Wednesday, 30 November 2016

B-Enterprising meets B-Eat's President Catherine Spencer

I met with 3rd year Theology & Religion student at UoB, Catherine Spencer, about her wonderful work for Birmingham's new campaigning and fundraising society branch, B-Eat, the UK's largest eating disorder charity.

Catherine supporting and representing B-Eat at UoB Societies Fair
Set up in June this year, B-Eat works to end the stigma about eating disorders, whilst promoting the amazing work that B-Eat do in the UK. Students approach the society to talk if they're worried about themselves or someone else, and B-Eat then signposts them to the relevant services, such as UoB's Student Services or Birmingham Mental Health.

Catherine's role as President of B-Eat is to cater to the welfare of its members, and to delegate tasks and communicate with societies, organisations and staff members that approach her. As the spokesperson for B-Eat Society, she also makes speeches and attends important events.

The society has 8 committee roles: Treasurer, Secretary, Small Events and Large Events, Social Media, Social Secretary, and PR & Publicity. "I've got such a supportive team. You need those people behind you to be there for you. A supportive team is fundamental to any success."

How did this all start?

B-Eat UoB's committee members
"I approached the fundraiser of B-Eat UK and explained how I wanted to set up a charity. I told them how I was really passionate about the cause and wanted to promote it at UoB. It was a bit of a minute I was approaching them and the next I was running a whole society!"

Have you faced any challenges during your role?

"We're a new society and didn't have any precedent to follow, as we were the first eating disorder specific society, so we had no indicator of what to do. I did a lot of my own research and made sure I asked for help whenever I needed it."

Getting involved with sports teams: B-Eat meets UoB's Mascot!
"A lot of it has been seeing how stuff goes and then reflecting on it. Also learning how to engage with different demographics of people has been a learning curve."

What skills do you think you've gained from your work with B-Eat?

"I've learnt a lot of leadership skills, learning how to delegate tasks, bringing out the best in people, learning what makes people tick and learning how to communicate with non-students such as delegates, mental health experts and psychiatrists. Oh and seriously time's been a lot of juggling at times!"

"Representing B-Eat to the outside world is a very daunting task for a 20 year old, but I've been thrown in the deep end and it's really been invaluable to me."

Did you realise how enterprising you were being by setting up the UoB branch of B-Eat?

"I actually didn't until you told me! The reason that I did B-Eat wasn't to further myself, and I'm not just saying that... I had a passion for something, I saw something that needed changing, and I went about and changed it. When you're having a bad day or a difficult month, the only thing that will keep you going is that passion. That's a great platform to success."

Follow B-Eat on social media:
Instagram: @beatuob
Snapchat: @beatuob

Or drop B-Eat an e-mail:

Amelia Lowe
Student PR Team UoB

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