A fundraising stalwart from Sheffield has been named as a community champion for Chron’s and Colitis UK.
Launching a new level of ambassador to the charity, Sam Cleasby, aged 35, is one of the first to be recognised following her considerable fundraising and improving awareness of the condition.
Crohn’s and Colitis UK, which is the national charity that supports those affected by inflammatory bowel disease, has chosen to honour the work that people such as Sam do.
Community champions may not be household names, but they represent the charity proudly at public events, in the media, by fundraising, and much more.
Sam was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2003 and has since become a passionate advocate for disability rights, particularly ‘invisible conditions’ such as the one from which she suffers.
Her successful blog ‘So Bad Ass’ is a platform to raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease and helps thousands of people online.
As well as supporting a digital community, Sam is also an active member of the Crohn’s and Colitis UK South Yorkshire Local Group.
Sam said: “When I first got diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, I had never heard of it before.
“The hospital gave me little information and I started searching the internet to find out more.
“What I found were some scary stories that terrified me.
“I then found Crohn’s and Colitis UK and the relief of finding honest, down to earth and reliable information and support made me feel so much better and I immediately joined as a member.
“After receiving so much from the charity, I decided that I’d like to give something back and wanted to get involved.”
David Barker, chief executive at Crohn’s and Colitis UK, said :”The new community champions will reflect everyday supporters who are making a huge difference to the charity and the wider IBD community.
“I am thrilled that Sam is one of our first community champions and that, like the other champions, she will encourage and inspire others.
“Our close community is our biggest strength and we would not be able to do the work we do without it.
“There are people doing incredible things everyday and launching the community champion programme is our way of recognising what they do .”
For more details on the community champion scheme visit www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/communitychampions.