Determined cadet, 16, takes on gruelling virtual trek

Cambs cadet takes on lockdown walk

Cadet Sergeant Charlie Rice is planning to walk 190 miles to help raise funds for the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force. - Credit: GoFundMe/Vanessa Rice

A 16-year-old cadet from the Fens is bidding to complete a virtual coast-to-coast challenge to raise much-needed funds for his colleagues. 

Cadet Sergeant Charlie Rice, of the Whittlesey Detachment in the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force (ACF), is aiming to walk 190 miles in his full kit around Fenland. 

Charlie, from Thorney, has already raised above his revised target after smashing his initial £500 aim. 

“I shall be doing this challenge throughout the next couple of months as part of my daily exercise during the Covid-19 lockdown,” he said.  

“The money raised will be put back into the cadet force as during the pandemic we have sadly not been able to fundraise.   

Cambs cadet to walk 190 miles in lockdown

Charlie was going to tackle the coast-to-coast challenge with his colleagues from the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force, but this was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. - Credit: Supplied/Vanessa Rice


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“Major Lesley Deacon, my Company Commander, had planned for a team of us to do this challenge during Easter. 

“Due to Covid-19, that can’t happen, so I have taken it upon myself to do the challenge to raise much-needed funds in the process.” 

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Charlie is not new to fundraising challenges, having raised nearly £2,000 for the ACF in May 2019. 

Vanessa Rice, Charlie’s mother and voluntary fundraiser at the ACF, has also helped the cause. 

Whittlesey cadet on lockdown walk

Charlie has already raised above his original target for the Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force from his challenge. - Credit: Supplied/Vanessa Rice

“We set the target at £500, smashed that, so we pushed it up. There’s also another £250 to go in from a national company I deal with,” she said. 

“When he walks, he wears his mask because the older generation, when they’re out walking, they like someone to chat to. A lady in the village put in a donation purely because of chatting to him.” 

Charlie, who studies at Cambridge Regional College, joined the ACF aged 12 and has earned notable achievements, such as being named one of the Lord-Lieutenant's cadets last year. 

Vanessa said her son hopes to overcome his latest test between the end of February and middle of March, something she is confident will happen. 

“If Charlie wants to do something, nine times out of 10 he will achieve it. When we smashed the first target, he said ‘let’s keep going’. The more money he raises, he will exceed 190 miles,” she said. 

“We’re very proud of him. He didn’t get asked to do it, he did it off his own back. He has done brilliantly and has just got on with it.” 

To donate, visit Charlie’s GoFundMe page at: https://bit.ly/3a6Gfks.  

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