Project information

Beat Young Ambasasdors

Beat Young Ambassadors are inspirational young people aged between 14-25 years old who have had personal experience of an eating disorder. The Young Ambassadors volunteer for Beat, attending events in their local communities, raising awareness of eating disorders and campaigning for better services

January 2015 - January 2016

Charity information


Beat logo
  • Need


    Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses affecting 1.6 million people in the UK. They can affect anyone at any time but girls and young women aged 12-20 are most at risk of developing an eating disorder. It can take an average of five years to recover from an eating disorder during which time the lives of these young people is seriously disrupted - often missing out on education and employment opportunities and affecting relationships with friends and family.


    We will support and grow our national Beat Young Ambassador programme. This is a comprehensive volunteer programme that trains and supports young people who have recovered from an eating disorder to use their own experience to spread a message of hope and recovery to others. By taking part they develop new skills and improve in their own self-esteem and confidence and increase understanding of eating disorders amongst their peers and health, social and education professionals.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase the reach of the Beat Young Ambassador programme


    » Recruit and train 20 new Young Ambassadors in areas such as London and the South East to raise awareness of eating disorders

    Success will be meeting our target to recruit and train 20 new Young Ambassadors by the end of the one year project

    Aim 2

    Support existing Young Ambassadors to take part in events and develop their skills and confidence


    » 75 Young Ambassadors across the UK continue to receive ongoing support and train from Beat's Young Peoples Participation Officer

    75 existing Beat Young Ambassadors self-esteem and confidence levels will be measured through ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the project

  • Impact


    The Beat Young Ambassador project will empower young people with personal experience of an eating disorder, helping them to maintain their recovery and mental well-being. We will demonstrate the success by measuring and recording changes in their levels of confidence and self-esteem through regular communications with the Young Peoples Participation Officer and use distance travelled scales via online surveys and focus groups.


    There is a risk that some young people who have had personal experience of an eating disorder are not well enough to become a Young Ambassador. We have a strict recruitment process in place that requires every volunteer to provide two references regarding their well being and to have been out of in-patient treatment for at least a year.


    We provide updates on our work through our website, monthly e-newsletter and our twice yearly supporter magazine Upbeat. We will send donors who support this project an update throughout the year to let them know what activities the Young Ambassadors have been engaged in.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £36,652

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £27,119 Staff costs Young Peoples Participation Officer; managment & support costs
      £7,513 Overheads Rent, rates, insurance
      £2,020 Project event costs Young Ambassador events and training
  • Background


    We have 75 Beat Young Ambassadors volunteering across the UK in areas including Norwich, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Lothian in Scotland. We still have many opportunities and events that we cannot fulfil with our existing Young Ambassadors, especially in high population cities and counties including London and the South East. If our project reaches its fundraising target we will recruit and train new Young Ambassadors in these areas where the need is greatest.


    Young people who have personal experience of an eating disorder will benefit from being Young Ambassadors. Other young people in settings including schools and colleges and health and education professionals living in their local communities will benefit from hearing the Young Ambassadors speak - helping them to understand eating disorders and how to get help for themselves or a loved one.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Beat is the UK's leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders, or difficulties with food, weight and shape. In 2014 we are celebrating our 25th anniversary. During the past 25 years we have developed our services to meet the changing needs of the people we support. The Young Ambassador programme was developed in 2006 in response to feedback from young people and has grown successfully over the last eight years, raising awareness of eating disorders and spreading hope.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Fay Sheldon

    Head of Services

    Pavlina Parashkevova

    Young Peoples Participation Officer