“I was 11 years old when my family and doctors became aware that I was desperately ill with an eating disorder.

“My body was going downhill at a rapid pace. I was unable to eat or drink because I didn’t want to upset the voice in my head which had such a firm grip on me.  I had stopped everything that I loved doing including my competition swimming and going to school. When I first arrived at Ellern Mede I was very scared. I was observed by the nurses constantly.

“But as time went on I began to realise how patient and caring the nurses were and how this illness had such a detrimental effect, not only for me but also my family. The voice began to dissolve to a point where it was no longer a struggle for me to eat and drink. It took months for me to recover. But after treatment, I was back to being myself again.

“That was five years ago. Now I’m back to swimming in competitions. I have also just obtained 8 GCSE’s, which is a shock to me as a few years ago I thought that I’d never be able to attend school again. I am in college doing a Health and Social Care Course.  I hope to go on to university to become a psychiatric nurse.

“If you are trapped in that dark place, please seek help and believe it is never too late. Choose life.”

Click here to view Simon’s video story