Puddletown Hannah's plan is the ride stuff

PEDAL POWER: Hannah Chislett who is doing a bike ride for Beat

PEDAL POWER: Hannah Chislett who is doing a bike ride for Beat

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A WOMAN who conquered an eating disorder is taking on a charity challenge to help other sufferers.

Hannah Chislett, of Puddletown , will cycle 54 miles from London to Brighton, in aid of eating disorder charity Beat.

The 25-year-old, who used to suffer from bulimia, was inspired to raise money for the charity after hearing about their work.

She said: “I have been ill myself and I didn’t know about the charity. I wish I had known about how they can help.

“I’m not at that stage myself anymore, but it’s nice to get some money for people that do need it.”

Hannah said the online message boards run by the charity are particularly important services.

She said: “Having an eating disorder is a very lonely experience.

“In a small town like Dorchester , there is not a lot of help available. I was told I was fine, that there was nothing wrong with me.

“I pushed everyone away, which is what many sufferers do, and I have lost all my friends.”

She added: “Having someone to talk to, someone who is in a similar situation, is very useful.”

Hannah traces the start of her illness to a break-up in her family.

She said: “I had to take on a parent role, looking after everyone, and the counsellor told me that bulimia was my way of telling everyone I could not cope.”

Meeting her fiancé helped her to fight the illness.

She added: “It’s thanks to him that I got better.

“I was really quite poorly when we met three years ago, but having him there, and knowing that there is a future, something to look forward to, helped me fight it.”

The couple are set to marry in December.

Beat estimates up to 1.6million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder.

Those most likely to be sufferers are young women from 12 to 25, although people of any age can be affected, and around 12 per cent of sufferers are male.

As well as online message boards, the charity offers services such as helplines for young people and adults, support groups, and one to one counselling.

The bike ride takes place on September 16.

To sponsor Hannah, visit www. doitforcharity.com/hchislett For more information about the charity’s services, visit b-eat.co.uk

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