Gemma Oaten fighting to save her eating disorder charity after funding cuts
Emmerdale and Coronation Street star Gemma Oaten is fighting to save her eating disorder charity following funding cuts.
SEED (Support and Empathy for people with Eating Disorders) has been supporting people with eating disorders, and their families, for many years now.
The charity was initially set up by Gemma’s mum, Marg, as Gemma herself struggled with eating disorders.
However, the actress is now pleading for vital funds to secure SEED’s future, as the funding it receives from the government has been unexpectedly halted.
Gemma – who starred as Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale – shared her desperation on social media, as she aims to raise £35,000.
She revealed that SEED’s £25,000 contract with the City Health Care Partnership (CHCP), commissioned via the NHS, will be pulled by the end of March.
She wrote in a Facebook post: ‘We will not only lose £25k a year in funding but also lose our beloved resource room which was part of the contract if we can’t find the £35k annual rent by March 31.
‘We are heartbroken. Ten years of this partnership and all of a sudden, nothing. No forewarning, no right to reply. Just gone.’
Gemma continued to explain SEED’s ambitions prior to the funding cut, as they planned to use their ‘vital’ resource room to offer a ‘Recovery After Recovery programme, enabling young adults to enter into a six-month programme to facilitate recovery.’
Gemma says this would ‘inspire them to thrive, not just survive.’
The star shared that her family had plans in place to offer free one-to-one therapy sessions ‘to anyone who needed it.’
‘With the rising number of eating disorder sufferers in the UK and the waiting times at a record high for many to receive the help they deserve has left us bewildered, but we are determined to fight,’ she said.
She went on to stress the urgency for awareness of the severity of eating disorders, as ‘the age at which we are finding children being diagnosed is getting younger,’ with some as young as eight or nine.
The Corrie actress later shared an emotional video of herself and her mum sitting in their ‘beautiful’ resource room, reflecting on all the people it has helped.
Gemma’s mum has expressed her heartache at the ‘blunt’ news that their funding will be stopped, saying they ‘have been given no reason why.’
‘We’re not just going to take this lying down, we need support to achieve and, because of that, Gemma’s set up a Go Fund Me page.’
Marg and her husband Dennis founded SEED as Gemma endured her own high-profile battle with anorexia, deciding there wasn’t enough help out there.
The soap star says the charity ‘has been their life for the last 20 years,’ as the only voluntary sector eating disorder charity in Hull.
They also deliver support to save lives UK-wide, and they want to keep fighting for those who desperately need them.
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