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Alex and Helen


Alex was born with cerebral palsy. I always wanted him to do a sport, because it’s such an important part of school life and growing up. He started going to swimming lessons when he was five and he was talent-spotted at the age of seven. Since then he’s competed at British international competitions and he’s aiming to qualify for the Paralympics in 2020 or 2024. There’s a long way to go, but he’s so determined and focused on his dream.


Alex’s dad is a freemason and it was someone from the lodge that suggested we look into the TalentAid scheme. At first we were a bit reluctant; if you haven’t got much money it can feel daunting to fill in the form. But we just had to remember that it’s not about us, it’s about Alex. It’s been incredible to watch him grow and develop in something he loves. It’s really helped his confidence and he’s so independent now. I used to worry about the future, but now I know he’ll be fine.


I’ve never minded running around giving him lifts or the early mornings, the only issue was the money! Now we can enjoy his success, rather than always worrying about how we’re going to afford it. We just wanted to give him the chance to realise his dreams, and without the MCF’s support, there’s no way we could have done that.

Helen, Plymouth

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