Emma Thompson backs Norwich charity which helped her daughter

Emma Thompson arrives for the first Earthshot Prize awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London. P

Emma Thompson has thrown her support behind Norwich eating disorder charity Beat. - Credit: PA

Harry Potter and Nanny McPhee star Emma Thompson has praised Norwich eating disorder charity Beat, after it helped her daughter with her anorexia.

Backing the charity by taking on a fund-raising YouTube cooking challenge yesterday (Wednesday, December 1) with her daughter Gaia Wise, the actress said parents of children with eating disorders are “stigmatised and shamed” by society.

The two-time Oscar winner, 62, called on the public to educate themselves about the impact of conditions such as anorexia, which her daughter suffered from as a teenager.

Wise has previous told how she began over-exercising and under-eating as a 16-year-old before being diagnosed with the condition and seeking treatment.

During the challenge on the SORTEDfood channel, Thompson said: “One of the most important things that Beat do is really address the family. It is those two things – the person as an individual who is ill and then the family and the effects upon the family.

“One of the most important things to recognise and really talk about is that parents are stigmatised and shamed when their teenagers have mental health disorders of this kind.

"That is so unhelpful, not only to the families who are suffering untold misery and the person who has got the disease.

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“One of the most important messages we can get out, and you as an activist can get out, is to say, ‘do not ever make assumptions’."

Wise added: “I think it started as control of exercise and then that came to restriction of food, and I would over-exercise and under-eat.

“It became about control because when you over-exercise and under-eat you don’t feel anything. So when it comes down to it, that’s why it is such a powerful illness.

“Beat came into my life quite early in my illness because I was able to go on to their site and read. It was blog posts and it was people who were going through different stages of their recovery process.

“I think that was what was so important to me, that none of it was triggering, none of it was a challenging read. It was just that it is hard and nobody was making light of the situation.”

The challenge saw the pair tasked with making Scotland-themed canapes using ingredients such as whisky, cauliflower and chicken liver pate.

Beat was founded more than 20 years ago and operates out of Rosary Road.