Children take on Shark Dive for Alfie’s Squad

Date posted:
Mon 11 March 2024

Thirteen children - and three brave Mums - from Merseyside are taking on a shark dive to raise money for a charity that supports children who are bereaved by suicide.

The children, who range in age from eight - 17 years old and are all members of the Alfie’s Squad support group, will travel to the Bear Grylls Adventure Centre on Sunday, 21st April to come face to face with one of nature’s fiercest predators.

The 16 brave fundraisers will spend 25 minutes exploring an oceanarium surrounded by sharks that are up to 1.5 metres long, and they aim to raise £5,000 through their daring feat. The total raised so far stands at £1,545.

Alfie’s Squad CIC launched its pilot programme in September 2023, following five years of hard work and determination from Alfie Fitzsimmons and his Mum, Allison Furlong. Alfie lost his dad to suicide when he was eight years old and established Alfie’s Squad to help other children like him. The group is the first of its kind in the UK.

Speaking of the impact of the group, one of the pilot participants said: “It’s good to be part of something fun, and knowing that others have been in the same spot as me.”

The organisation now supports 19 children and will launch its next group on 17th April, in partnership with LFC Foundation. It will be held at Northwood Community Centre in Kirkby from 6.30pm-8.30pm, with 20 spaces available

Allison Furlong, from Alfie’s Squad, said: “The success of the pilot programme has been phenomenal, and we’ve seen the children come together as a group and really thrive. I’m in awe of them all, especially the ones taking on the shark dive to raise funds - they’re braver than me!

“We have seen the impact the group can have, and we are so excited for the next programme to start, so we can help even more children and their families who have been bereaved by suicide.”

If you would like to refer a child into Alfie’s Squad, the process is very simple. All you have to do is fill out the referral form below and a member of the team will contact you within 72 hours to arrange for you and your child to attend a triage session with a counsellor.

The triage is necessary to make sure that Alfie’s Squad is the best way for you to support your child at this point. The form is simple, and the triage process is completed in a sensitive manner.

If you would like to refer yourself to our adult group, please contact us and we will get back to you and talk you through what to expect and answer any questions you may have.

To find out more about Alfie’s Squad and the referral process, visit: alfiessquad.org/referral/

To support the shark dive fundraiser, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/shark-dive-for-alfies-squad