Patient view

Delivering a message of hope

Emma Woan praises the work of Shelley Perry, who supports people with eating disorders

Emma Woan praises the work of Shelley Perry, who supports people with eating disorders

Shelley Perry is a dedicated and passionate mental health practitioner who specialises in supporting people with eating disorders across Lancashire. She is also a social entrepreneur.

Inspirational: Shelley Perry
Photo: Neil O'Connor

Shelley set up Breathe Therapies in 2011, as a community-based, not-for-profit treatment arm of the charity Support and Education for Eating Disorders, which she formed in 1998. 

Filled a gap

She has filled a gap: previously the county had no community support or intervention for people with eating disorders.

Shelley realised she could make a difference, and has helped to change how people feel about themselves, and, in so doing, has saved lives. 

Stable and sustainable

She has gone ‘above and beyond’, not only in treating clients, but in ensuring that the service remains stable and sustainable.

Having overcome an eating disorder herself, this inspirational woman felt passionate about sharing the lessons of her recovery with others in a way that was professional, informed and research-based.

She not only provides a specialist service, but also gives continuous support round the clock through interventions and projects.

Shelley has spent 23 years studying eating disorders and keeps up to date with new findings, research and good practice. She left a secure job and, without any financial support or funding, set up the charity and specialist treatment service from scratch. 

Time and passion

She has poured her own time, money and passion into developing a team that provides effective care and treatment. And she has worked to maintain the service.

Shelley manages more than 20 staff, consultants and dedicated volunteers. She delivers a message of hope, and believes strongly that people who have an eating disorder can get better, and that a full recovery is possible.

She is an unsung hero, working quietly to deliver services and making a huge difference to people’s lives. 

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