“A lot of the time with eating disorders, people see it as a phase that someone is going through. People need to understand and to take it as seriously, because there are things that you can do to help!”
Hope is a mental health campaigner and author and an ambassador for the Shaw Mind Foundation.Hope suffered with anorexia for over 4 years, before being admitted to a Mental Health Hospital in 2007. She lived in the hospital for a year, fighting one of the hardest battles of her life. Since being discharged, she has fought to stay well.
Hope is now at the stage of 'ongoing recovery' and wants to use her experiences of mental health illness to champion the rights of others, inspire them to get well, and help break the stigma of mental illness.
‘I know how anorexia makes you feel: you think she is your friend, you think she can solve everything and make you feel amazing … but she will destroy you and everything around you, piece by piece.’
Hope has been featured in the following newspapers, magazines, television and radio shows.
Author - Stand tall little girl
For four years, Hope managed to keep it hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But then, on 17th November 2007, Hope's world changed forever. She was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing. She was barely recognizable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope faced the biggest challenge of her life. She had to find the courage to beat her anorexia.
In Stand Tall Little Girl, Hope shares her harrowing, yet truly inspiring, journey. Through her letters and diary entries, Hope tells us how she fought from rock bottom to beat the ‘friend’ that had controlled and nearly destroyed her life. The story of Hope's recovery will inspire countless others.
So, if you need motivation and belief to overcome an eating disorder, Stand Tall Little Girl is the best place to start.
Published by Trigger Press in partnership with The Shaw Mind Foundation
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Interview with Hope explaining where her anorexia came from.
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'Stand tall, little girl' is a 'must read' for anyone who is experiencing the misery of anorexia nervosa or knows someone who is.
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Hope writes with incredible honesty and openness, her journey is truly inspirational, not just to those with mental health struggles but to all humankind.
Jonny Benjamin, MBE
This honest account of Hope’s struggle with anorexia is both insightful and an inspirational story of recovery. Her openness tackles the stigma around mental health. This is a must read book.
Dame Kelly Holmes
Hope has worked with the following organisations.
Events and public speaking
Hope does talks in hospitals, schools and businesses and would love to share her story with you. She adapts her talks to the audience but her general structure is sharing her personal experience followed by a question and answer session.
“Eating disorder awareness raising needs a skilled and delicate touch. Conveying the devastating impact of these illnesses whilst not triggering or leaving the audience feel helpless is key and Hope Virgo is able to do this with passion and aplomb. I don’t think it’s any coincidence she’s called ‘Hope’ - that’s the feeling you take away from her presentations.”