A woman who has battled with an eating disorder for 12 years plans to set up a new charity to help others who have the condition.
Rachael Sim (25) is holding a Black Diamond charity ball at Boclair House Hotel in Bearsden this weekend to raise money to help her to set up the charity which will have a website to offer support and advice to people who have an eating disorder.
Former Bearsden Academy pupil Rachael, who grew up in Kessington, Bearsden, started to diet at the age of just 13.
Her diet then developed into anorexia and her parents realised there was something wrong when she became underweight and they sought treatments for her.
Despite seeing several counsellors and therapists over the years Rachael became bulimic and last year her problem had become so severe that she was making herself sick on a regular basis and she felt very depressed.
Rachael, who had to stop her job as a social worker last year because she was unwell, said: “No treatment seemed to work.
“Nothing would break the cycle and I fell back into my old behaviours every time.
“It’s such an awful illness.
“If you’re an alcoholic you can give up alcohol.
“But if you have an eating disorder you’ve always got to eat and maintain that relationship with food.”
Rachael was always a healthy weight so she wasn’t able to get residential care in the UK.
She researched treatments for bulimia online and found a centre in South Africa called Montrose Manner which looked like it would be good.
She attended the private centre for 12 weeks last summer and says it has really helped her.
Rachael added: “It really helped to be with other people who understood what you are going through.
“I got a lot of support from the other girls and that’s what has made a difference for me.”
Rachael intends to support people with eating disorders through her new charity and also their carers (friends and family) who often don’t know how to help someone with the condition.
She is also going to do a counselling course to gain a qualification to be able to help others.