Due to the current Covid-19 situation, we are no longer running our face to face group sessions until further notice. 

Click here for a list of Useful Support and Information – including services that can be accessed online 

How we can help

Anyone whose life is affected by eating distress is welcome to contact us, whether they are having difficulties themselves or supporting someone.

We can provide a chance to:

  • obtain information on local and national services.
  • share your concerns about your use of food.
  • obtain information about NIWE’s services.

All of our services to people with eating distress are free and confidential.  However, we do not offer a drop-in or crisis service – all visits are by appointment only. For an overview of what happens if you would like to register for our services, click here.

Phone us

You can also call us if you are a friend, family member or anyone who is concerned about someone with an eating problem.

Tel: 0191 221 0233. (Due to the current pandemic, you may need to call a second number, which is available via the answerphone message)

Office opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.30 am until 4.30pm.

There is an answering machine at other times and we will contact anyone leaving a message as soon as we can. Please let us know if it is all right to identify ourselves as NIWE when we call you back.

Email or write to us

If you find it too difficult to phone us, you can make contact by email or by writing to us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our services for individuals - for overview, click here

To register for the services below, please download and complete our registration form and submit via email to enquiries@niwe.org.ukPlease note, our services may not be suitable for the needs of every individual – a list of our criteria is available to download here.

Once registered with NIWE, we will contact you to arrange an Initial Assessment appointment as soon as one becomes available.

Initial Assessment

An initial assessment is a one to one meeting with one of our professionally trained counsellors, which can last for up to an hour. It is an opportunity for you to talk about how things are affecting you and to consider options for help and support. This session can offer:

  • Information about services from NIWE and other agencies.
  • Information about eating problems.
  • Resources that may be helpful.
  • A chance for you to consider food in your life.
  • An opportunity to think about your next step.
  • The chance to find out more about our group work or counselling.

Please note: You must have attended an initial assessment session with us to access our counselling service, HOPE group, Health and Wellbeing workshops or Mindfulness course.


We offer one-to-one counselling to people over 16 with mild to moderate eating distress, who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 17.5 and above. We offer six to eight 50-minute sessions, which usually take place at the same time each week, over 6-8 consecutive weeks. These sessions may be extended in exceptional circumstances.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NIWE is offering alternatives to face to face therapy.

To find out a little bit more about what counselling is, whether online or face to face, click here.

Health and Wellbeing Online Workshops (people aged 16+)

We are running a series of twice-a-month online workshops on Thursday evenings from 6.00-7.30pm for those aged 16+ with eating distress. Topics will include self worth and body image. For more information please see our latest timetable.  To join any of these interactive workshops, please contact enquiries@niwe.org.uk (if you are not a pre-existing service user, please could you also submit a completed registration form with your email).

We hope to resume our face-to-face HOPE and H+W workshops in the future:

* Please note that the HOPE group and the Health and Wellbeing workshops are for those with eating distress, not for professionals supporting people with eating distress or other mental health issues.


Our services for friends and family

To register for the groups below, please download and complete a registration form and submit via email to enquiries@niwe.org.uk, stating which session(s) you are interested in.

Friends and Family Support Group

We are running a series of online monthly workshops on the second Tuesday of the month from 6.00pm-7.30pm via Zoom. These monthly sessions are for all parents, carers and friends who are supporting a loved one who is living with Eating Distress.  We offer a safe and confidential space to come together to share experiences, ideas and to offer mutual support. The group is facilitated by a NIWE practitioner (Louisa) and there is a strong focus in the sessions on developing resilience, positive coping mechanisms and self-care.

The aim is for the group to be self-determining, deciding and developing its own programme, with support, for members to grow together, offering mutual support, combatting isolation, ensuring self-care to enable their vital role supporting steps towards recovery of their loved one with eating disorder/distress).


Maudsley Model Training Courses (for those caring for a loved one with eating distress)

The McClarnon family, led by Debbie, who dealt with eating distress herself and is now a psychotherapist, are uniquely able to give a full family perspective – from mum, dad and daughter – about the reality of their experience, and how the Maudsley model translates to actual family life. The aim of the New Maudsley Model is to help carers feel more confident and empowered in their role, to reduce their anxiety, and improve communication lines in the family, ultimately helping them best support their loved one on their path towards recovery.


“Have a Word, Be Heard” Advocacy Group

Do you care for someone with an eating disorder?

We are providing advocacy support to parents and carers to enable you to express your views, fears, wishes, or give any other feedback on the services and treatment in which your loved one is involved. This work has been commissioned by the NHS.

We want you to have your voice heard on issues that are important to you and are committed to the principles of independence, confidentiality and empowerment.


Our training services for professionals

Eating Distress Talks, Workshops and Awareness Training for schools, professionals and organisations

We offer a range of CPD-accredited training which can be delivered at your organisation’s premises. For more details and costs, please email maria.lavelle@niwe.org.uk (Wed-Fri).

NIWE’s services are currently available to people in Tyneside, Wearside, County Durham and Northumberland.


As a small charity, we rely on the amazing generosity of the public to allow us to continue our work. Every donation is noticed and appreciated, and allows us to really make a difference in someone’s life – by helping to provide specialised one to one counselling sessions to people who would otherwise not be able to access them, run our support groups, and provide training so people can spot the signs of eating distress and help others seek the support they need as early as possible. We use Give As You Live as our donation platform, and any contribution enables us to continue providing our supportive services for people struggling with anxiety around food.Donate through Give as you Live Donate