they know with EDNOS? Instead of concentrating on what I haven’t managed to do. Concentrate on what I have done but don’t patronise me either.
-What things are unhelpful to someone with EDNOS? The following applies for an EDNOS person in recovery of his or her own free will, what doesn’t help is watching us eat and telling us in ANY way that we have eaten too much. Yes we will screw up occasionally but watching for every little slip isn’t helpful.
-If someone reading this was suffering from EDNOS what advice would you give them? There is light at the end of the tunnel. You just need to take tiny steps towards the light instead of giant footsteps.

Help for EDNOS, as with all other eating disorders, has a first port of call at your GP. They may refer you on for talking therapies, a dietician, community mental health teams, inpatient wards, outpatient clinics, day patient clinics or general hospital if necessary. CBT is the main therapy used for EDNOS, and can have very positive outcomes. Family and friends are also key in recovery, and it is important that people with in your support system have a knowledge of the disorder, even if they don't understand themselves. It is also important to keep social activities going if possible, as bulimia can be quite a lonely experience, and sufferers often shut people out because they feel they don't deserve friendships, or because they are so focused on food. There are also helplines like Beat (www.b-eat.co.uk/01603619090) and Anorexia Bulimia care (www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk/01934713789) or websites like Minds Like Ours (www.mindslikeours.co.uk)

EDNOS has been in the news quite a lot recently, here are a few links to articles you may find useful, and also an article you may want to send to your GP or take in when you visit:
http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/461534/Eating-disorder-victims-don-t-receive-proper-medical-support-until-illness-escalates
http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/lifestyle/big-issue/open-letter-to-gps-eating-disorder

Some helpful books for sufferers and those supporting them include:
Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder - Peter Cooper
Getting Better Bit(e) by Bit(e), a survival kit for sufferers of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders - Ulrike Schmidt and Janet Treasure
Overcoming Binge Eating - Christopher G Fairburn
Life without ED - Jenni Schaefer
Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa - Christopher Freeman

And of course, for me, as a christian, I believe that God is key in recovery, its able to take place because of him, happens through him, and you can do it with him. You can trust him to help you through the darkest of times, and he will never leave you, and he loves you dearly and cares about your health, mental health included.


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Day four, Binge Eating Disorder

Welcome to day four of Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2014, today I'll be writing about Binge Eating Disorder!

Binge Eating disorder, like other disorders, is a psychological disorder, although it can have physical affects. It is characterised by recurring episodes of binge eating (eating, in a small amount of time, an amount that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar amount of time, and where the person feels a loss of control over eating); binge eating episodes are linked to (a minimum of three of the following) eating much more than normal, eating until uncomfortably full, eating large quantities when not physically hungry, eating alone due to shame of how much is consumed, and feeling disgusted with oneself and incredibly guilty; there is marked distress regarding binge-eating being present; and the binges are taking place on a minimum of two days per week, over six months. In binge eating disorder compensatory methods are not used (this is the main difference between binge eating disorder and bulimia). Binge eating disorder can affect anyone. It can also cause weight problems, and sufferers often have an overweight BMI, but just as an anorexia sufferer may struggle to eat in the healthy range because of psychological issues, so would someone suffering from Binge Eating Disorder.

Again, I asked another friend of mine from Minds Like Ours to share her experience, so this is what she has to say about Binge Eating Disorder:
Until the last couple of years I had never heard of BED, despite having had problems with food since I was around 11. As most others still do, I equated the words “eating disorder” with anorexia or bulimia. This exacerbated my problems, compounding the guilt I already felt about having no control over my behaviour – if other people could control their food intake why couldn’t I? To make this worse, even the professionals didn’t take my food concerns seriously. I saw various doctors and therapists for depression, yet none of them seemed to get that my issues with food and body image were at the root of it. So many professionals have talked to me about eating for weight loss – assuming that that should be the aim. Actually, that mind-set is completely inappropriate for someone struggling with BED; focusing even more on the food only increases feelings of guilt, powerlessness and failure when slip ups inevitably occur. Thankfully, I have finally recently found a GP who understands that EDs come in all shapes and sizes.
NB: It is important to point out that this article is written from my perspective as an overweight person with BED – although I realise that this may not apply to all sufferers, I hope the article still will apply.
For years I used food as an emotional crutch to help me deal with all the issues in my life. By the time I realised it was a problem I was already in too deep and things had spiralled out of control. I had no other way to deal with my problems and yet this now gave me so many more. But still I couldn’t stop. I hated myself so much for that and had the same obsessions that I’m sure many other ED sufferers do – that I was completely worthless as a human being because of how I looked. My body image and inability to control my relationship with food exacerbated my depression and directly led to severe suicidal ideation. Few know that I have an issue with food (this is one ED that is pretty easy to hide, given that most people don’t know it is one!) and even those who do have no idea of the extent. Yet they have felt the repercussions of my resulting depression and suicide attempt.
To date I have still never had treatment specifically for my eating disorder. However, although it has never been the focus of therapy, working on other issues, such as self-esteem and relationships, has loosened its grip. Finding support online from others who understand has also been vital, as the sense of isolation makes things so much worse. The most problematic part for me has been that focusing more on food makes the illness worse – yet how can I learn to eat more healthily and lose weight (for health reasons) without focusing on food? This is the part I am still working out. Although I still have a long way to go with my eating issues, I have progressed a lot with other struggles i.e. depression, self-harm and anxiety. I figure that as my ED has been around much longer, it will likely take much longer to heal.
Unhelpful things for someone with BED include having to listen to a friend complain about their weight when they are clearly much smaller and problems being minimised, e.g. being called lazy, or told to just cut out a certain food. As previously mentioned, dieting only reaffirms the illness, encouraging it to spiral even more out of control. It is important to eat enough and regularly – feeling denied something will only make cravings that much worse. Therefore, it is not helpful when a person with BED is encouraged to diet or when others pay attention to what they are eating. Constantly being told things like “Do you really think you should have that extra slice?” only focuses even more on food as the problem and fuels the feelings of guilt. Trust me, we are well aware of what we are doing and don’t need the “gentle reminder”. People need to respect that it is our decision what we eat and does not concern them.
If you think you may be struggling from BED, know that your problems are real and it is an illness. You are not weak or lazy and your disorder or weight doesn’t define you. There are plenty of others out there who also struggle and you deserve to be heard. Unfortunately, society hasn’t quite caught up yet and not everyone will be understanding, but persevere – there are others, including professionals, who will take you seriously.

A huge thank you, to the person who shared this.

The first port call for treatment is generally your GP. They may refer you on for talking therapies, a dietician, community mental health teams, inpatient wards, outpatient clinics, day patient clinics or general hospital if necessary. CBT is the main therapy used for binge eating disorder, and can have very positive outcomes. Family and friends are also key in recovery, and it is important that people with in your support system have a knowledge of the disorder, even if they don't understand themselves. It is also important to keep social activities going if possible, as binge eating disorder can be quite a lonely experience, and sufferers often shut people out because they feel they don't deserve friendships, or because they are so focused on food or embarrassed about their eating habits. There are also helplines like Beat (www.b-eat.co.uk/01603619090) and Anorexia Bulimia care (www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk/01934713789) or websites like Minds Like Ours (www.mindslikeours.co.uk)

Some helpful books for sufferers and those supporting them include:
Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder - Peter Cooper
Getting Better Bit(e) by Bit(e), a survival kit for sufferers of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders - Ulrike Schmidt and Janet Treasure
Overcoming Binge Eating - Christopher G Fairburn
Life without ED - Jenni Schaefer

And of course, for me, as a christian, I believe that God is key in recovery, its able to take place because of him, happens through him, and you can do it with him. You can trust him to help you through the darkest of times, and he will never leave you, and he loves you dearly and cares about your health, mental health included.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Day 3, Bulimia Nervosa

Its day 3 of Eating disorders awareness week 2014, and today I'm writing to tell you a bit about Bulimia nervosa. 

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by recurrent episodes of binge eating (eating, in a small amount of time, an amount that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar amount of time, and where the person feels a loss of control over eating); and recurrent disordered compensatory behaviours being used to prevent weight gain, such as self induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, fasting and excessive exercise - these are known as purging. In bulimia binge eating and purging takes place at least twice a week for a minimum of three months. People suffering from bulimia also evaluate themselves largely on their shape and weight, it is one of the most important things to the sufferer. Anyone can suffer from bulimia, male or female, of any age, race, religion or culture. 

In the past few weeks I asked a couple of friends of mine from Minds Like Ours to share their experience of having and eating disorder, and here is what Helen wanted to say about her Bulimia Nervosa:
"During my teenage years I was very depressed. I began binge eating – in fact I barely tasted the food I ate. I was comforted by the feeling of eating but couldn’t appreciate food. It was completely unsatisfying. When I was 18 I began to feel extremely uncomfortable after bingeing and I turned to purging. I started eating very little and when I had to eat meals around family I purged afterwards.
It created distance between me and my family. Covering up for purging is difficult and makes you very secretive. At the start I lost weight and it initially did boost my self-esteem. Then your body stops being able to process food as well. I was lucky that I did not end up with too many mineral imbalances that can end up in heart failure. Most of the time I was close to fainting and you can’t think right when you’re body is starving.
Although I am much healthier now I will have the effects of my bulimia for years to come. My stomach can barely process food and I have really bad acid reflux. My body still thinks it is starving so hoards the food I eat. I can only urge anyone with bulimia to ask for help now. Before your teeth rot. Before you end up with lifelong health problems. Bulimia can kill and there’s so much life to live out there if only you ask for help. Taking antidepressants helped me feel better and counselling can raise your self-esteem so you don’t need to empty your body of food to feel good.
If you believe someone you know is bulimic please approach them carefully. Remember that their behaviour has a deeper cause. You can’t just tell someone to snap out of it because that is unlikely to work. What you can do is let that person know you are there for them and encourage them to see a doctor about it. My mother tried to ignore it for several years and occasionally just told me to stop. It only made me more secretive and helped to prolong my illness.
I can only hope that one day I no longer dream of my teeth falling out and the medication I take will eventually settle my digestive system. Now I taste the food I eat and generally eat much more healthily. It’s nice to be out of the grip that bulimia had on my life for so long."

I'd like to thank Helen, very much, for her brave and bold sharing, well done!

The first port call for treatment is generally your GP. They may refer you on for talking therapies, a dietician, community mental health teams, inpatient wards, outpatient clinics, day patient clinics or general hospital if necessary. CBT is the main therapy used for bulimia, and can have very positive outcomes.Your GP can also keep a close watch on your physical health, which is very important as bulimia can have severe physical consequences, especially if your electrolytes are imbalanced, although most can be reversed by recovery, they can and do lead to death if untreated. Family and friends are also key in recovery, and it is important that people with in your support system have a knowledge of the disorder, even if they don't understand themselves. It is also important to keep social activities going if possible, as bulimia can be quite a lonely experience, and sufferers often shut people out because they feel they don't deserve friendships, or because they are so focused on food. There are also helplines like Beat (www.b-eat.co.uk/01603619090) and Anorexia Bulimia care (www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk/01934713789) or websites like Minds Like Ours (www.mindslikeours.co.uk)



Some helpful books for sufferers and those supporting them include:
Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder - Peter Cooper
Getting Better Bit(e) by Bit(e), a survival kit for sufferers of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders - Ulrike Schmidt and Janet Treasure
Overcoming Binge Eating - Christopher G Fairburn
Life without ED - Jenni Schaefer

And of course, for me, as a christian, I believe that God is key in recovery, its able to take place because of him, happens through him, and you can do it with him. You can trust him to help you through the darkest of times, and he will never leave you, and he loves you dearly and cares about your health, mental health included.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Day two, Anorexia Nervosa.

Welcome to day two of eating disorders awareness week, here is some information on anorexia nervosa, and how to get help.

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder. It is principally a psychological disorder, but has many physical affects too. It's characteristic feature is fear of fatness, or even normal body weight, accompanied by an intense pursuit of thinness. There is almost always a distortion of body image, meaning the person doesn't see themselves as others see them, or as they are (for example they may think they look healthy when in fact they look skeletal). Starvation, exercise and vomiting are often used to maintain a very low weight. 

Physical affects of anorexia include fatigue, dizziness, heart palpitations, amenorrhea, poor circulation, dry skin a d hair, hair loss, osteoporosis, internal organs shrink, immune system weakens, and many more. 

Psychological affects include continuously thinking about food, seeing a distorted image of themselves, fearing particular foods or food groups, thinness or avoidance if being fat becomes all consuming. It s worth saying, at this point, that people can have anorexia at any weight, you do not have to be underweight, although many are. Also, when recovering from anorexia, you aren't necessarily recovered when your BMI is in the healthy range, or even if you become overweight. The disorder can still be there psychologically and cause a huge deal of damage.

Anyone can get anorexia, it is most diagnosed in young women, but men and women of any age can become unwell with anorexia. 

If you want to understand more what its like for someone with anorexia nervosa, read some books such as An Apple A Day by Emma Wolf, or A Girl called Tim by June Andrews, which are biographies by people who have overcome anorexia. 

The first port call for treatment is generally your GP. They may refer you on for talking therapies, a dietician, community mental health teams, inpatient wards, outpatient clinics, day patient clinics or general hospital if necessary. Your GP can also keep a close watch on your physical health, which is very important as anorexia can have severe physical consequences, although most can be reversed by recovery, they can and do lead to death if untreated. Family and friends are also key in recovery, and it is important that people with in your support system have a knowledge of the disorder, even if they don't understand themselves. It is also important to keep social activities going if possible, as anorexia can be quite a lonely experience, and sufferers often shut people out because they feel they don't deserve friendships, or because they are so focused on food. There are also helplines like Beat (www.b-eat.co.uk/01603619090) and Anorexia Bulimia care (www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk/01934713789) or websites like Minds Like Ours (www.mindslikeours.co.uk)

There are many helpful books for sufferers out there, so here are some titles that may help you and those supporting you:
OVERCOMING ANOREXIA NERVOSA by Christopher Freeman
Anorexia Nervosa, a survival guide for families and friends and sufferers
Life without ED by Jenni Schaefer
And more, available from beats online shop: http://www.b-eat.co.uk/about-beat/shop/books-and-dvds/

And of course, for me, as a christian, I believe that God is key in recovery, its able to take place because of him, happens through him, and you can do it with him. You can trust him to help you through the darkest of times, and he will never leave you, and he loves you dearly and cares about your health, mental health included.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Welcome to Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

It's Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so this week I will be doing my best to raise awareness and understanding of eating disorders. 

An eating disorder is a mental health problem, where the sufferer struggles with eating in way considered normal and healthy, it varies in the way this can occur. Eating disorders can occur on their own or with links to other physical or mental health problems, for example, co morbidity between anorexia and obsessive compulsive disorder. It affects sufferers mentally, as well as physically. The main categories are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, and Binge Eating Disorder. I'll be writing about these during the rest of this week.

Anyone can become unwell with an eating disorder; male or female; child, teenager, adult, old people; any cultural background; any race; any religion. Eating disorders also come in all shapes and sizes, the size of someone doesn't necessarily reflect how much they are controlled by their disorder. 

Help is available in many different ways. Family and friends can be great support, and can also help you access more support. The first port of call is generally your GP, who will be able to monitor your physical health, and refer you to appropriate services. These services include dietician, eating disorder specialists, community mental health teams, general hospital, CAMHS, talking therapies. Helplines can also be helpful, such as beat, anorexia bulimia care and Samaritans. Or forums like Minds Like Ours. Later I will also be doing a "HELP" post, with links and numbers, so if you need someone to talk to there will be plenty of options. There are also plenty of useful books out there, which I will be mentioning throughout the week.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Poisonous berries.

I'm currently reading Simply Jesus, by Tom Wright, and it's really helping me understand just that chunk more about Jesus and the culture and beliefs at the time, that just put him more into context, and make what he did about 10 million times more exciting, and Im so aware that I'm only scratching the surface, because God is so much bigger than I can even imagine, but I am definitely going to praise him all the more for what I do know!

Anyway, I like making notes when reading books like this, of important things it says, thoughts I have and stuff like that. Today I wrote a note, and I want to explain my thoughts. My first thought was that Jesus came to free people from satan and the darkness at its core, not what they could necessarily see. Jews at the time expected God to overthrow Rome, to free them from exile and make them a righteous kingdom, as Gods people. Maybe that a mighty warrior would come, would raise up an army, and fight them to the death, winning, and being in control of everything. But that's not the way God saved his people, that's not how he ruled over the land. When God's kingdom came there was healing, there was forgiveness, there were miracles, demons were cast out and this was the battle. A battle that started with Jesus in the wilderness, tempted by satan, but he didn't sin, he won the first part of the battle. Said battle continued, through Jesus freeing people from what they needed freeing from, healing them, forgiving them, ordering satan and demons and sin to leave them alone, as they hearts were renewed. Jesus knew the depths of their heart, he loved them, and he knew what was really wrong. He won the battle, dying on the cross, the punishment for the worlds sin, the final victory over the enemy, and he rose again, defeating death. Jesus is alive. And there's is still so much more I don't understand, how good and big and amazing is our God? (Of course, this is just my understanding, I suggest if you want to check out if I explained it right you'll have to read the book, and the bible, I'm aware I still have a lot to learn, so apoligies for anything inaccurate).

This then lead to this, "he came to pull the poisonous tree out at its roots, not to remove all the poisonous berries." How often to we ask God to remove those berries, and they just grow back. They could be any number of things, sins, addictions, bad habits - all of these are sins, as they are not honouring God. I know I ask God, often, to please just take away this pain, to heal me from my illnesses, to just make it stop, just removes these berries, for they are too much. I fail to see the bigger picture, I fail to work with God to remove the tree at its roots, what Jesus died to achieve, and instead I just keep asking him to remove the poisonous berries which will inevitably grow back as long as the tree is still standing. I want to be patient, to see what I need to do to work with Jesus to uproot this tree, and to commit to doing it, without giving up, because God will provide his strength. Also, in the mean time, I can stop eating poisonous berries, even though they look so tasty and tempting.

And once the tree is gone? Jesus will replace it with more of his beauty, all the things he was shown you and taught you through the uprooting process will be a strong tall tree, worth all it's time and effort it took to plant and nurture, whilst also uprooting the old one. And if there are any berries left, you'll be so in awe of your beautiful new tree, they won't even tempt your taste buds, you can just stamp on them!

I don't know what your poisonous trees and berries are, I only know what mine is, and even then I'm aware there is more I'm yet to discover. But I know what Jesus is capable of, I know what he died and accomplished by rising again. So I invite you on this uprooting journey, to healing and freedom, to the deepest darkest places you never knew you had. Yes it may take time, but one day you'll look upon your beautiful tree that replaced the poisonous one and praise God for how beautiful he can turn ugly things. I'm committing to this uprooting process, are you?  

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Time to Talk.

Today, 6th February 2014, is Time to Talk day. But not just talk about anything, today is time to talk about mental health.

We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. Our mental health can struggle at times, just as our physical health can, but we tend to ignore our mental health unless it breaks down. Believe me, before I was very ill people didn't ever ask me how my mental health was doing, and I never thought much about it either. Yeah I felt sad, I had various problems with my mental health for a long time, but it wasn't really talked about, or when it was it wasn't talked about as mental health. Often people ask you, "howr you feeling?", and we say "yes, I'm fine, just a bit of a cold" or "No, I have the flu (insert other physical illness rather than flu here)." We rarely say "yes, but I've been depressed." Or "No, I've been struggling to manage my emotions in helpful ways." 

Take a minute to think, How is your mental health?

Not talking about mental health makes it harder to talk about when people, or yourself, do become ill will a mental illness, because people are shocked. Like when people die from suicide and the people around them had no idea they were feeling that way, they wished they had a chance to help. I'm no better at asking people than you are, not that I'm scared to ask my close friends how their mental health is, I just don't always think to ask, and they don't think to say, just as I often don't. 

Who can you ask, today, how their mental health is?

Furthermore, and actually most importantly, when was the last time you talked to God about your mental health? About your worries, how you deal with stress, or mental illness? I'm sure people often pray, asking God to help them get over physical illness, or to help them find ways to manage it. But do we do that with out mental health? Instead of shoving it under a carpet, or deep down inside us, we should talk to God about it. He created our brains, our mental health, as well as our physical health. He knows what we need, he loves us, and he wants to be a part of our mental health. God loves you incredibly, and he wants you healthy, so let him help you look after your mental health. Also, just to add, mental ill health IS NOT A SIN. Sometimes we sin and our ill health has led us to be more vulnerable in that, such as self harming or drinking too much or sleeping around. But having a mental illness is in no way a sin, and you shouldn't feel guilty or condemned about it.

Take a moment and chat with God about your mental health. (If you don't believe in God that may be hard, but totally worth a try, because God will hear you.)

Finally, here are some tips to keep your mental health healthy:
Talk about your feelings, to friends, to God, to your family.
Eat well, nutrition can link to how your mental health is as well as your physical health
Keep in touch regularly with positive people in your life, who can help you see things differently when your mental health is struggling.
Take a break, changing scenery when emotions are high can help, even just for a couple of minutes.
Accept who you are, know your strengths, know your loved.
Keep active, exercise can help with your mental health, but be careful not to go overboard, or to do so if there are physical complications or you are struggling with a restrictive eating disorder (then consult a doctor first).
Drink sensibly, alcohol can really affect your mood and mental health.
Ask for help when you need it, from God and those around you, none of us are superhuman, and God can do everything!
Do something your good at, it will boost your confidence and help you feel content and happy.
Care for others, keeping those relationships strong helps all involved.

Remember, everyone has mental health, some of us struggle with it more than others, but it's OK to talk about, in fact, it's great to talk about.

For more information on mental health, visit:
Mind - http://www.mind.org.uk
Rethink mental illness - http://www.rethink.org/home
Minds like Ours - http://mindslikeours.co.uk
Beat - http://www.b-eat.co.uk
(And more, which can be found on these sites). 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Rosie and Paul, helping the disabled in developing countries.

A friend of mine Rosie, has written her story, of going out to Ghana for a month, working in a childrens home, and looking after special needs children there. I wanted to share her story with you, especially as here in England we have such a good social care system comparitively, especially for those with special needs, and these children, like Paul, deserve just as much support and love. Paul and the others need support, in prayer as well as financially, so join me in praying, and if your able, please do give financially to help children like Paul thrive and have their life to the full, like it says in John 10:10 - the theif comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Here is Rosie's story:

My name is Rosie Watts, I'm 19 years old and in August 2013 I volunteered for a charity called Thrive Africa for one month in Ghana. During this month I had the best experience and loved every minute. I encountered sights and activities I never deemed possible.

 

Whilst there we carried out three different projects. For the first 2 weeks we lived in North Ghana, in Bolgatanga. Here we took part in disaster prevention in different orphanages, planting seeds for the caregivers as a source of food and income for the home.

 

Following this we moved to the Upper East Region, Kumasi, where we renovated old unused school rooms into vibrant learning areas filled with bookcases, books, learning materials and furniture.


At the end of the second week, we spent two days in Kumasi Children's Home, this is where I met Paul. Here we worked with the Orphan Welfare Agenda to assist in the building of their offices and buildings, built farms and crop patches for the the caregivers and donated vital equipment, as well as toys for the children.

 

I met Paul on the first day and straight away he stood out to me, he was inspiring, so happy and helpful even through his condition.

 

The children are so kind and helpful to each other, looking out for one another, with true kinship and understanding. On one occasion a young boy around 6, name Kofi, and Paul were helping me carry grass into a wheelbarrow. Kofi tried to take Paul's spade away, so when I told him not to he listened but got upset, so I got him some water and a biscuit from our bus. He then went back to where we had been working and shared both his small biscuit and water with Paul. A sight which astonished me, it made me feel warm inside, the love these two boys shared and how grateful they both were for such small gifts and our presence. A sight I will never forget!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Here is a photo of Rosie and Paul:


To find out more visit http://rosiewatts4.wix.com/helpingpaul

God bless.