Wiltshire Publications

A shire-sized charity cycle for 8-year-old Westbury fundraiser Alfie

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EIGHT-year-old Alfie Waker has completed a 35-mile cycle ride  from the Wadworth Brewery in Devizes to HorseWorld at Whitchurch, near Keynsham.

Alfie was cycling in support of the charity that looks after his friend, Tom the shire horse who was retired after he developed arthritis in his shoulders, and now lives at HorseWorld. Alfie hoped to raise £500 for HorseWorld near Bristol, but has smashed his target with over £1,000 raised. It is not the first time he has raised funds for the charity, with a sponsored abseil and a 12-mile bike ride already behind him. His latest challenge has bought his fundraising total to £1,400.

Alfie made the journey with his dad Martin, a fireman, and with the back up of his mum, Hayley, and other family members. Hayley said, “Alfie was a star, he cycled the whole route with a smile on his face and finished in a great time of five hours.”

Alfie took on the challenge to raise funds for the South West equine welfare charity, which is Tom’s home since he was retired from his role as one of the famous Wadworth shire horses. Tom was a regular sight on the streets of Devizes as one of the team of horses making daily deliveries to local pubs on the Wadworth dray, but he retired a few years ago after his shoulders became arthritic.

While Tom retired to HorseWorld after a fulfilling and happy working life, not many of his fellow residents have been so privileged. Many of the horses, ponies and donkeys at the charity are rescued from severe neglect, mistreatment and abandonment, and the charity channels all of its resources into rehabilitating and re-homing these rescued animals.

Alfie first caught sight of Tom on his rounds in Devizes when he was still working at Wadworth. After not seeing Tom for some time Alfie approached Wadworth to ask where he had gone and when he learnt that he had retired to HorseWorld, Alfie decided that he had to go and visit him. It was Alfie’s first visit  to the charity and he was so inspired by the work that is done there, that it became his mission to help raise funds.

Paul Sullivan, Wadworth sales and marketing director said, “Tom was a much-loved member of the Wadworth team and is enjoying his well-earned retirement at HorseWorld.

“It is wonderful that Alfie has been so supportive of this worthwhile charity, and that Tom has inspired him to raise so much money for such a good cause. Well done Alfie on a fantastic achievement!”

You can still support Alfie via www.justgiving.com/Alfie-Waker4Tom, all of this money will go directly back to the charity. You can also text ATWT91 followed by the amount you would like to give e.g £5 to 70070.