Local anorexia survivor launches major fundraising campaign to help others with the condition

A young woman, from Bradley Stoke, who suffered from anorexia, depression and body dysmorphic disorder from the age of 12 has launched a major fundraising campaign to help other sufferers of the illness.

Sophie Mitchell, who is now 20, wants to raise awareness and money for BEAT, one of the UK’s leading eating disorder charities.

Having spent nearly 6 months in hospital during her illness and only recently returning to a healthy weight, Sophie knows the devastating effects eating disorders can have on sufferers and their families. Having years of her life disrupted by the condition and suffering severe mental and physical deterioration, Sophie is now transforming her life. According to Sophie this is, in large part, thanks to Joanna Nowak, a personal trainer at Bradley Stoke Active Lifestyle Centre where Sophie has been a member for many years.

Sophie says:

“Although my battle is far from over, I am finally feeling like myself again thanks to the support from Joanna, she is so much more than a personal trainer – offering me emotional support and being someone I can talk to as well as helping with my programme of dietary advice and exercise.  I am lucky that I have access to the Leisure Centre where the staff are always willing to give me advice about nutrition and exercise and I want to raise money to be able to help others to access the same support”.

As part of her fundraising campaign, Sophie undertook a sponsored 2km swim at Bradley Stoke Active Lifestyle centre yesterday, something she says would not have been possible until recently.

“It’s amazing to think that I am pursuing this challenge. It doesn’t seem long ago that I was diagnosed with osteopenia (the stage before osteoporosis) but now I’m eating, training and getting stronger every day both physically and mentally and I am able to wear a swimming costume for the first time in years”.

Joanna said: “I’m really proud of everything Sophie has achieved. She has made such progress and is now completely focussed on helping others who are going through a similar experience. She is a real inspiration.”

Sophie has been a member of the Active Lifestyle Centre in Bradley Stoke for many years and staff have been able to assist her in a number of ways through her illness. Providing not only exercise and dietary advice but also a support network.

Sophie will be undertaking a number of fundraising events throughout the year, including quiz nights, bake sales, karaoke nights and participation in the Bradley Stoke 10k Run in addition to her 2k swim. To help her reach her fundraising target, visit her just giving page:https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sophie-Mitchell11

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