South Shields school Harton Academy backs pupil's Christmas campaign for Crohn's & Colitis UK

A South Shields schoolgirl is drumming up support for a cause close to her heart on Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th December 2019, 7:07 pm
Young campaigner, Eli-Jo House hangs the Crohn's & Colitis UK 'star of hope' decoration on the Harton Academy Christmas tree. Credit: Jason Oshin

Eli-Jo House, 13, a pupil at Harton Academy in South Shields, has become an advocate for charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK since losing her dad on Christmas Day two years ago.

Matt Fryer passed away on December 25, 2017, aged 38, from sepsis, while receiving treatment for his Crohn’s Disease at St Mark’s Hospital in London.

Following his death, Eli-Jo completed the Junior Great North Run and was named the charity’s Young Fundraiser of the Year in June.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Eli-Jo's best friend, Millie Storey, 13, with her own 'star of hope' decoration.

She was recently announced as the inspiration behind their Christmas ‘Star of Hope’ appeal, sharing her story with supporters across the country to raise awareness.

Now Eli-Jo’s friends and teachers at Harton Academy are showing their support for Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week, which runs from December 1-7, 2019.

Eli-Jo hung the school’s own ‘Star of Hope’ decoration on their Christmas tree and pupils will be raising money for Crohn’s & Colitis UK with a non-uniform day on Friday, December 20.

She is also working with the charity board at Harton Academy to plan fundraising events over the coming year.

Head of Year 9, Ian Cooper said: “Eli-Jo was selected to place the ‘star of hope’ on the Christmas tree as a symbol of recognition for the Crohn’s and Colitis campaign and we hope to raise further awareness of the charity.

“Eli-Jo is working alongside the Charity Board that we have within school to raise funds and awareness of the charity amongst the school community and to plan future events to raise the profile of the charity in the coming months.

“We continue to be extremely proud of the hard work and determination that Eli-Jo demonstrates to support the Crohn’s and Colitis charity.”

Eli-Jo’s mum, Jenny House added: “I can’t tell you how proud I am of her. This time of year is really hard for her but she has been so strong and brave, putting her own grief to one side.

“The school have gone above and beyond and everybody’s support for Eli has helped her massively.”