Festive event to help give Alfie Smith life-changing operation

A cycle challenge in aid of Alfie Smith will be taking place in Middleton Grange, Hartlepool.  The bikes are being supplied by Xercise4less in Hartlepool. Pictured are Dani Ashworth and Darren Wilson from Xercise4less and centre manager Mark Rycraft with Alfie Smith. Picture: TOM BANKS
A cycle challenge in aid of Alfie Smith will be taking place in Middleton Grange, Hartlepool. The bikes are being supplied by Xercise4less in Hartlepool. Pictured are Dani Ashworth and Darren Wilson from Xercise4less and centre manager Mark Rycraft with Alfie Smith. Picture: TOM BANKS

Volunteers are gearing up to use pedal power in a bid to boost the funds to pay for a life-changing operation for a Hartlepool schoolboy.

Nine-year-old Alfie Smith needs to raise £50,000 to enable him to undergo Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) in Leeds.

Alfie Smith in Throston Primary School.  Picture by FRANK REID

Alfie Smith in Throston Primary School. Picture by FRANK REID

The surgery will allow the youngster, who has cerebral palsy, the chance to walk unaided and pain free for the first time.

At the moment his fundraising efforts has helped to raise £5,200.

Now, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Xercise4less and Santander along with other volunteers have joined forces to put on a two-day festive fun extravaganza on December 16 and 17.

The fundraiser will kick off on Friday with a tombola stall featuring a range of prizes up for grabs.

We can’t thank those people who have come forward and helped us to achieve out first milestone enough but there is still such a long way to go to help Alfie to achieve his dream.

Melanie Stalley

It will be followed on Saturday, from 8am until 6pm, with a cycle challenge which will see people - dressed in festive wear - jump on a static exercise bike loaned from Xercise4less to cycle for as long as they can, party dances led by characters from Paw Patrol and Olaf from Frozen. Photo opportunities will also be available. A raffle and tombola stall will also run throughout the event.

Centre manager Mark Rycraft said: “This is set to be such a fun and exciting event that has been planned and any way of raising awareness for Alfie and his cause in this way is something we would want to get on board with. The target Alfie has to raise is an achievable target if the town gets behind him.

“I’ve met Alfie and his enthusiasm and zest for life just bowls you over and just who he is an individual is just heartwarming.

“It’s great, certainly from a shopping centre’s point of view, we are here to serve the community and this is certainly a way to do this in the run up to Christmas , to bring a bit of excitement and fun to the fundraising.”

Alfie’s auntie Melanie Stalley said: “We can’t thank those people who have come forward and helped us to achieve out first milestone enough but there is still such a long way to go to help Alfie to achieve his dream.

“At any moment Alfie’s condition could deteriorate which is why we are trying to raise this money as quick as we can. Alfie is so determined and is working so hard with his physio to maintain the level he is at so that he can have this operation.

“It would just be heartbreaking for everyone if we didn’t raise enough money in time.”

People can sign up for the cycle challenge on Saturday by visiting helpalfiewalk.co.uk/bike-ride-for-alfie