Family Simms

Charlie Simms Memorial Fund

Fundraising for Beat
raised of £10,000 target
In memory of Charlie Simms

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RCN 801343
We are the UK’s eating disorder charity to end pain and suffering


Thank you for visiting our JustGiving page in memory of Charlie Simms. 

We have decided to donate funds raised in Charlie’s memory to Beat, the UKs leading Eating Disorder charity. Beat’s mission is to end the pain and suffering caused by Eating Disorders, something with which we know Charlie was in strong agreement.  

Our initial target is to raise £10,000 for Beat, allowing us, as a family, to direct funds into projects directly related to the areas that mean the most to us - early intervention and prevention of eating disorders. 

Our experience of Anorexia Nervosa as a family has shown us that prevention is better than cure. That is why we are so keen to support projects such as ‘Spotting the Signs’ training from Beat. 

Spotting the Signs’ training

While Eating Disorders can affect anyone of any age, school-age children are a particularly high risk group. School staff are therefore ideally placed to spot the early signs of an Eating Disorder. Most schools are fortunate to have a small number of professionals who have a responsibility for student welfare and wellbeing. Although ideally placed to identify and react to the early signs of an eating disorder among young people, they often feel ill-equipped to deal with this growing problem.

Beat’s ‘Spotting the Signs’ training is designed for teachers, school nurses and anybody else working in a school who is well placed to spot the early signs of an Eating Disorder.

Learning outcomes include an understanding of the major Eating Disorders, their impact on day-to-day life, risk factors and early warning signs, barriers to treatment and how to support pupils and their parents to overcome them.   

More information can be found here


If you are able to do so, please donate here to Charlie’s Memorial Fund and be part of supporting this vital project to raise awareness of Eating Disorders and the importance of early intervention and prevention.  

We hope that by sharing our story we can help raise some awareness of the need to help other young people and their families get the right support early on before it impacts their whole life.  We know that Charlie would agree that getting the right kind of care early on is vital.

Charlie’s story

Charlie suffered from Anorexia Nervosa for nearly 25 years. She was just 39 years old when she tragically died in November 2020.  Her relationship with Anorexia was complex and it is hard to articulate just how much it dominated her life and that of our family.   We hope that by sharing our story we can help to raise greater awareness of the important need for early intervention and prevention of Eating Disorders.

Charlie was the youngest of Jeanna and Mervyn’s four daughters and an identical twin to Pip and younger sister to Louise and Annie. Charlie developed Anorexia when she was in her early years at secondary school, over 25 years ago.  

At that time, the early warning signs were not well understood by anyone. Sadly, due to the speed and severity of her decline into the illness Charlie was admitted as an inpatient to a general mental health unit at the age of just 14. This exposed her to a wide range of mental health illnesses which were not appropriate for her to experience at that young age.  

Following this first admission, she then went on to spend a large part of her life in and out of various eating disorder units across the country, with a mis-match of 24/7 care when in hospital, to almost no care when she came out due to lack of services and funding for care in the community.  

Over the course of her illness Charlie had over 50 hospital admissions.  Although she was fortunate to have always received care through the NHS when she needed it, the treatment approach just did not work for her, as it doesn’t for so many, and we have often wondered whether the admissions made the illness worse through the isolation and institutionalisation they brought. 

As a result of her revolving door admissions, Charlie sadly missed much of her schooling and opportunities to grow socially as a teenager and young adult. However she was always able to turn her hand to most things and had an incredible artistic talent and a love for learning.   She worked incredibly hard for 6 years to achieve a first-class honours degree in social sciences with psychology, and more recently courses in child psychology and horticulture.  She achieved so much and had so many wonderful friends, despite struggling with such a challenging illness. However, living with this chronic illness meant that she was not able to start a career, even with all her qualifications and capabilities.  

Despite having to contend with so much physically, emotionally, socially and financially, Charlie’s perseverance and resilience meant she was, thankfully, able to build a fulfilling life  with her family, friends and her dog Toby. She was always determined to keep fighting against the illness and never gave in.

The impact on the family 

Any family that has lived with Anorexia Nervosa will know the devastating and far reaching impact it has on all members of the family, not just for the sufferer.  As parents and sisters we were always extremely worried about her.  The pain of seeing someone you love struggle so much is hard to bear every day. The endless circular discussions, frustrations and tears at not being able to help Charlie beat Anorexia or find a treatment path that could be sustained has taken its toll on all of us in different ways. Individually, we have all had to manage our own mental health to stay strong. Anorexia could have created deep cracks within the family, but by learning how to take better care of our own mental health we were able to stay strong and support Charlie, and each other.

Our story is of Anorexia Nervosa which is just one of many different types of Eating Disorders, for more details on this please

visit here:

About the charity


Verified by JustGiving

RCN 801343
Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity. Our mission is to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders. These serious mental illnesses ruin and, too often, take lives. Our Helpline is available online or by phone for anyone suffering, as well as their family and friends.

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