Thousands of children struggling with body image concerns and mental health difficulties are turning to Childline for help and support about eating disorders.
In 2017/18, the NSPCC’s Childline service carried out 5,934 counselling sessions about eating disorders and eating problems – up 22 per cent since 2016/17.
Almost nine in every ten counselling sessions were with girls, including 148 counselling sessions with girls aged 10-11. Nearly one in six counselling sessions mentioned anorexia, one in ten mentioned bulimia, and almost a third mentioned negative or distorted body image.
In addition, thousands of children who contacted Childline about other mental health issues, including suicidal feelings and self-harm, also talked about eating disorders or eating problems, bringing the total number of counselling sessions where eating disorders or eating problems were mentioned in 2017/18 to 11,752.
Young people say they feel under pressure to look a certain way and live a certain life. The reality is eating disorders are dangerous and can be lethal. It is therefore crucial that these young people receive effective help as soon as possible so they can go on to enjoy their childhood to the full.
Childline is there for these young people, but at the moment it can only answer three out of four young people who turn to it for help.
So it can meet the demand, the NSPCC’s Are You There? campaign is calling on Government to invest some of the £300 million it has committed for children’s mental health services towards early support services such as Childline.
Children and young people in need of advice or support about eating disorders or eating problems can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk
Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium invites families to embark on a mission to tour the galaxy on-board Explorer:Space, a brand new 600m2 interactive space zone, that opens to the public on 20 July.
Explorer:Space is an immersive space experience that will take families on an epic adventure through the universe. This new dramatic staff-led zone includes amazing hands-on exhibits, covering everything from meteorites to stardust, robots to coding and atmospheric pressure to human space flight.
“Explorer:Space is a permanent new addition for the Science Centre, designed to wow families and ignite their curiosity in space,” said Ben Ward, CEO of Winchester Science Centre. “We’ve never had an exhibition like this before – the impressive set takes up the entire ground floor of the Science Centre and represents the biggest investment we’ve made since the opening of our planetarium in 2008.”
To complement the new zone, the Science Centre’s Curiosity Team will deliver space-themed activities and a brand new live science show, Destination Space, from 20 July to 03 September. Audiences will explore the story and science of satellites, complete with fiery demonstrations and bottle rocket launches.
A fantastic programme of 360° fulldome planetarium shows is also scheduled for the summer, including the new film narrated by Sean Bean, Faster than Light. Visitors can enjoy the sunny weather in the outdoor picnic and play area, which has direct access to the Magdalen Hill Down Butterfly Conservation reserve, offering amazing views of the South Downs National Park.
Explorer:Space and the summer holiday space-themed activities are included in the cost of general admission. The Destination Space live shows will run daily at 11 am, noon, 1 pm and 2 pm inside the Space Marquee – free tickets can be reserved online in advance. New prices from 16 July provide a 25% discount on general admission when booking online at least three days in advance.
To find out more and book tickets, visit winchestersciencecentre.org