Friends and family of a little boy who had to learn to walk again after spinal surgery are organising events to say thank you for his care.

Archie Pepper, four, from Wilberfoss, near York, has trouble with his balance and coordination and uses a frame to get around after developing cerebral palsy.

Now a three-day long fundraiser has been organised to raise money for Scope - the disability equality charity - which has helped Archie and his family, and the hospital ward where he received treatment.

Archie's mum Laura Pepper's waters broke at 26 weeks in her pregnancy.

Anticipating an early birth, she spent the next nine weeks travelling between hospitals with special care provisions. Archie was eventually born at 35 weeks - five weeks earlier than a full-term.

Archie spent 11 days under supervision with a feeding tube and ventilator at York Hospital.

"Once he was discharged, life went back to normal," his family said.

But after a year Archie had begun to miss a few milestones.

Aged one, Archie had an MRI scan, which revealed the presence of some white matter in his brain - later recognised as periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), a type of brain injury that is most common in babies born too soon.

York Press: The Pepper familyThe Pepper family (Image: Will Pepper)

As a result, Archie developed cerebral palsy, coupled with spasticity, or stiffness in his muscles, which has meant he requires a frame and wheelchair for movement.

His dad Will said: "He has trouble with his balance and coordination, he gets tired.

"He’ll probably never ride a bike - he can’t do a lot of things normal kids can do.

"But it doesn’t stop him, he’s very determined."

In September 2023, Archie went to Leeds General Infirmary for selective dorsal rhizotomoy (SDR) surgery.

During the procedure, surgeons cut some of the sensory nerves in the bottom of his spine, to help reduce spasticity in his limbs and improve his ability to sleep.

Archie's family said: "The surgery meant we were in Leeds for four weeks, with three weeks of intensive physio everyday to improve strength – Archie had to learn to walk all over again."


Since the successful surgery, the family wants to recognise the work of the hospital ward and the charity Scope, who supported them throughout.

Will said the local primary school, which Archie attends, is "brilliant, they’ve got so many good staff", despite them not having SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) provision.

On May 29, friends of the family George Middleton and Rob Moore will be aiming to play every golf course in the York union of golf clubs over three days, in aid of Scope and the ward in Leeds General Infirmary that looked after Archie.

The fundraiser will see them play 216 holes and travel at least 44 miles. 

Following the three day fundraiser, the pair will hold an event at Fulford Golf Club, at 7.30pm on May 31.

Donations to the cause can be made via the JustGiving page here:

Attendees are also invited to Fulford Golf Club to celebrate the end of the three day fundraiser.