Cadet Force wins Fundraiser of the Year award for services to veterans’ mental health

Ark Alexandra Academy Combined Cadet Force, led by Army veteran Captain Nicholas Burchel, has been awarded Fundraiser of the Year by veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

On Thursday, February 22, they received the award from General Sir Peter Wall, former head of the British Army and now President of Combat Stress, at the charity’s annual awards ceremony in London.

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health and delivers specialist treatment and support to former servicemen and women across the UK with military-related trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Last year, the Hastings school-based Cadets took on Combat Stress’ flagship fundraising challenge March in March, which challenges participants to complete 10 miles on any given day in the month of March.

Cap Burchell and fellow CCF Officers receive award from Sir Gen Peter Wall.Cap Burchell and fellow CCF Officers receive award from Sir Gen Peter Wall.
Cap Burchell and fellow CCF Officers receive award from Sir Gen Peter Wall.

Not only did they complete their challenge in torrential weather, but they also set the benchmark for fundraising for this event by being the top individual, top team and top organisation, raising an incredible £8,200.

What makes this achievement even more remarkable is that they come from a disadvantaged area, which sees lots of the students receiving free school meals during a cost-of-living crisis.

The Academy’s contingent was first formed in 2019 with 15 cadets and now has 110 cadets in uniform and 95 junior cadets in training. They have supported Combat Stress for three years. In addition, they run street parties for the local community, plant trees for the Woodland Trust, and visit the battlefields and graves in France to pay their respects. Each and every one of them is truly remarkable.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Captain Nicholas Burchel, contingent commander, said: “We were stunned and overwhelmed to have received this award. I and my Cadet Officers are so proud of our cadets and the impact their efforts will make on the lives of the many veterans that turn to Combat Stress for treatment and support.

Ark Alexandra Academy Cadets.Ark Alexandra Academy Cadets.
Ark Alexandra Academy Cadets.

“Attending the award ceremony, with the other winners and some of the veterans who have benefited from the charity’s services, was really impactful and brought everything to life”.

Robert Marsh, Director of Fundraising at Combat Stress, said: “We are so grateful to Cap Nicholas Burchel and the cadet force of Ark Alexandra Academy, whose efforts have been both inspirational and extraordinary.

“No other charity does what we do. We provide the most comprehensive veteran mental health treatment service in the UK, but we couldn’t continue to do this without the incredible support of the cadets and all our other fundraisers.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

More than 120 fundraisers and veteran volunteers attended Combat Stress’ annual ‘Extra Mile’ awards at the Cavalry and Guards Club in London.

Ark Alexandra Academy Cadets March in March challenge.Ark Alexandra Academy Cadets March in March challenge.
Ark Alexandra Academy Cadets March in March challenge.

The event was devised to celebrate and recognise the incredible selflessness and dedication of individuals, teams and companies’ whose achievements and innovative fundraising have gone above and beyond all expectation.

From these inspirational cadets to veterans who bravely shared their experiences of living with PTSD, the winners demonstrated the invaluable creative, tenacious and determined spirit of our veterans, volunteers and fundraisers.

Related topics: