Brave Alfie Smith set to switch on Christmas lights

Battling Alfie Smith will light up Hartlepool this Friday.

Wednesday, 30th November 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:44 pm
Alfie Smith. Picture by FRANK REID

The nine-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, will join Coronation Street star Samia Ghadie to switch on the town’s Christmas illuminations.

Mayor Coun Rob Cook organised a lottery with a first prize of £100 and the chance to join the soap star at the big switch-on.

Hartlepool Mayor Councillor Rob Cook draws the winning ticket for the Christmas lights switch-on. Looking on are council officers Karen Mason and David Worthington

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But when Coun Alan Clark was first out of the hat, he decided to donate the chance to Alfie.

The story of the nine-year-old’s race against time to raise £50,000 to fund an life-changing operation which will enable him to walk has touched the hearts of the town.

Proceeds from the lottery, which made more than £800, will go to the Mayor’s two nominated charities - the Great North Air Ambulance and the cancer charity Bloodwise.

“I would like to thank everyone for their generosity in supporting the lottery and helping to raise money for two worthy causes,” said Coun Cook.

Alfie Smith. Picture by FRANK REID

“It is a lovely gesture by Coun Clark to enable young Alfie to switch on the lights and hopefully the profile will help boost the fundraising appeal for him.”

The second prize winner collected £75, plus a meet and greet for four people, while third prize was £50, plus a meet and greet for four. There were also 25 runners-up prizes of a Meet and Greet for two people.

The switch-on takes place at the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool (formerly the Maritime Experience) at 6pm and there will be a feast of festive entertainment for the whole family from 4-7pm.

Entertainment will be provided by Red Dreams, Hartlepool Sixth Form College, singer Channy Thompson and X-Factor contestant Christian Burrows who was made it through to the judges’ house in this year’s competition. Samia Ghadies’s former Corrie co-star Terence Maynard, who is appearing in Aladdin at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre, will also be on-hand.

Hartlepool Mayor Councillor Rob Cook draws the winning ticket for the Christmas lights switch-on. Looking on are council officers Karen Mason and David Worthington
Alfie Smith. Picture by FRANK REID