Cadets step out to raise charity cash

SEVEN air cadets from North Tyneside have helped raise over £1,000 for charity.

Cadets from the 861 Wideopen Squadron took part in a sponsored walk along Pennine Way, North Yorkshire, which raised £1,082.89 for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF).

The cadets, who were joined along the way by members of the 1114 Gosforth Squadron, were led by Wideopen’s Cadet Flight Sergeant Jessica Marran, who organised the walk which coincided with their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition.

Jessica said she wanted to raise the money as a thank you to the charity for caring her baby sister Amelia and ultimately saving her life.

The 17-year-old said: “I was so overwhelmed with the help and support that the staff at the Children’s Heart Unit gave to my little sister, I knew that I wanted to try and help raise money to support the unit’s fantastic work.

“We decided that a sponsored walk was the best way to do this.”

The donation will fund new equipment, facilities, aftercare and research for the Children’s Heart Unit and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle.

Nicola Whinham, chair of CHUF, said: “I was so impressed with the cadets efforts to raise this money for CHUF. Jessica is clearly a very motivated young lady and she worked tirelessly to organise this sponsored activity for her colleagues and all of the money will be put to good use at the Children’s Heart Unit.”

Flight Lieutenant James Elliott, Squadron Commander at Wideopen, said: “I was so proud that Flight Sergeant Marran took on this huge project to plan and manage a complex weekend activity that counted as the cadets Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award as well as a very successful fund raising initiative.

“She worked tirelessly from start to finish and raised a huge amount of money for a brilliant cause. It was a pleasure to see her reaching the end of the project by presenting the cheque to Nicola from CHUF in the presence of the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear.

“Flight Sergeant Marran’s passion and dedication to her unit and to raising money for excellent causes like the Children’s Heart Unit is humbling and we are lucky to have her.”