Cadet Grace helps make Easter egg-stra special for veterans and care home residents

A COMMUNITY-SPIRITED cadet’s latest fundraising efforts helped make Easter an egg-stra special time for veterans, the elderly and vulnerable across Saddleworth and beyond.

Grace Whalley, who is a 14-year-old from 2200 Oldham Squadron Air Cadets, wanted to spread some cheer to care homes and lonely veterans, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

So in March she took on a 50km sponsored walk, accompanied by her supportive family, and organised a raffle to raise funds for afternoon tea hampers, which she delivered to care homes on Easter Sunday.

The money also went towards buying Easter eggs for veterans who are living alone to show that people still remember and respect their military service to Britain.

Proud mum Nicola said: “I couldn’t be prouder of Grace. The reactions she got when we were delivering the eggs and hampers were well worth the effort.

Grace presents a gift box

“We managed to raise £250 and from that we managed to put together 160 hampers for elderly and vulnerable people, and what was left over we used to buy Easter eggs for veterans.

“Some of the elderly care home residents were shocked to receive a hamper, but in a good way. I think it had quite an impact on them to see someone so young being so selfless.”

With lockdown restrictions easing, Grace hopes to resume charity fundraising with her squadron but she hasn’t ruled out future solo efforts.

Previously, she made sure Remembrance Day last November was still one to remember for local veterans despite parades and events being cancelled because of the pandemic.

The hampers

After an appeal to the community for help, she amassed more than 200 cupcakes, each decorated with a red poppy, along with donations of £50 for wreaths and cake boxes.

She delivered the cupcakes to veterans across the community and her efforts earned her a Squadron Commander’s

Commendation and praise from commanding officer Flight Lieutenant JSD Lord.

• Find out more about Grace’s projects online: https://tinyurl.com/5yn3xp9u

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