It was during a Hartlepool United football game I first met 9-year-old Alfie Smith. He had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 16 months old, Alfie had until June last year to undergo surgery, or his condition will have deteriorated too greatly for him to be eligible for an operation. His family had started a campaign to raise money to fund the selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery which would enable Alfie to walk unaided; a dream that his family desperately wanted to fulfil.
At the time I met Alfie I had just done particularly well in a deal, so seeing someone in need with a problem that I could solve just felt like the natural thing to do. I wasn’t out looking for a cause to support, it was just a case of us both being at the right place at the right time, for both of us! But as soon as I got involved with supporting Alfie, I knew it was just the beginning.
Encouraged by the experience of helping change Alfie’s life for the better, I worked towards setting up a charitable foundation aimed at making a difference to causes that are close to home.
I launched the Matt Haycox foundation; a charity which will help disadvantaged people and charities across the UK.
The Matt Haycox foundation aspires to raise funds to ensure cases like Alfie’s receive the financial backing and emotional support they require.
I was proud and privileged to be joined by some well-known celebrities at a prestigious launch evening at the houses of parliament which included the 25-year-old TOWIE star Kate Wright, Atomic Kitten singer Liz McClarnon, and Soap star Gemma Oaten amongst many others.
Now that the foundation is set up, my hopes are that I can help many others just like Alfie over the coming years, helping support many hundreds of cases, whilst throwing some great fundraising parties at the same time.