A LITTLE boy was left beaming and his family cried tears of joy after a taxi company made his dreams come true.

Alfie Pickering, nine, lives in Kingscote Way near Brighton Station.

He is severely disabled after being born with a chromosome disorder affecting his mobility, speech, sight and hearing. He also has autism.

Alfie loves cars and taxis and his family said he is “ecstatic” if he gets to sit in one.

Every day, his mother and full-time carer Elana Woodham, 35, takes him in a wheelchair to look at cars in the street.

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But under lockdown, there have been very few cabs on the road. On top of this, the journey is agonising for Elana, who is recovering from back surgery after suffering a shattered vertebra.

Now, a charity has stepped in to save the day.

Candice Konig, from the charity Forward Facing which looks after children with long-term conditions, heard about Elana and Alfie’s plight.

When she learnt of Alfie’s love of taxis, she contacted Brighton and Hove Streamline Taxis and asked if it could put together a short film showing the fleet of cabs.

This would allow Alfie to see his favourite vehicles without having to leave his home.

The heartwarming 22-minute video, titled “Hello Alfie: Brighton and Hove taxis says hello to Alfie who likes taxis”, shows cab drivers introducing their cars and sending messages of support.

Alfie’s family were overcome with joy. Elana said: “With the lockdown, there have been barely any taxis on the roads for Alfie to see and we’ve been struggling with things to keep him occupied.

“He’s watched a video of a Streamline taxi driver driving round the city hundreds of time – so to see this personal message has just been absolutely amazing.”

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Alfie’s auntie Kathy Hemestretch said: “We were all gobsmacked when we saw what they had done.

“It was so beautiful, they really went the extra mile.

“The taxi drivers spoke to him like he was one of their own.

“We all cried our eyes out when each said ‘I love you Alfie’.

“This kind gesture has touched our hearts, that these people all took the time to make a little disabled boy who they had never met very happy.

“Alfie has a serious condition, but he has also been given an overdose of love and happiness and he is the light of our lives.

“We really want to thank Streamline Taxis for all their love and kindness.

“In these very difficult times, we all need some love to brighten up our days.”

Streamline Taxis said it had been “happy to help” – and the firm even issued Alfie with his own badge so he can become a “proper taxi driver”.

You can watch Alfie’s video at https://forwardfacing.co.uk/brighton-hove-taxi-drivers-say-hello-to-alfie/

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• The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. org.uk/apply. To donate visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/sussexcrisisfund