A Touch of Magic
1217. Jessica Ridge
Jessica Ridge, from Hambledon, is the founder of ‘A Touch of Magic’, which has raised over £95,000 in the last ten years for its partner charities.
Jess set up the charity in 2009 at only eight years old, when, inspired by the way that the Oprah Winfrey Foundation was changing people’s lives, she too decided she wanted to make a difference. Working as an umbrella charity, ‘A Touch of Magic’ raises funds for a different charity each year. In 2018 it supported Downing Street’s partner charity, Honeypot, raising nearly £15,000 to provide breaks for young carers. Jess hopes to reach the target of £100,000 by the end of this year. Jess’s award coincides with the charity’s tenth anniversary which they celebrate this month.
Jessica was presented with her award by Mims Davies MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society.
In a personal letter to Jessica, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your fundraising over the last ten years has enabled organisations like ‘The Honeypot Children’s Charity’ to help hundreds of people across the UK. As you celebrate the tenth anniversary of ‘A Touch of Magic’, I wish you every success for reaching your £100,000 fundraising target and for your continued work. You are an inspiration – well done!”
Mims Davies MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said:
“At just 18 years old Jessica has done more to help people than most do in a lifetime. She is an inspiration, raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity and changing the lives of those most in need. Jessica truly deserves this award and I have no doubt she will continue her success in the future.
“Our Youth Charter will be a bold and ambitious ten year vision keeping young people at the top of the national agenda.
“This work is about empowering our young people to identify the issues most relevant to them and exploring how they can be resolved.
“The Youth Steering group we set up is already making a hugely positive impact on our plans. We are engaging cross government and with the whole youth sector, and crucially, listening to young people as we drive this important work forward.”
“There are so many people in this country who deserve this award but to think that I am one of them, it is a true honour. ‘A Touch of Magic’ will always be a part of me, wherever life takes me. I don’t do my charity work for reward, but to have recognition for my efforts is a wonderful feeling and encourages me even more to help anyone who needs it, no matter who they are. And for that, I cannot thank you enough.”
Pictured below: Jessica with her award outside No.10 Downing Street