Editor’s comment: Well done to all Petchey award winners

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 December 2018


Last week I was pleased to help present Jack Petchey Achievement Awards to more than 160 young people from across the borough.

They underline the fact that, for all that we read and hear of teenagers in gangs, stabbings and moped crime, there are overwhelmingly good youngters in the borough than there are bad.

The Recorder does its best to promote the good in young people by supporting the Jack Petchey Awards every year, by our weekly Redbridge Young Citizen page and by covering stories of good achievements by teenagers.

Jack Petchey knows that achievement comes in many forms – it doesn’t have to be straight As at GCSE and A-level.

It is often about overcoming obstacles, whether that is disability, difficulties at home, or settling into a new community.

Sir Jack was born into a poor working class family in the Eat End and left school with no qualifications. After serving with the Navy during the Second World War, he began working as a clerk for the Solicitors’ Law Stationery Society.

He applied for management training but was told he would never make a businessman.

With his £39 discharge gratuity from the Navy, he bought a second hand car and started a taxi business. He worked hard and built up various businesses, becoming a multi-millionaire in the process.

Now he gives back to the community in an effort to inspire today’s youngsters.

His example proves anyone can succeed if they dream and work hard.

Well done to all last week’s winners.

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