Charities, by their very nature, all have a story behind their inception. Caraline is no different, and the inspiration for our charity came from an exceptional person called Caraline Neville-Lister. She lived in Brighton, Sussex, and died in 1994, aged 29, from anorexia nervosa.
After watching a documentary about Caraline, and her battle with anorexia and bulimia nervosa, our founder Claire Jackson, contacted her.
Caraline invited Claire to where she lived in Brighton to meet her, and they had their first meeting in a café near the station to begin their extraordinary friendship. Caraline was an inspiration to Claire and told her she had agreed to make the documentary to help others. On her last visit to Brighton, Claire knew she would not see Caraline again and promised her that she would not die in vain.
Claire founded Caraline in February 1994, recognising a lack of support services, and her promise to Caraline that she would pioneer a confidential counselling and support service for people living with an eating disorder.
She started a helpline in memory of Caraline in the front room of her home in Luton using her own home telephone number. From there the charity moved to Kline House, our dedicated therapy centre in Luton, and now has a team of Therapists and support staff – our telephone number is the same today!
The charity has gone from strength to strength and now provides a range of early intervention therapy and support funded by the NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).