Unsung Hero: The eating disorder survivor changing the lives of others

Kathryn Wheeler
By Kathryn Wheeler,
updated on Feb 21, 2018

Unsung Hero: The eating disorder survivor changing the lives of others

Nominated by her partner, Adam McWeeney, Laura Phelan has dedicated her life to supporting those living with eating disorders

Laura Phelan

Laura Phelan

In the UK, there are an estimated 1.25 million people living with an eating disorder. Ten years ago, Laura Phelan was one of them. But now, after battling anorexia for three years as a teenager, Laura works tirelessly to raise awareness and offer support to those still fighting their own battles.

Set on bettering the lives of others, Laura began by volunteering at the UK’s leading eating disorder charity, Beat. Eventually she trained as an Eating Disorder Specialist, at the National Centre of Eating Disorders. Her training, which is ongoing and in line with the latest thinking from a range of psychologies and healing approaches approved by the British Psychological Society, has given her the foundation to help change lives.

Founder of Phelan Well, a non-profit community interest company (CIC), Laura creates specialised one-to-one eating disorder recovery programmes.

Identifying the longevity of mental illness, she teaches sustainable coping mechanisms, stress management, and nutritional interventions.

In July 2017, Laura held her first not-for-profit, self-love event for young women. Even as the only man in the room, Adam says he could see the incredible impact that she was having on the young women. The event focused on building better relationships with yourself and food, and Laura is already making plans for the next one.

An ambassador for Beat and a mental health trainer for Mind, Laura dedicates every spare moment she has to supporting others. “She is the most passionate and dedicated person I know,” says Adam, who was recently overcome with pride when he watched Laura talk to MPs in Parliament about how they could do more to ensure that people with eating disorders are given access to vital, lifesaving gateway support systems.

Do you know an unsung hero? Send your nominations to [email protected]

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