Fundraisers hoping to gather £50,000 to fund a life-changing operation for a Hartlepool schoolboy have hit their first milestone.
Little Alfie Smith, who has cerebral palsy, has set his heart on one day walking unaided and pain-free after being told he is the 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.
Since, the nine-year-old’s plight was highlighted, businesses and the residents of Hartlepool have been lining up to offer their support.
Within seven weeks, people have raised £5,000 for the Throston Primary School pupil through a range of sponsored events.
Now, Hartlepool businessman Andrew Scotter who runs webdesign company Focus Digital is giving people the chance to donate to the cause while also having a bit of festive fun.
We still have a long way to go to hit the target, but we can’t thank people enough for their generosity so far.Annie Stalley
He has launched a website named Santa’s Nice List which features free festive-themed games and activitives for the family to enjoy in the run-up to the big day.
Mr Scotter said: “People can register to take part and throughout December they’ll receive an email with an activitity the whole family can get involved in.
“The underlying themes are promoting kindness, positivity, belief and hope. This year we are promoting Alfie’s campaign to help him walk for the first time.
“We wanted to do something to help him, so we have put the option to donate to the cause on our Santa’s Nice List page and hopefully people will take the opportunity to do that.”
Banners are also making the rounds featuring footprints people can sign their name on to in exchange of a donation.
Alfie’s mum Annie Stalley said: “We have been overwhelmed and are so grateful for the support we have had from the public and businesses.
“We still have a long way to go to hit the target, but we can’t thank people enough for their generosity so far.
“We have lots more planned next year and hope people will continue to support us, and help make my little boy’s dream come true.”
Alfie’s cerebral palsy affects his movement in his arms and legs and prevents the youngster from doing every day tasks like brushing his teeth and getting himself ready.
To join Santa’s nice list visit www.xmasnicelist.co.uk