Teenager who set up own charity on verge of raising £100,000 for 10-year anniversary

Jess Ridge 'Picture: Malcolm Wells (180307-9533)
Jess Ridge 'Picture: Malcolm Wells (180307-9533)
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A TEENAGER who set up her own charity for good causes is on the verge of raising an incredible £100,000 for its 10-year anniversary.

Jess Ridge, who is now 18, set up her own charity A Touch of Magic back in 2009 after being inspired to help people and a variety of different causes.

A cheque presentation by Jess Ridge to Sarah Shearman from the Make a Wish foundation in 2012'Picture: Jacky Keyes

A cheque presentation by Jess Ridge to Sarah Shearman from the Make a Wish foundation in 2012'Picture: Jacky Keyes

In that time she has raised a staggering £95,000.

After setting up the charity while she was still in primary school, things began to take off and before long Jess was dealing with big charities, including Parkinsons UK.

Jess, who now works full-time as a community fundraiser for the Rainbow Centre in Fareham, has been helped by her parents, Lara and Russell, and older brother Marley, as well as her grandparents Bill and Maureen Morgan.

Jess chooses a different charity each year and has upped the target from £5,000 to £10,000 each year.

The charity’s next big event is set to take place on March 14 at the Chairmakers Arms in World’s End, near where she lives in Hambledon. The event will see a raffle and bands playing live music with lots of supporters expected to turn up to mark the occasion.

A cheque of £14, 149 will be presented to Jess’ chosen charity for last year – Honeypot Children’s Charity.

With the anniversary in July, Jess is on course to make the £100,000 target but needs to raise £5,000 to make the dream become reality by the end of the year.

Jess’ mum Lara said: ‘We never would have thought when Jess started out that she would still be doing it and would have raised nearly £100,000.

‘She was only eight years when she started doing it. We thought she may do a raffle a year but it just snowballed from there. Every year we always ask to see if she enjoys it but she loves it and just wants to carry on.

‘Hopefully Jess will raise the money – she has a lot of events planned up this year. She is raising money for Daisy’s Dream, a charity which supports children who have lost one or either of their parents so we hope to have a good year fundraising for this worthy causes.’

Grandad Bill added: ‘Jess has done incredibly well and we hope she can reach her target.’