ProHelp + Eating Matters

Two people holding hands across a table in comfort

ProHelp + Eating Matters

Eating Matters has been providing an eating disorder support service in Norfolk for over 40 years. The charity provides early intervention counselling for people of all ages suffering with mild-to-moderate eating disorders, in the community. Their primary aim is to intervene early to avoid eating disorder behaviours becoming unmanageable and having a serious impact on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. They deliver a range of services including counselling and support; community projects; psychoeducation (to include families and carers where appropriate) and group work.

Law firm and Norfolk ProHelp member Birketts has advised on a tenancy lease for the new headquarters of Eating Matters. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 the numbers of people referring to its services has increased significantly, monthly referrals doubled from July 2020 and had trebled by October (quadrupling for those under 18).  In the year ending March 2021 they received 708 referrals, carrying out 5,187 one-to-one counselling sessions.

Thanks to pro-bono legal advice received from Andrea Bailiss and Kristian Nelson from Birketts’ Commercial Property Team, Eating Matters have moved to a new site, Chalk Hill Cottage, from which they will be able to continue to provide vital support to those who have seen their mental health impacted by the pandemic.

Two women sit facing eachother across a room, a clear covid screen dividing them
One of Eating Matters’ six counselling rooms at their new premises, Chalk Hill Cottage

Eating Matters

“During the past 18 months Eating Matters has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of referrals as people have felt the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health. It became increasingly apparent that when restrictions eased and our counsellors returned to face-to-face counselling, our existing premises would no longer be fit for purpose. Norfolk Community Foundation have supported Eating Matters for many years and with their help, we connected with Birketts. Birketts’ team provided invaluable advice regarding the tenancy lease and we are hugely grateful to Andrea and Kristian whose efforts have helped us to keep providing a service to our clients right up until the day of the move.”

Yolande Russell, CEO at Eating Matters


“As members of the Norfolk ProHelp group we are honoured to be able to participate in pro bono initiatives that can make a real difference to the local community. It was a pleasure to be able to help the charity move to a new site and we are pleased that Eating Matters are now carrying on their great work from the new premises.”

Andrea Bailiss, The new site: Chalk Hill Cottage
Eating Matters new premises, Chalk Hill Cottage