AN inspirational nine-year-old from Leeds has made a marathon effort to raise more than £2,700 for the charity which helped his family after his father’s death in a road traffic accident.
Alfie Jones, of Chapel Allerton, was three-years-old when his father Nick, 38, was killed in August 2010 when the Piaggio scooter he was riding was involved in collision with a BMW car at Moortown
His little brother Leon was only two years old at the time.
With help from children’s bereavement charity Winston’s Wish, the family has been able to cope with the heartbreaking loss and rebuild their lives.
Alfie, who took up a challenge of running a marathon over the course of a week to raise £2,777 for the charity, said: “The charity helped me a lot. A lady came to school to see me and my brother and we played games and talked about dad. It helped me see things in a positive way.
“I feel my dad is watching over me as I run, and that he is giving me the power to keep going. If other children are also suffering from a bereavement, I would tell them to keep going and never give up.”
Mum Sallie Smith, a community nurse who works for Locala Community Partnerships, said: “It was a hard time, but we’re doing good now. Alfie was only three-years-old when his dad died and he didn’t really understand.
“After I told him, he would keep asking when his daddy was coming back. It’s been in the last two years that Alfie has been asking questions regarding his dad’s death.
“The charity has been a really useful tool for us. The website is very informative. I have also contacted the helpline as Alfie said he was having bad dreams about death and I needed advice. The counsellor gave me practical advice and was very supportive and encouraging – sometimes all you need to hear is that you are doing a good job.”
Alfie’s stepfather Nick Smith, trained with Alfie and ran by his side during his marathon fundraiser.
Mr Smith, 35, said: “Alfie’s dedication and enthusiasm have rubbed off on me. Alfie inspires me every day. He and his younger brother have both gone through a huge loss at a young age and have become fantastic, intelligent boys.
“Alfie loves a challenge and his attitude is always so positive and selfless.”
To sponsor Alfie, visit https://www.justgiving.com/alfiejamesjones/