Two Sheffield teenagers in charity trek to raise mental health awareness
Two Sheffield teenagers who have battled eating disorders are preparing for a charity trek to raise awareness of mental health.
Lara Ferguson, aged 18, and Lizzie Nice, 19, will travel to South America in July to walk around Peru and Bolivia.
The pair aim to raise awareness of eating disorders and funds for national charity BEAT.
So far they have raised over £1,500 for BEAT and have many fundraising opportunities lined up, including assemblies in schools, bag packs and a charity event.
As the pair travel they will film videos and talk openly about eating disorders.
Lara, from Crosspool, who has battled anorexia, said: "When we were both in the grips of our eating disorder it felt like recovery was impossible. We could see no way out.
"Our aim is to show others that recovery really is possible, and to provide advice and encouragement for others on their journey.
"Recently a follower on my instagram account, designed to support others with eating disorder, messaged me saying 'Lara, you do not know just amazing you are. Your words have helped me want to get better and I am now finally receiving help and am hopeful for the first time about the future. You saved my life.'
"This highlighted what an impact we are having, and can continue to have."
Lara met Lizzie, from Endcliffe, two years ago when they received treatment in a day facility.
Lara said: "Lizzie and I have both struggled with anorexia, and have spent many years in hospital due to the illness.
We met two years ago in a day patient facility and shared the same passion of travelling to Machu Picchu, which, now fully recovered, we are so thrilled we can do.
"However what excites us most about our trip is the monumental impact it can make."
She added: "We are both so passionate about showing others that there is hope.
"However daunting recovery may feel, there is a future beyond anorexia.
"We are both advocates of the saying 'you're either recovering from an eating disorder, or dying from'.
"There is no avoiding just how serious these illnesses can be, and we urge everyone to help the help and support they need, before it's too late.
"There is a whole world out there full of amazing opportunities and adventure, but none of if possible without recovery."
To sponsor Lara and Lizzie visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peruadventure