By Jazmine Ella Blackah
A folk band took to the stage at Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre to raise money for sufferers of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
One of the members of Whitney Gin has personal experience of the condition and the band gave heart warming performances throughout the special gig.
Whitney Gin’s bass and guitar player, Tony Suttill, 59, has suffered from Crohn’s disease since he was in his early 30s and ever since he has been dedicated to supporting the charity, Crohn’s and Colitis UK.
The intimate gig on January 23 raised £135 for the charity.
All the members of the band want to promote and raise as much money as possible for the charity.
Suttill started the band around 37 years ago with band mates Philip Donley, 66, Chris Folkard, 64, and Mick Folkard, 70 and Adam Folkard, 31, who joined the band two years ago.
The musician said: “The hospital was brilliant when I first was diagnosed and the charity provided a lot of leaflets and information which you would not know about the condition otherwise.”
Mr Suttil has had to have an injection once every fortnight for the past two years but the musician still considers himself lucky as lot of people with the condition end up having to go on liquid diets.
He became a member of the charity and also a treasurer of its local group, which meets every month to try to raise funds and awareness, and support local people who suffer from Crohn’s and colitis.
Mr Suttill explained Crohn’s disease can affect everybody in different ways.
One of the main aims of Crohn’s and Colitis UK is to get people to understand the condition and know more about it.
He said: “I can be tired a lot of the time.
“You can get stomach cramps, you can get diarrhoea a lot with it so, as I say it’s not a tremendously sexy illness.”
Mr Suttil explained members of the charity get a ‘can’t wait card’.
He said:“You can show them in a shop and they will often let you use their disabled loos or their staff loos in some cases so the charity are really trying to do things to get this out there.
“A lot of people hide it, a lot of people hide it from work.
“If you tell people about it, people understand, people make allowances and people will help you. Employers are often brilliant at that sort of thing.”
Tony Suttill’s friend and fellow band member, Adam Folkard, 31, said he fully supports his band mate and the charity.