Two students from Nottingham Trent University are fundraising and taking part in a skydive to raise awareness surrounding eating disorders.
Courtney McLaven, 22, from Hertfordshire, decided to plan a skydive with a friend after suffering from an eating disorder herself.
She believes eating disorders need to be part of the wider conversation surrounding mental health.
She said: “I wanted to do something so crazy it would grab people’s attention.
“I believe there are so many people out there who will suffer in silence as a result of not knowing where to turn for help.
“If even one person out there saw my fundraiser and realised that Beat could help them, I would feel like it’s all worthwhile.”
The students will be raising money for BeatEd, a charity that specialises in eating disorders.
The charity states that around 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, which has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
Courtney, a current MA News journalism student, will be taking the jump in June with fellow student Cara, after recovering from an eating disorder.
Courtney added: “When I was younger, I really struggled with my body image which led to be developing both bulimic and anorexic tendencies.
“It’s one of the hardest things to look back on, but I also think it’s important to share my story in order to break stigmas.
“I think that if it were spoken about more publicly, then there would be more of an understanding of them, and people would feel more comfortable to speak out when they need help.”
Rachael Bramwell, Community Fundraising Officer at Beat, said: ‘We are extremely grateful for Courtney and Cara’s commitment to raising awareness of eating disorders, and wish them the best of luck for their skydive.
“The past year has seen a huge increase in demand for Beat’s services, and their donation will help us continue our vital work to support anyone in need of help.”
You can donate to Courtney and Cara’s fundraiser here.
By Faith Pring
Feature image credit (edited): BeatED and Courtney McLaven