About TEDs

Talking Eating Disorders (TEDs) is a self help organisation founded by Leigh Best, a children’s Psychotherapist and a lecturer in Counselling. She set up the voluntary Eating Disorder Service in Liverpool in 2000 following a young family members illness and subsequent recovery many years ago.  TEDS receives no government funding and operates on the desire to help people in desperate need, offer HOPE for Recovery, expert volunteers, goodwill, and heart. And lots of positive energy! 

Leigh BestAll those years ago, Leigh and her family struggled to get the information and support they felt they needed. She founded  a Social Enterprise called TEDs, a pro-recovery foundation, to help, encourage and offer support to parents/families/sufferers who required information and assistance with the eating disorder. TEDs meet on a monthly basis and is opento  anyone who requires emotional support, guidance and the opportunity to talk to other sufferers or carers in a secure, confidential environment.

In addition to facilitating the monthly group meetings Leigh also provides training, and ongoing telephone support on a voluntary basis. Leigh  believes in prevention, and early intervention and she  developed and delivered workshops  in schools throughout the North West  to educate and raise awareness to pupils. She is passionate about supporting parents as well as sufferers and she campaigned for the  NHS to offer support to parents and carers. Working in partnership with Ruth Carson, Lead Consultant Psychotherapist at the NHS Eating Disorders Service, and through her links with Professor Janet Treasure O.B.E and Gill Todd, a Senior Clinician at Kings College, London  Leigh delivered  the first ever parent’s monthly support programme supporting parents of sufferers within the service. This support for parents  continued, something that Leigh is still proud of. However, many people do not engage in the NHS services provided, or are discharged when they are still unwell, so Leigh and her small team of volunteers developed  a befriending service to offer ongoing support.

Her expertise in this field has led to her becoming an “Empowering Families Champion” for Beat, undergoing specialist training to run a programme for parents on a voluntary basis. She is also an “Experienced Carers Coach” and trained in Motivational Interviewing Techniques at Guys Hospital,  Hospital, London, as  part of the ECHO  research project supporting parents of sufferers.

She has given many radio interviews  in an effort to reach out to the wider community.

In 2009 with no financial support and with a small team of volunteers, Leigh and her team of volunteers organised the first ever Eating Disorders Health Conference in the North West  at Liverpool John Moores University to raise awareness. She brought together Health Professionals, Sufferers, and Carers in a collaborative way and was thrilled when  Professor Janet Treasure O.B.E , and Professor Simon Gowers, two of the country’s leading Eating Disorders specialists to participate in this event. Dr Sandeep Ranote, an eminent psychiatrist specialising in Eating Disorders also supported the event, and has continued to be a tremendous  ally to TEDS. 

The conference was an outstanding success and has now become an annual event attracting specialists in the field of eating disorders who to share their expertise to help anyone affected by the illness. TEDs raises funds to offer subsidised places to any family in need.

Following the first conference, Leigh met with key staff from NHS Services  over a 2 year period, looking at improving children’s services in the city. This has resulted in the the further development of a Children and Young Persons ED pathway, which is now in place in every GP system in Liverpool. Leigh and her small team work tirelessly as an advocate for families, offering advice, guidance and information to any family in need.