A tribute to John Fletcher of “Eating Matters”.

John Fletcher, who is retiring after working with Eating Matters (Eating Disorders), is joined by fr

John Fletcher, who is retiring after working with Eating Matters (Eating Disorders), is joined by friends, colleagues and family as he receives his retirement cake. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Simon Finlay

The Bishop of Norwich joins others paying tribute to a man who has spent three decades helping an eating disorders group in the city.

A man who has worked behind the scenes at a pioneering eating disorders group in Norfolk for three decades has been praised for his loyalty and dedication by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James.

Retired solicitor John Fletcher, aged 82, has stepped down as a trustee at Eating Matters which works in the city and county supporting young people and adults with eating disorders.

He started helping what was then Anorexic Family Aid in Norwich back in the early 1980s and has seen several changes over the years.

'I have been involved more with sorting out premises and finances although it is good to see eating disorders are now treated far more seriously and openly than they were before. Things have changed for the better,' said John.

'He has been an anchor and will be greatly missed. He has done such valuable and good work over the years,' said chairman of the trustees, Rosie Thomas.

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Bishop Graham said: 'A civilised society isn't one simply based on good manners. It is grounded in people who offer service freely and willingly over many years to worthwhile (and sometimes unfashionable) causes.

'John Fletcher is one of those people,' he added.

'He has given decades of service to Eating Matters and I pay tribute to his faithful work as a trustee for so long.

'His loyalty and dedication has made the help this charity has given to so many people possible.

'It has often been a hidden service and that's what makes itt more important to say thank you.

'We are all grateful and ask blessings on you, John, because you have been a blessing to others,' said the Bishop.

<t> The Norfolk Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) changed its name to Eating Matters last year to reflect the growing scope of its work.

Chief Executive Jane Witt, explained: 'We wanted to take out the negative of 'disorders' in the title of our charity and Eating Matters has another dimension to it because eating does matter and there are a matters about eating.

'We feel that we fulfil a critical need in this county for all people who have eating issues which could endanger their health and wellbeing,' she added.

Eating Matters operates a contact line for making appointments so that the caller can meet with a member of staff to discuss their concerns and plan the way forward.

The charity also operates and offers a range of other services for those with eating issues, their families and carers.

<t> The Eating Matters helpline can be contacted on Norwich (01603) 767062 email eatingmatterseast@gmail.com or write to them at 34 Colegate, Norwich, NR3 1BG.