Brave Alfie Smith set to switch on Hartlepool Christmas lights alongside Coronation Street star

Alfie Smith.  Picture by FRANK REID

Alfie Smith. Picture by FRANK REID

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Battling Alfie Smith will light up Hartlepool this Friday.

The nine-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, will join Coronation Street star Samia Ghadie to switch on the town’s Christmas illuminations.

Hartlepool Mayor Councillor Rob Cook draws the winning ticket for the Christmas lights switch-on. Looking on are council officers Karen Mason and David Worthington

Hartlepool Mayor Councillor Rob Cook draws the winning ticket for the Christmas lights switch-on. Looking on are council officers Karen Mason and David Worthington

Mayor Coun Rob Cook organised a lottery with a first prize of £100 and the chance to join the soap star at the big switch-on.

But when Coun Alan Clark was first out of the hat, he decided to donate the chance to Alfie.

The story of the nine-year-old’s race against time to raise £50,000 to fund an life-changing operation which will enable him to walk has touched the hearts of the town.

Proceeds from the lottery, which made more than £800, will go to the Mayor’s two nominated charities - the Great North Air Ambulance and the cancer charity Bloodwise.

It is a lovely gesture by Coun Clark to enable young Alfie to switch on the lights and hopefully the profile will help boost the fundraising appeal for him.

Coun Rob Cook

“I would like to thank everyone for their generosity in supporting the lottery and helping to raise money for two worthy causes,” said Coun Cook.

“It is a lovely gesture by Coun Clark to enable young Alfie to switch on the lights and hopefully the profile will help boost the fundraising appeal for him.”

The second prize winner collected £75, plus a meet and greet for four people, while third prize was £50, plus a meet and greet for four. There were also 25 runners-up prizes of a Meet and Greet for two people.

The switch-on takes place at the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool (formerly the Maritime Experience) at 6pm and there will be a feast of festive entertainment for the whole family from 4-7pm.

Alfie Smith.  Picture by FRANK REID

Alfie Smith. Picture by FRANK REID

Entertainment will be provided by Red Dreams, Hartlepool Sixth Form College, singer Channy Thompson and X-Factor contestant Christian Burrows who was made it through to the judges’ house in this year’s competition. Samia Ghadies’s former Corrie co-star Terence Maynard, who is appearing in Aladdin at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre, will also be on-hand.