A chance meeting with, Kenny Dalglish, gave Barrie the opportunity to take up a corporate box at Anfield, something he had been on the waiting list for, for several years. Barrie knew that he could easily fill the box week in and week out with friends and associates for corporate entertaining, but instead decided to dedicate this special opportunity solely to seriously ill and disabled children who are all Liverpool fans.
The success at Anfield led to Barrie deciding to take the scheme to the next level by asking organisations and individuals throughout the UK to consider donating an executive box for at least one event per season. Often boxes are left empty at events and this has provided Barrie with fantastic opportunities to fill these boxes with deserving children.
Barrie has inspired many Premier League football clubs, Rugby league, Rugby Union, Tennis, Formula One, Cricket and Jockey Club venues to donate their executive boxes at least once per year. Along with major entertainment venues such as Wembley, O2 Arena and the Royal Albert Hall, other individual companies and businesses have all come on board to support Box4Kids.
These VIP days out provide quality time for each child and a guest away from the day to day challenges they face with their illnesses. Sadly many of the children have now passed away, however their families often write to Barrie to say how the event was the best day of their child’s life and one which the family will never forget.
Writing in a very emotional and inspiring piece in The Times newspaper last year, journalist Matt Dickinson explains how Box4kids has made a difference to the lives of so many families. The article details the moving story of a young Liverpool supporter, Elliot Wild, who aged 9 was dying from leukaemia. Through the Box4Kids scheme, Barrie brought Elliot and his mother to Anfield to watch a Premier League game, an experience which his mother recalls Elliot summing up as “that was the best night of my life”. A few short weeks later Elliot sadly passed away but as his mother tells in the article, her lasting memory of her son is the sheer joy he had experienced on his visit to Anfield.