A 21-YEAR-OLD will undertake a skydive to raise money for charity after her life was “dominated” for six years by an eating disorder.

Grace Leland, from Penarth, will do the skydive on October 6 near Swansea in aid of the UK’s eating disorder charity Beat, having herself suffered from an eating disorder for more than six years.

The musical theatre student has already raised nearly £1,000, beating her original target of £500.

In October last year, Ms Leland said she relapsed in her illness “for what felt like the millionth time”.

Since she had passed the age of 19 since her last referral, she had to get re-referred from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to Adult Eating Disorder Services.

However, 10 months later she still hasn’t seen a psychologist or received any psychological care.

Speaking about her daring challenge and why she wants to fundraise for Beat, the 21-year-old said: “Eating disorders have dominated most of the past six years of my life. I’m not going to beat around the bush, it’s hell on earth.”

“The voice in my head has been so unbearably loud I haven’t been able to cope with it and when I go to the doctors I’m told that I’ll be at the top of the waiting list soon. This is where the work of Beat comes in,” she said.

“I don’t want to be the girl that is scared of Tesco Meal Deals, that cries at her thighs or can’t go out for meals with friends because it’s too anxiety-inducing. I don’t want to be so depressed I can’t get out of bed and I don’t want to feel suicidal and like my life isn’t worth living because of my mental health problems.

“So obviously my way of combatting this is jumping out of an aeroplane.”

An estimated 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, serious mental illnesses that include binge eating disorder, anorexia, bulimia and other types.

Beat’s Community Fundraising Officer Andrea Auburn said, “Grace is making a huge step in raising awareness and money to help ensure that eating disorder sufferers get support.

“Grace is joining dozens of other brave volunteers who are skydiving to beat eating disorders. The courage of people like Grace taking part in the Big Jump will help ensure that fewer people face their battle alone.”

To donate to Ms Leland’s JustGiving page, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/grace-leland