Welcome to NIWE

NIWE aims to help people in the North East* whose lives are affected by eating distress, or eating disorders. We do this by providing a range of services including group support, group therapy, individual counselling, information and training. We also work in schools and other settings to increase knowledge and awareness of eating distress and its effects.

NIWE Philosophy

NIWE believes that eating distress is a way of saying that something is wrong. Therefore we do not just respond to the symptoms of eating distress but look at underlying causes. We develop services that enable people to increase their understanding of their use of food to cope with difficult emotions. We encourage people to explore opportunities for change and to find their own path to recovery rather than imposing a solution.

Our practice is person centred and also recovery orientated. Our services are provided in a safe and non-judgemental environment.

Eating Distress versus Eating Disorder

NIWE uses the term eating distress rather than eating disorder because we want to support all those who experience extreme anxiety around food and eating. We are aware from the feedback we have received from people we have worked with that, whilst many have a diagnosed eating disorder, some of those who need our support and understanding do not feel they ‘fit’ an eating disorder category.

NIWE runs a monthly group for people living with and managing eating distress/disorders. If you are interested in joining the ‘Hope’ group, please contact Maria Lavelle or see our Services page. (Please note that this is not a therapeutic group.)

We commissioned an evaluation of NIWE’s services, funded by a grant from the Northern Rock Foundation’s Learning and Support programme.  ‘NIWE: Evidence of Effectiveness, Quality, Impact and Value’  can be downloaded here (PDF format).


See the results of our Body Image survey in May 2018.

 * Our services are currently available to people in Tyneside, Wearside, County Durham and Northumberland.