We first created WalkforCrohn’s in 2003 back when we were at school and wanted to raise awareness of Crohn’s disease. Both our mothers have the condition so we are all too familiar with the impact it can have on people’s lives. Back in 2003 there was little understanding and awareness of Crohn’s disease so those with the condition often felt isolated and suffered in silence so we wanted to do something to help.
Our first event, a 10k walk around Hyde Park, London in summer 2003 was planned as a one-off but after unprecedented feedback it evolved into a yearly event, 10k forCrohn’s, and attracted an ever-growing number of participants. To allow for more events to be held we created the charity forCrohn’s, the only national, volunteer run charity raising money solely for research into Crohn’s disease.
forCrohn’s was only intended as a short-term project and it surpassed that in every way; raising national awareness, holding 20+ events, and raising in excess of £750,000 for research into Crohn’s disease. With your support we have funded over 35 vital research projects which will make a long standing contribution to our understanding of Crohn’s disease and to one day find a cure. We also provided much support to the Crohn’s community both by publishing Book forCrohn’s, a book for the Crohn’s community by the Crohn’s community, which remains a highly rated Amazon seller and creating a buddy system to support those with the condition.
The past 18 years has been an incredible journey and we feel immensely proud of our achievements – achievements that belong not just to the founders and fabulous forCrohn’s committee but to a much wider Crohn’s community to whom we remain indebted.
We have always run the charity as volunteers, as have the committee, and over the years we have become increasingly pushed for time, working full-time jobs and having families of our own to look after. This coupled with the Covid Pandemic which has impacted the whole charity sector has led us to make the really difficult decision to close the charity. It’s something we do with a heavy heart as it has been a passion of ours for such a long time, but we had to recognise we were no longer able to run the charity to the level it deserves.
The Crohn’s community has come such a long way since 2003 and we are proud of the role we played in this. As with many things there is still more work to be done and now is the time to celebrate our success and turn our support to the other national charities and campaigns that continue to do such vital work. Our remaining funds will go to the ‘forCrohn’s / Guts UK Research Grant’ for 2021 research projects and whilst we have kept the price of Book forCrohn’s as low as possible so it is most accessible, the small profits going forward will go to Crohns Colitis UK.
We have so many people to thank for all their support over the years; St Marks Hospital were with us at the start of our journey providing us rooms to hold committee meetings and ongoing support to the very end. Healthcare professionals from across the country contributed to our Book forCrohn’s, helped review our grant applications and directed patients to our events and resources. Particular thank you’s must go to Mr Phil Tozer without whom Book forCrohn’s would not have existed and for the endless support he has given us; and to Dr Philip Smith for his support with the book and with the creation of the forCrohn’s Innovation Grant amongst other things. We are also so grateful to IBD Nurse Lucy Medcalf for the time she has given us and her support with the Innovation Grant.
Our committee have given their time and energy so generously over the years, whether it be organising fundraising events, leading our social media and buddy schemes or turning up to Hyde Park each year at the crack of dawn. We would not have achieved all that we have over the last years were it not for them. Sagar, Mayank, Alpa, Adam, Kim, Nick, Simon, Sally, Rakhee, Phil, Deepan, Jo and Margaret. Thank you. We must give a special thank you to Paul Goodmaker, who although not an original founder of the charity, has arguably worked harder than anyone to support the charity – his passion, commitment and enthusiasm never ceases to amaze us. A huge thanks also to our patron Les Ferdinand MBE for his support over the years and Ben at Speak Digital for all his technical support.
To our supporters who have run and walked around Hyde Park each year, organised their own sponsored feats, been our ambassadors and our champions and reminded us constantly of the spirit and community that is forCrohn’s, thank you, your support meant everything to us and motivated us every step of the way.
The final thank you must of course go to our mums, Ruth and Helene who inspired us through their strength and positivity in their journey with Crohn’s disease to set up the charity in the first place.
Thank you to the whole Crohn’s community for helping us to achieve so much, we will miss you.
Tasha & Lisa