THERE were tears of joy and sadness as a super young fundraiser handed over a huge cheque to a vital charity.
At just 11, Jessica Ridge has raised more than £15,000 for four charities in the past three years.
At a ceremony at The Chairmakers Pub in Denmead, close to the family’s home in Hambledon, Jessica gave £6,900 to the Make a Wish Foundation. The cash will pay to send a seriously-ill eight-year-old boy to Disney World with his family.
Mum Lara, who runs a construction firm with Jessica’s dad, Russ, said: ‘There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
‘Fred Dinenage came to support Jessica and the lady from Make a Wish told us all about how the money will be spent.
‘At the end all the staff from The Chairmakers gave Jess a voucher for £100 to spend at Matalan because they felt she had done so much she deserved to be treated too. It was a lovely thing to do.’
The fundraising is continuing and the beneficiary this year will be Naomi House Children’s Hospice. Already £1,500 has been raised and Mrs Ridge is hoping to add to that with an abseil down the Spinnaker Tower in July.
Jessica was inspired to fundraise by reality star Jade Goody’s cancer battle.