Campaign helps raise awareness of Crohn’s disease

Staff have kept their eyes on a campaign to help raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease.

Teams from Specsavers stores across the north east took part in a month-long photography challenge on social media in a bid to raise awareness and cash for charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK, following a much-loved colleague’s battle with Crohn’s disease.

Participants helped raise £500 for the charity by donating to join in the photography challenge, which involved sharing inspiring pictures on Facebook each day.

The campaign was led by Crohn’s sufferer Claire Elliott, 42, a regional development manager at Specsavers, and fellow regional development manager Mike Bielby, 30, who both live in Blyth.

Claire said: “Living with Crohn’s disease myself, this campaign was very close to my heart and I’m grateful for the tremendous efforts from friends and colleagues alike.

“Our challenge was shared as far afield as Australia and America.

“Not only did we raise a fine sum for Crohn’s and Colitis UK, we also raised awareness of bowel disease among more than 11,000 people on social media. After a tough start to 2015, this has given me a real boost and I hope our photographs helped inspire others.”

Sam Afrim, of Crohn’s and Colitis UK, said: “I think it’s fantastic that Claire has challenged herself in such a unique and creative way.

“We really appreciate all the support we receive from people talking part in challenges like this up and down the country.

“Fundraising comes in all shapes and sizes to suit all shapes and sizes of people – young, old or somewhere in the middle.”