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Hitcham teenager’s anorexia battle inspires danceathon for Ipswich Hospital children’s appeal

PUBLISHED: 16:10 19 April 2018

Members of Miss Lesley’s School of Performing Arts. Picture: MISS LESLEY'S SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS

Members of Miss Lesley’s School of Performing Arts. Picture: MISS LESLEY'S SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS

MISS LESLEY'S SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS

A teenage girl who has battled anorexia is supporting an Ipswich Hospital appeal to say thank you for the care she received.

Megan Banks is supporting Ipswich Hospital's children's appeal. Picture: MISS LESLEY'S SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTSMegan Banks is supporting Ipswich Hospital's children's appeal. Picture: MISS LESLEY'S SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS

Megan Banks, 14, will be one of nearly 200 youngsters taking part in a danceathon in May to raise funds towards a £2.5 million upgrade of the trust’s children’s department.

The pupils, aged between three and 16, will dance non-stop for anything from 45 minutes to three hours, depending on their age.

The danceathon has been organised by Miss Lesley’s School of Performing Arts in recognition of Megan’s journey.

Megan, a pupil at the dance school, spent six weeks on Ipswich Hospital’s Bergholt Ward last year being treated for anorexia.

The teenager and her family, who live in Hitcham, have pledged to raise funds to say thank you for the support they were given.

“I’m really excited about the danceathon – it should be really good fun,” said Megan. “I think it will also be really tiring as we’re not allowed to stop – even if you need a drink, you have to dance over to collect your water.

“The staff were all really nice and made me feel really secure when I was on the ward, but I did also find it difficult. I couldn’t walk even a step and was in a wheelchair, but there wasn’t much room to get around. It was also really difficult when I wanted to have a shower as my wheelchair caused a real problem.

“I want to raise as much as I can at the danceathon so that we can help make the ward better for other patients as I think it will make a big difference.”

Ipswich Hospital wants to transform the children’s department by increasing clinic rooms and refurbishing the outside play area, as well as creating more ensuite bedrooms, dedicated spaces for teenagers and disabled bathrooms.

A separate dining area will also be introduced so patients can eat away from others who may be nil by mouth or have an eating disorder.

Megan’s mum Jane said: “The biggest problem for Megan was that the food trolley was right next to her, which wasn’t ideal when she was battling her illness. The separate dining room which is being planned as part of the refurbishment will make a real difference.”

Lesley Woods-Gould, founder of the dance school, based in Bildeston and Boxford, said she wanted to beat the total of £2,000 raised at her last danceathon.

For more information on the children’s appeal, call on 01473 702929, email charity@ipswichhospital.nhs.uk or visit the website.


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