EIGHT-year-old Alfie Allan from Hampshire has cycled 212 miles – the distance from Parliament Square in London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris – to raise money for Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity.
Keen cyclist Alfie from Farnborough was inspired to take on the challenge to support his local NHS after seeing his dad, who works as a paramedic, work at the frontline of the Covid-19 response.
Smashing his initial £500 target, Alfie has raised £730, with donations still coming in for the Surrey hospital charity’s Covid-19 appeal.
The charity’s appeal, which was set up to support the wellbeing of frontline staff in the fight against the virus, was launched at the end of March and, thanks to the incredible generosity of the local community, has raised close to £300,000.
“It was important for me to support the NHS because I don’t like the thought of my Dad and his colleagues on the frontline struggling during the coronavirus pandemic and I wanted to help support staff and patients.
“I love to cycle and wanted to help people and I thought this challenge would be something different and would not be easy to complete. I decided to cycle as my daily PE exercise whilst being homeschooled during the lockdown.”
He initially hoped to complete the gruelling distance in a month but, after pushing himself, completed the challenge a week ahead of schedule, in just three weeks. He even cycled 26.34 miles in one day, despite being knocked off his bike and grazing his shoulder and arm.
“I found the cycling easier than I thought I would. However, some rides were more challenging than others; especially my marathon distance ride of 26 miles where I ended up falling off and going over the handlebars and injuring my arm. Luckily, I have a Paramedic as a Dad to sort it all out!
“I hope that I may have inspired other people to do something outside their comfort zone.”
David Smith, Head of Fundraising at Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity, said:
“Thanks to the support of those like Alfie, we are funding hot meals for staff, tablets to ensure staff and patients can stay connected with loved ones, and staff recuperation areas where they can catch up on vital rest after long shifts.
“Alfie is a hero for not only completing an extremely tough challenge but for finishing a week early. Despite this, Alfie carried on cycling even after reaching his target to raise as much as possible for the charity. We are so grateful for his dedication – the money raised will make a huge difference to the staff at Royal Surrey.”
Alfie’s dad, Dan Allan, has worked at the Trust since 2018 as a Paramedic Practitioner for Haslemere Minor Injuries Unit, while also supporting an out-of-hours GP service, providing all aspects of emergency and urgent care.
Dan Allan said:
“Both myself and my wife are immensely proud of Alfie wanting to do his part in supporting the NHS – I knew once he had the bit between his teeth there would be no stopping him!
“Working through the pandemic has been extremely demanding in many ways. Despite it all, there have also been some notable positives: especially the enhanced community spirit which has been reignited and missed for so long. We have had the opportunity to digest what really is important in life.”
To sponsor Alfie, visit: http://www.rschcharity.org.uk/alfie
To find out more about the charity and how you can help, please visit: http://www.rschcharity.org.uk