Youngster is nominated for 'Animal Hero Award' for his fundraising efforts for HorseWorld

Eight-year old Alfie Waker is no stranger to publicity and on Thursday 28th November, Alfie and his family took the trip to London for a special awards ceremony.

Alfie was chosen as one of just three under 16’s who were nominated for the Animal Hero Awards ‘young animal enthusiast of the year’. Public nominations were open and Alfie received a staggering number from his many supporters wanting to see him recognised for his fundraising work.

Earlier this year, Alfie Waker at only 8 years old cycled 35 miles and did it all for charity, beginning at Wadworth Brewery in Devizes and ending at HorseWorld in Whitchurch. Alfie was hoping to raise £500 for HorseWorld but has smashed through his target, almost doubling it! His reason for this? Alfie’s best friend Tom the Shire who used to pull the Wadworth brewery drays until he retired a few years ago to the Whitchurch based site, after getting arthritic shoulders.

Support came in from all over and one particular supporter TV Countryfile’s Adam Henson said, “I was really impressed to hear about all of the hard work in raising funds for HorseWorld. "Just before the event which took place on Sunday 19th May, Adam said "I would like to wish Alfie every success with his 35-mile cycle, and will keep my fingers crossed that the sun shines and the wind is behind him, to help him on his way.” 

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. Wadworth passed the message on that Tom had gone to HorseWorld and Alfie felt he had to come and visit him. Alfie had never been to the charity before and after falling in love with the work that was being done, it became his mission to help raise funds.

Alfie is no stranger to fundraising for HorseWorld. Abseiling down the Safe Store building in November 2011 saw him raise over £200 and the year before that, a 12 mile bike ride along the Avon canal. In total, Alfie has raised over £1,600 for HorseWorld, not bad for an eight year old! “We are thrilled that Alfie so readily supports us, it is an amazing commitment he makes and helps us raise much needed funds” said Kim Pounsberry, Marketing Coordinator at HorseWorld.

Sadly Tom passed away on 15th July 2013. Despite being devastated at losing his friend, Alfie continues to visit and support HorseWorld. He has made a new friend in Nazia the Shetland pony who he refers to as Mini-Tom.

The first Animal Hero Awards, in association with the RSPCA and The Mirror newspaper, were hosted by Amanda Holden and took place at the Langham Hotel, London. Alfie met an array of celebrities including Deborah Meaden and Ben Fogle.

The RSPCA were so impressed with Alfie’s story, they produced a cartoon version of his story which can be viewed by clicking here

Article by: Kim Pounsberry

Posted on: 20th January 2014