Praise for South Shields schoolgirl who helped raise ‘mind blowing’ £57,000 in memory of dad

A South Shields schoolgirl has helped raise £57,000 for charity after the tragic loss of her dad on Christmas Day.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 12:24 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 7:52 pm

Harton Academy pupil Eli-Jo House, 13, has been praised for her efforts in aid of inflammatory bowel disease charity, Crohn’s and Colitis UK after losing her dad to a Crohn’s-related illness two years ago.

Matt Fryer, died aged 38 from sepsis, on December 25, 2017, while he was in St Mark’s hospital in London receiving treatment for Crohn's disease.

Since his death Eli-Jo has thrown herself into fundraising for the charity, raising almost £57,000 to help fund research and support for those living with the condition.

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Eli-Jo House has helped raise £57,000 for Crohn's & Colitis UK.

The day saw around 500 people through the door in the space of a few hours, with children’s entertainment, live music, cake stalls and dozens of raffle prizes donated by local businesses.

Raffle prizes donated by local businesses.

“I have seen the weeks of hard work she has put into the planning on such a huge event,” said mum Jenny House.

“She is a very courageous and special young lady who has set out to achieve awareness and has very much succeeded. Her final total from the last two years is incredible. I know Matt would be even more proud of her.”

Club Del Mar manager, Kerrie Ann Katopodis, who helped organise the event, commented: “It was my absolute pleasure to work alongside such a strong, focused young lady to organise this event. The day was a great success and I look forward to working with Eli and Jenny in the future.”

While David Ducasse, Eli-Jo’s musical director at Performers Stage School for the last 10 years, said: “What a magnificent total raised by one courageous young lady and her mum. Turning such a devastating and sad personal situation into something so positive for very much needed research. What a mind blowing grand total.”

Eli-Jo House (R) with Club Del Mer manager, Kerrie Ann Katopodis at the fundraising event.

Eli-Jo said: “I am so happy with how Saturday went, it was so busy we never stopped.

“Everyone worked their socks off all day, including my best friends Erika, Millie and Holly and cousin Molly who took shifts on the door with donation buckets. They have all been so important to me these last two years they really have held me up.”

She added: “I can’t thank everyone enough for all their help. I couldn’t get over the total for the day, it still hasn’t sunk in. You have no idea how many sufferers this will help.”

Donate to Eli-Jo’s fundraiser here

Eli-Jo was the face of the Crohn's and Colitis Christmas Star of Hope appeal. Photo by Jason Oshin.
Kerrie Ann Katopodis (second left) with Eli-Jo House and friends at Club Del Mer fundraising event.