Skydiving mum to boost funds for Hartlepool schoolboy Alfie Smith

Joanne Fox who is all set to do a skydive to raise money for specialist equipment that will be needed by Alfie Smith once he has his operation. Picture by FRANK REID

Joanne Fox who is all set to do a skydive to raise money for specialist equipment that will be needed by Alfie Smith once he has his operation. Picture by FRANK REID

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A Hartlepool mum is getting set to take to the skies in aid of a schoolboy who is dreaming of one day walking pain free and unaided.

Joanne Fox will jump from 15,000 feet in a tandem skydive to raise money for Hartlepool youngster Alfie Smith.

The nine-year-old, who has cerebral palsy currently relies on equipment to help him get around.

That is set to change after a series of fundraising efforts helped to secure the minimum £50,000 needed to fund a life-changing operation.

Cash is now needed to cover the cost of the third year of aftercare and specialist equipment.

Mrs Fox, from Bishop Cuthbert, said: “When my daughter came home from school saying they were fundraising for Alfie and I saw on Facebook what they were doing, I just wanted to do something to help.

Everyone thinks the £50,000 was it, it’s not, that was just the beginning of what is going to be a long and costly road ahead for us. This is why we are so grateful to people like Joanne and her husband Mark, for continuing to give us their support.

Annie Stalley

“Alfie is such a gorgeous little boy and we just felt it was a cause close to our hearts.

“I had hoped to raise £1,000, that was my target, so to double that was amazing.

“I’m really pleased Alfie has reached the £50,000 but I know that’s not the end of it. It is absolute minefield when it comes to the costs of equipment and the aftercare, so if what I can raise will help towards easing that cost, then I’ll continue to support the family.”

The mum to Lillie, nine and Jacob, two, added: “It is scary thinking about the skydive it’s not what I wanted or ever felt I needed to do but knowing I have raised this money for Alfie, it is quite exciting.”

Mrs Fox’s skydive will take place on Saturday (weather dependent) at Peterlee Skydiving centre.

Alfie’s mum Annie Stalley said: “Joanne and her husband Mark have been brilliant, they have supported Alfie from the start.

“Joanne has raised just over £2,000 in sponsorship, which will help to go towards his third year of aftercare and equipment.

“We have no idea what the true cost of getting Alfie on his feet is going to be, how long it is going to take or if he will need an emergency operation. This is why I’ll continue to fundraise to help give Alfie the best chance possible. Everyone thinks the £50,000 was it, it’s not, that was just the beginning of what is going to be a long and costly road ahead for us.

“This is why we are so grateful to people like Joanne and her husband Mark, for continuing to give us their support. She is an amazing lady.”

Sponsorship forms are available at Baby Blessings in Oxford Road and Hartlepool Snooker Centre in Stranton for people to pledge their support.