Christmas comes early for ‘hero’ Stuart

Stuart celebrating Christmas Day
Stuart celebrated Christmas in mid-November

Stuart Hasler is a dedicated charity fundraiser and volunteer, writes James Cracknell

Carers for a disabled Enfield man receiving end-of-life care have helped him celebrate both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day a month early.

Stuart Hasler has been partying with friends and family and even received a personal video message from star striker Alexandre Lacazette, who plays for his beloved Arsenal FC.

Stuart has a learning disability and a rare condition called Sotos syndrome, which causes excessive growth spurts in childhood plus other physical and mental impairments. The 42-year-old has not let his disability hold him back, however, and is a prolific fundraiser and volunteer for various charities – being described as a “hero” for his dedication to good causes.

One of Stuart’s carers, Priscilla Surfraz, told the Dispatch: “Everyone is trying to keep his spirits up. He had Christmas Day, with carols singers and a proper Christmas dinner, plus mince pies. Then he had Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve with visitors and a party.

“There is a whole team – the council, care staff, North Middlesex Hospital – and so many people involved in his care that have worked so hard since the lockdown [in March] when he began to deteriorate.

“He has been in and out of hospital – his cat, Mittens, has kept him going all this time.”

Stuart with his cat Mittens
Stuart with his cat Mittens

A lifelong borough resident, Stuart currently lives in Linwood Crescent and is a familiar face around Enfield Town, where he is often seen riding his mobility scooter. His charity work over the years has included fundraising for charities Make A Wish, Age UK and Help for Heroes. He has also met many celebrities and important people, including The Queen, Princess Diana, and Gordon Brown when he was prime minister. And as a performer with Chickenshed Theatre, Stuart even once appeared on stage at the Royal Albert Hall.

Priscilla added: “He has done so much work for charities over the years, he has got such a big heart and always thinks of other people.”

A GoFundMe page has been launched to help pay for Stuart’s arrangements and expenses following his end-of-life care, and has already raised more than its £10,000 target. Additional funds will be put towards a memorial bench for Stuart to be placed outside Enfield Civic Centre. Click here to donate.

Update: We are sad to report that Stuart passed away on Friday 4th December. Patricia said: “He had a peaceful passing and had his last day filled with joy.”

Stuart Hasler fundraising for homeless charity Todos in Enfield Town
Stuart fundraising for homeless charity Todos in Enfield Town