Fundraising leaves Newbury Park air cadet flying high

St Josephs Care Home, The Drive, Ilford.

Thameena Patel volunteers at St Josephs Care Home, The Drive, Ilford. - Credit: Google Maps

If Tom Cruise needs a new wing mate for Top Gun 2, he need look no further than one of this week’s Young Citizen Award nominees.

Air cadet, Thameena Patel, 17, of Cranley Drive, Newbury Park who has flown a light aircraft twice and performed acrobatics in the sky.

“The g-force was pretty strong,” she said.

When her two feet is on the ground, the teenager, who attends Valentines School in Cranbrook Road, Ilford spends her time fundraising for the Human Appeal charity.

“We fund raise throughout the year and have some events in Mile End about orphan sponsoring in Syria and Palestine,” she said.

Having helped the charity for three years, Thameena added: “I like giving back to the community and helping people.”

The teen got the fundraising bug in Year 9 when her school participated in Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).

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This involved pupils pitching ideas to charities about how best they could raise awareness and money.

“We raised £3000 for a charity,” she said.

The Year 13 pupil, who also volunteers at St Josephs Care Home, The Drive, Ilford hopes to one day become an oncologist, says she gets a lot from donating her time.

“I get a satisfying feeling helping people and gain people skills,” she said.

“I was quite shocked to be nominated because I have never been picked for any award,” she said.

“More people should get recognised for what they do.”