St Ives woman who helps people with eating disorders in running for award

Emma Sawyer, from St Ives has been put forward for a Ferrier Pearce Young People of the Year Award Y

Emma Sawyer, from St Ives has been put forward for a Ferrier Pearce Young People of the Year Award YOPEY - Credit: Archant

AN ANOREXIA sufferer who helps others overcome eating disorders has been nominated for an award by someone she has never met.

Emma Sawyer, of Whitecross, St Ives, has been put forward for a Ferrier Pearce Young People of the Year Award, or YOPEY, by Kirstie Pope, of Huntingdon.

Kirstie, 20, was put in touch with Emma, 24, after being diagnosed with anorexia at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge in February last year.

She contacted her through social media and received advice from Team Recovery, a movement encouraging people to beat eating disorders.

Kirstie also sought extra help from Emma and talks to her via Skype but they have never met. She said: “I speak to Emma nearly every day and she is great support.

“She has always been there for me, night and day and has helped me so much in my recovery. She is such an inspiration and shows me that I can recover and live a fantastic life.”

Emma was diagnosed with anorexia in 2010 and had a seven-month stay in Addenbrooke’s before being treated as an outpatient and finally being discharged in February this year.

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“I’m doing really well,” she said. “I’m taking advantage of the tools that have been given to me to aid my recovery. I’m also very determined, which is a big help with this condition.”

On being nominated for a YOPEY by Kirstie, she said: “I don’t consider I’m doing anything special. We are going to make plans to meet.

“I understand what Kirstie and others are going through, having been there myself. Anorexia is a very destructive illness but people can recover and that’s the important thing to remember.”

Emma is a young ambassador for Beat, a national charity that provides helplines, online support and a network of self-help groups to help people beat eating disorders.

In 2011, she did a 5km walk, raising £250 for Beat. In July, she is going to Iceland trekking with a friend, another sufferer, and they hope to raise £5,000 for Beat.

The YOPEYs recognise and reward positive role models in Cambridgeshire, aged 10 to 25, who spend their time giving to others.

This year’s Cambs YOPEY, which includes £800 for the winner out of a prize pot of £2,000, is supported by Cambridge high-tech companies CSR and ARM, crop production specialist Hutchinsons, ink group Lynx, ALS Food and Pharmaceutical, construction company Kier Eastern, LifePlus supplements, Stratagem Intellectual Property Management, TTP technology consultants, pharmaceutical company The Micron Group and Kiss communications.

INFORMATION: The final is at the Priory Centre, St Neots, in October. For more details or to nominate go to or write to YOPEY, PO Box 236, Newmarket, CB8 1DP, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope for an entry form. Entries close on July 31.