In 2016 Matt Haycox, was enjoying a game of football at Hartlepool FC when he found himself sitting next to a family wearing t-shirts saying “help Alfie walk”, so he went over to find out what it was all about.
He got chatting to Ann-marie Stalley who told him that she had set up a crowdfunding campaign on Justgiving.com for her 9 year old son who needs life-changing surgery. Her goal was to raise a total of £50,000 to help Alfie, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 16 months old, to walk unaided for the first time.
Matt knew straight away that he wanted to do everything he could to help Alfie reach his target so he decided to match any funds raised on Alfie’s JustGiving page by Christmas. With Matt’s help Alfie smashed his fundraising goal and had his life-changing operation less than 6 months after Matt and Ann-marie’s initial meeting.
Matt had never intended on setting up a foundation, it wasn’t something he planned, helping Alfie had come totally out of the blue. But having found the experience “one of the most, exciting, fulfilling, humbling and proudest moments” of his life, he decided to make a greater, long term commitment to helping kids in need.
Having experienced Alfie’s journey along with his parents, family, friends and local support, Matt thought, if only he had a foundation like this when he had first met Alfie, he could have handed over all of the money without a thought, and that’s where the idea of The Matt Haycox Foundation was born.