Mum who raised £80,000 for Cambridgeshire Army Cadets nominated for Pride of Britain Award

  • ITV News Anglia's Sophie Wiggins speaks to Pride of Britain nominee Vanessa Rice

A mum who has raised more than £80,000 to help young cadets has been nominated for a Pride of Britain Award.

Vanessa Rice from Thorney in Cambridgeshire saw how her son Charlie, 18, benefited from joining the cadets at the age of 12.

Mrs Rice said: "Seeing how it helped him how he grew in confidence wanted me to be able to make sure that every single child that joined the organisation had that same opportunity, the same kit, that everyone was treated the same, equal."

Mrs Rice started with a charity walk raising £1,500 for the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force. Three years later, she has raised over £80,000.

The cadets follow a military syllabus, but organisers also strive to give members a chance to try things they would not normally get to do.

Thanks to Mrs Rice, a group of cadets will be off to Cyprus next year. The cost will be subsidised for those who cannot afford it, giving every cadet the same opportunity.

Vanessa Rice started raising money for the cadets after seeing her son Charlie grow in confidence after joining the organisation. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Lesley Deacon, Commandant of Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force, said: "Her passion and her determination to get that money is second to none.

"I give her the shopping list and she always tells me that she will come up with the goods and so far she has every time."

Mrs Rice said she would continue to fundraise for the organisation for as long as she can.

She added: "I've watched cadets from age 12 to 18, including my own son, progress from this shy, timid, don't-wanna-do-it child, to a full on 'I can do anything'.

"They take those skills with them for the rest of their life."

  • Vanessa Rice is one of eight nominees from ITV News Anglia in the fundraiser of the year category at the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, with a winner to be selected for the East and the West of the region.

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