Seven-year-old Alfie Richards is back in his favourite raccoon pyjamas after our George colleagues organised a global effort to get three new pairs specially made for him.
He’d outgrown the much-loved fluffy fleece pyjamas and, as they’re no longer on sale and have since been discontinued, his mum Emma put out a desperate appeal on Facebook to try to track down a larger size for him.
Colleagues in our George team spotted the post on the Little Blue Cup Facebook page and worked with our suppliers in Bangladesh to have three larger pairs specially made for Alfie – and this the moment when Kath Holt, the community champion at our Llandudno store, presented them to Emma and him.
The new pyjamas cover the next three sizes, so Alfie, who has cerebral palsy and a range of other health issues, will be able to wear them for the next few years.
Emma said: "This is absolutely awesome, thank you so much Asda for making this happen! He loves the new pyjamas and keeps stroking them because they are so new and soft."
Emma bought the pyjamas from the Llandudno store around Christmas 2016.
She said: "His legs are always cold, and I noticed the legs on these pyjamas were fleecy, so thought I'd buy them. He instantly fell in love with them. We even named the raccoon on them Ralph!
"He hates taking them off, so we had to start washing them every day so he could wear them as often as possible.
"They got pretty threadbare after such heavy use, so I tried to get more before I realised they'd stopped selling them. I tried eBay and everywhere with no luck, so I decided to put a Facebook appeal out.
"It's amazing that Asda have had these new ones made for Alfie – you don't know how much it means."
Alfie has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, sleep apnoea and can't walk or stand, although he can use his walker to get about.
Emma said: “He's a happy little lad 90% of the time and enjoys playing with toys. He's like a tonic – you walk into the room, he gives you a smile and you just think, ‘If you can smile Alfie, what have I got to moan about?’."
The effort to track down the pyjamas for Alfie started when Jacqui Brewin in our George babywear team spotted Emma’s appeal. She alerted her colleagues Caroline Hicks and Claire Bruce – and Claire contacted colleagues at our office in Bangladesh. They then spoke to the suppliers in Bangladesh, Milon Rahman and Motiur Rahman, from KDS, who originally made the pyjamas.
They had no spares, but found some of the same fabric used to make them, and created three new pairs in sizes 8-9 years, 9-10 and 10-11.
They then sent these to the team in the UK with a note which read: "We wish Alfie his great health, happiness and prosperity in coming life.”
Caroline said: "We were all touched by Emma's appeal, and were determined to get hold of some of these pyjamas for Alfie.
“It's wonderful to hear that Alfie and his mum Emma like the pyjamas – and it's been an absolute pleasure to help them."
Emma, who's a healthcare support worker, lives in Llandudno with husband Aidan, 39, who's a full-time carer for Alfie.
She's running the London Marathon in April to raise money for national disability charity Scope. Her fundraising page is here.