Eyecare experts from across the region championed a visual campaign to 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 from the region’s optical and hearcare teams joined their colleague’s family and friends, and helped raise £500 for the charity by donating to join in the photography challenge, which involved sharing inspiring pictures on Facebook each day, with themes including music, lunch and love. 

A word from the charity champion

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, from Blyth to Banstead. 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 too.’

A word from the charity

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.’

More about the charity

Crohn’s and Colitis UK is a national charity leading the battle against Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Every 30 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis – the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). At least 300,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with IBD, which are chronic conditions that can cause ulceration and inflammation in the colon (ulcerative colitis) or any part of the digestive system (Crohn’s disease).

For more information please contact www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

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