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Jack Petchey Foundation recognises Basildon youngsters for amazing achievements

17th December 2020
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

80 incredible young people from schools and colleges in Basildon received their prestigious Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards presented at a live digital event.

The digital event celebrated Achievement Award winners aged 11-25 from Basildon for their contributions to their school community. Winners received medallions and framed certificates from the Foundation prior to the online event along with a £250 grant for them to spend to benefit their school or youth group.

In addition, five adults were awarded Leader Awards for demonstrating outstanding ability to motivate young people. They each received a medallion and a framed certificate.

Councillor David Burton-Sampson, Mayor of Basildon, gave a speech at the event, saying: 

“I hope that this award event will bring just a bit of that Jack Petchey style celebration to the award winners and ensuring they feel recognised for their brilliant achievements. Now more than ever we need to celebrate those achievements and the hope it brings to us all… We are proud of each and every one of you.”

Achievement Award winners include Samuel Houston, aged 14, who attends James Hornsby High School.

During the lockdown, Samuel assisted the primary school where his dad works with cleaning and making sure the site was safe for the children of key workers who were attending the site. The primary school was so impressed they wrote to Samuel’s school to share how impressed they were with Samuel giving up his time to help others.

Samuel said: 

“Winning the Jack Petchey Achievement Award felt like an amazing achievement for me, I’m glad I have had the opportunity to receive it. No words can describe how happy I am.”

Amy Longley, age 14, also from James Hornsby High School.

Amy was awarded her Achievement Award for being an uplifting member of the school community during the lockdown, sharing her wonderful baking activities with her classmates and writing a beautiful letter to senior citizens in a local care home. The letter told them that they were not alone and that she was there to support them.

Amy said: 

“Winning the Jack Petchey Achievement Award has meant a lot to me, especially during the tough times experienced by everyone during lockdown… My family are extremely proud of me For me to win the Jack Petchey Achievement Award was only something I had imagined, to be honest, I never thought I would actually win one!”

Award winners Samuel and Amy decided to spend their £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on vouchers to reward the Lockdown Heroes scheme at the school.

Sir Jack founded the Jack Petchey Foundation in 1999 to recognise the positive contributions young people make to society and to support them in achieving their potential. Since then the Foundation has supported over 2,000 initiatives for young people across London and Essex and has invested over £133m.

Sir Jack Petchey CBE aged 95, said: 

“I am passionate about our awards scheme which enables young people to be recognised, valued and rewarded for their achievements and positive contributions to society.”  

The Jack Petchey Foundation has worked with schools and youth groups across Basildon since 2007 providing £693,864 in funding to schools and youth clubs in the local area.