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Alfie’s Squad: How one Liverpool boy is making thousands of bereaved children’s lives that little better

1 year ago

Alfie’s Squad: How one Liverpool boy is making thousands of bereaved children’s lives that little better

When Alfie Fitzsimmons was just eight years old, he lost his dad to suicide.

In the aftermath of the tragedy in May 2017, Alfie and his mum Allison realised that while there was support on offer for bereaved children, there was nothing specific to help youngsters whose parents had taken their own lives. 

He felt isolated from his friends and from society, but mum and son knew he wanted to turn his pain into a positive.

The charity Alfie’s Squad was born, and with the help of his beloved Everton Football Club, his dream will become a reality next year when a support group is launched in the shadow of Goodison Park for young people just like him.

Alfie, 13, said: “I hope it will help many children who are in a situation like mine and have been affected by mental health. Children who have lost a parent to suicide will be able to meet and make friends.”

In the meantime, he has some serious fundraising to do and the next opportunity for people to help bring his idea to life is a sponsored fire walk at Liverpool’s Irish Centre on 22nd January.

Events like the fire walk are just some of the ways people can get involved to help Alfie, from Wavertree, help other youngsters like himself.

Covid lockdowns slowed down the fundraising but he’s keen to get the money flowing again for the big group launch in 2023.

Allison said: “Losing a parent the way Alfie did is a very isolating experience. As his mum, I noticed straight away how many friends we both lost. People didn’t want their children to ask them any awkward questions about suicide so they kept away.

“It was a terrible time for Alfie. It still is to some extent. He lost all feelings of self-worth. He thought he mustn’t be a good enough child, as, in his head, his dad would not have taken his own life if he’d been good enough.

“We accessed counselling for him at school, but it wasn’t really age appropriate, or appropriate to deal with what Alfie was feeling. We searched not just in Liverpool but in the whole country and couldn’t find anywhere to help children in the same position.

“Alfie wants to change that.”

The youngster wrote to Everton and they invited him in for a meeting to discuss what he wanted to do. 

Everton in the Community have supported him in establishing Alfie’s Squad and with their fundraising. The result will be a group based at the new People’s Place, a community hub the club are building near Goodison.

So far, Alfie’s Squad has raised more than £22,000, but more is needed to set up and run what Alfie hopes will become a supportive youth club for kids of different ages, suffering bereavement from the suicide of family or friends.

There are also plans for a podcast to reach out to other children across the rest of the United Kingdom in the same position as Alfie.

Allison said: “The main aim of the podcast is to access children across the country. It will be a positive and uplifting experience to hopefully show them that, despite the tragedy they have faced, they can still lead a happy and worthwhile life.”

Alfie’s Squad need to raise £35,000 to keep the group up and running for the first two – three years.

The fire walk at the Irish Centre in Liverpool is open to anyone at a cost of £20 and corporate sponsors are also being sought to help cover the costs of the day so every penny made can go to helping bereaved children.

Allison said: “We have picked that date because it’s the Sunday after Blue Monday, which is used every year to raise awareness of mental health issues. 

“Looking after mental health is so important all the time, but at this time of year and with the cost of living crisis, it’s more important than ever.

“We also really want people to have a bit of fun while raising money to help children like Alfie.” 

If you are a local business and would like to sponsor the event please contact Allison by email: or via Twitter @alfiessquad



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