Barking and Dagenham student is bravest in Britain

AN INSPIRATIONAL teenager who suffered horrific burns as a child was named one of the UK’s Bravest Women in 2010.

Raiche Mederick, 17, met a host of celebrities, including Lorraine Kelly, Gloria Hunniford and Bernie Nolan, at the Best women’s magazine awards ceremony.

Raiche, who studies media at Barking and Dagenham College, was one of ten women in the country to receive the prestigious accolade, which is awarded to those who show bravery in the face of adversity, but find the courage to turn their experiences into something positive.

Raiche was left battling for her life with 70 per-cent burns following a house fire when she was 18 months old

Despite suffering severe scarring and having to endure multiple skin grafts and operations, Raiche is studying full-time, as well as using her experiences to help others.

She volunteers for The Burned Children’s Club charity, which was founded to help her by specialist nurse Pat Wade, 64, who worked at the Billericay burns unit where Raiche was first admitted.

Raiche, from Romford, plays such a major role in the charity – as a volunteer and fundraiser – that Pat hopes she will one day take over the running completely.

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Inspired by her positive outlook and determination, Best magazine took Raiche and her fellow winners to a hotel for the full star treatment, including a top-to-toe makeover and photo shoot, after which Lorraine Kelly and Best Editor Jackie Hatton presented the awards.

“It was like nothing I’d done before. Listening to the other stories made me feel honoured to be in their company,” said Raiche.

“Winning this award has really boosted my confidence, but I don’t see myself as a role model. I just want to tell burns victims to make the most of their lives.”

The recognition follows a triumph for Raiche earlier this year. She was awarded a News of the World Children’s Champion Award, to celebrate those people who go further than anyone else to make a positive difference in the lives of children.

The event was televised and included a visit to 10 Downing Street, before the star-studded awards ceremony.

To find out more about the Burned Children’s Club, go to