Army cadet collects over 1,500 cans for charity

Cpl Samantha Bowler-Legate with the cans she has collected

Cpl Samantha Bowler-Legate, a Cambs ACF cadet from Burwell, has collected over 1,500 aluminium cans for charity. - Credit: Doug Stuart

A sixteen-year-old army cadet set herself a challenge – to collect as many aluminium cans as possible for charity.

Cpl Samantha Bowler-Legate, from Burwell, has over 1,500 cans which will be sold for their scrap value to raise funds for Helipads for Hospitals.

Her fundraising effort will help build landing areas for emergency helicopters at hospitals and help improve their access to and from the sites.

She has spent the last three months collecting the aluminium cans through social media appeals, her school and at a family member’s workplace.

Cpl Samantha Bowler-Legate with the cans she has collected

Cpl Samantha Bowler-Legate, a Cambs ACF cadet from Burwell, is collecting the cans to fundraise for the charity Helipads for Hospitals. - Credit: Doug Stuart

Newmarket Racecourse has even promised to pass on thousands of cans in the future to support the cause.

Samantha, a Cadet Corporal at Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force (Cambs ACF), said: “I’m really pleased with how many cans we have collected, a lot more than I expected.

“We have to crush the cans, and I get very competitive with my step-dad to see who can squash them the quickest!”

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Samantha’s mother Lesley and her step-dad Dave Moller are both private ambulance drivers which inspired her to support medical causes.

She was introduced to volunteering through the Duke Of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award, where she helped organise a regular fundraising raffle for Cambs ACF and Defibrillators For All.

Following that experience, she started raising funds for Helipads for Hospitals, another cause supported by Cambs ACF.

Major Lesley Deacon, Deputy Commandant of Cambs ACF, said: “We encourage our cadets to play an active part in their community, and to put others before themselves.

“It’s great to see Cpl Bowler-Legate continuing to put into practice the values she has learned in order to help others.”

Samantha joined Cambs ACF three years ago and has completed courses and qualifications in areas such as cadet instructor training, leadership and management, first aid and in radio skills.

She has just completed her GCSEs and has applied to two colleges in Cambridge, hoping to eventually become a teacher.

Cpl Samantha Bowler-Legate

Cpl Samantha Bowler-Legate, a Cambs ACF cadet from Burwell. - Credit: Doug Stuart

As well as her many achievements, Samantha also values the social side to her cadet experience.

"The best friendships I have ever made have been in the cadets,” she added.