Meet 11-year-old Sophie!

Sophie loves football, horse riding, concerts and going to the theatre. She has five pets of her own, including a dog, rabbit, cat, fish and even a pony called Twinkle. Sophie absolutely adores football, especially Manchester City FC. There is just one thing Sophie loves more than Man City – Phil Foden.  

Sophie has a condition called Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. This means she has difficulties with her mobility alongside maintaining balance and posture. Sophie tires easily, has recently undergone double leg surgery at Alder Hey and must do daily physio before school to maintain strength.

She was born at 33 weeks old, weighing just three pounds eight ounces. Sophie’s mum Allison said she was so small, she had to be dressed in Build-a-Bear clothes.

Allison nominated Sophie to attend a Box4Kids event in the hope she would be able to attend the Etihad stadium and watch her favourite players live on

the pitch. Due to the generosity of one of our box donors, we were able to invite Sophie and her mum along to enjoy a VIP Day out at Man City.

Sophie’s VIP Experience

On 4th March 2023, Sophie and Allison attended our donated box at the Man City v Newcastle match at the Etihad Stadium. They were treated to the Blue Carpet Experience, where both were able to watch the players arrive at the stadium. Alongside seeing them arrive, the pair received high fives from Grealish, Foden and Haarland.

‘Hearing Sophie’s screams of excitement is something that will stay with me forever. She said she is never washing her hands again!’, Allison said. ‘Being able to get that close and watch her heroes in a safe and secure space, with an uninterrupted view was mind-blowing. As a parent of a child with additional needs, it can become very lonely and isolating. It is both intimidating and expensive going to large events. Without the Barrie Wells Trust providing us with this opportunity, I would never have been able to give this experience to Sophie and for that I am so grateful’. 

Sophie said she was made to feel comfortable, confident, valued and most of all respected during her VIP Day out at the Etihad. She was even greeted and hosted by our Chairman, Barrie Wells. The only thing missing from Sophie’s ultimate VIP Day, was getting Foden to donate his shirt to her!

It is due to the generosity of box donors that we can help create such special memories for deserving children like Sophie. Not only does being in an executive box provide children with a VIP experience, but it is also a safe and secure environment for children unable to watch events from standard seating. If you have an executive box and would like to donate it to our Box4Kids initiative, please do get in touch.