Stars get behind the Help Alfie Walk campaign

Coronation Street actress Samia Ghadie and  Alfie Smith at the switch on of Hartlepool's Christmas lights. Picture: TOM BANKS
Coronation Street actress Samia Ghadie and Alfie Smith at the switch on of Hartlepool's Christmas lights. Picture: TOM BANKS

The plight of a schoolboy desperately trying to raise £50,000 to fund a life-changing operation has touched the hearts of the stars.

Samia Ghadie - who plays Maria in Coronation Street - and former heavyweight boxer Frank Bruno have both taken to social media to highlight the Help Alfie Walk campaign.

Tweet by Samia

Tweet by Samia

The actor met nine-year-old Alfie Smith, who has cerebral palsy, when she visited Hartlepool to turn on the town’s Christmas lights.

The youngster is trying to raise £50,000 to fund surgery which would enable him to walk painfree and without aids.

At the moment Alfie is an ideal candidate for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery. The operation which will be carried out in Leeds will see the youngster undergo two bouts of surgery between two years of intensive physiotherapy.

In a tweet by Samia, who also goes by her married name of Samia Longchambon, she wrote: “Alfie is incredible. Such a pleasure to meet you all.”

We’re all starting to get really excited that the operation could happen possibly sooner than we think.

Annie Stalley

Meanwhile, Frank Bruno has also taken to Twitter to share Alfie’s dream to be able to walk unaided and pain free to his 53,000 followers.

His mum Annie Stalley said: “It’s just amazing and we have also had Frank Bruno like one of Alfie’s pictures on his Facebook page.

“When we first started the fundraising I knew we would do it but it could be years before we got the money we needed, but now I’m starting to feel really positive about it and Alfie is really happy too.

“We’re all starting to get really excited that the operation could happen possibly sooner than we think.”

Frank Bruno tweet

Frank Bruno tweet

To date, the Help Alfie Walk campaign has raised £5,200 towards his target.

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, December 16, with a tombola stall featuring a range of prizes up for grabs.

It will be followed on the 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.

(left to right) Izzy Davies, Louis Weatherill-Smith, Alfie Smith and Mum Anne Marie Stalley with Amy Howlett and Alex Smith (brother of Alfie) signing the charity footprints poster at Throston Primary School. Picture by FRANK REID

(left to right) Izzy Davies, Louis Weatherill-Smith, Alfie Smith and Mum Anne Marie Stalley with Amy Howlett and Alex Smith (brother of Alfie) signing the charity footprints poster at Throston Primary School. Picture by FRANK REID

For details on future fundraising events or to make a donation visit www.helpalfiewalk.co.uk or visit the Help Alfie Walk Facebook page.

People can sign up for the cycle challenge on Saturday, December 17, by visiting helpalfiewalk.co.uk/bike-ride-for-alfie