Fundraisers use pedal power to help Hartlepool’s Alfie walk

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Hardy fundraisers saddled up to raise cash in a bid to help a Hartlepool youngster walk.

There were two days of festive fun in the town to help Alfie Smith closer to achieving his dream.

Alfie Smith (front centre) with volunteers who had been riding bikes to raise money for Alfie at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool, from left back row Alfie's mum Annie Stalley, his aunt Mel Stalley, Lisa Nightingale, Hartlepool Mail, and Steven Clarke. Front are Marc Irish (left) and Steve Irish

Alfie Smith (front centre) with volunteers who had been riding bikes to raise money for Alfie at Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool, from left back row Alfie's mum Annie Stalley, his aunt Mel Stalley, Lisa Nightingale, Hartlepool Mail, and Steven Clarke. Front are Marc Irish (left) and Steve Irish

The nine-year-old needs to raise £50,000 by June if he is to be able to undergo an operation in Leeds known as Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).

The life-changing surgery will give Alfie, who has cerebral palsy, the chance to be able to walk painfree and unaided for the first time in his life.

But, he needs to raise the money before his health deteriorates making him unsuitable for the surgery.

The weekend saw a host of supporters raising cash for the youngster, by using pedal power to cycle the distance from Hartlepool to Leeds and back again on static bikes.

He couldn’t believe everyone was doing this for him

Lisa Nightingale

The riders, included staff from Santander staff from across the region, O2, Alfie’s family and friends, Middleton Grange shopping centre manager Mark Rycraft and Hartlepool Mail reporters, Lisa Nightingale and Chris Cordner, covered 150 miles between them.

The event was supported by the shopping centre, Xercise4less and 02.

Lisa, one of the cyclists, said: “It was an amazing day, there seemed to be a huge amount of support from people. When Alfie saw everyone cycling his face was an absolute picture, he couldn’t believe everyone was doing this for him.”

To add to the fun in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre there was a DJ, tombolas, organised by Alfie’s aunt Melanie Stalley, and visits from children’s characters, including Frozen’s Olaf and Paw Patrol.

Alfie Smith with mum Annie Stalley and staff from McDonalds, Hartlepool, where they held a cake sale and raffles in aid of Alfie's fund

Alfie Smith with mum Annie Stalley and staff from McDonalds, Hartlepool, where they held a cake sale and raffles in aid of Alfie's fund

All three of the town’s McDonalds’ joined in the fund-raising by holding fun activities in the restaurants including face painting.

Lisa said: “I think the event has turned out to be a bigger event than the organisers expected so hopefully they will have raised a good amount of money.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation to Alfie’s fund can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpalfiewalk.