Inspiring Redbridge youngsters to be celebrated at tonight’s Jack Petchey Achievement Awards

James Duffy, the UKs youngest person ever to be trained in using a defibrillator, collected a Jack

James Duffy, the UKs youngest person ever to be trained in using a defibrillator, collected a Jack Petchey Achievement Award on Thursday - Credit: Archant

The achievements of dedicated and inspiring young people from across Redbridge are being celebrated tonight.

The Jack Petchey Achievement Awards recognise and honour young people who have worked hard to improve their community, helped others or overcome adversity to achieve success.

Each winner will receive a medallion along with £200 in prize money at the ceremony in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.

The awards scheme provides tens of thousands of pounds in funding to secondary schools and colleges across the borough each year, and to date more than £2.6million has been awarded by the Jack Petchey Foundation to youth organisations in Redbridge since funding began in 2001.

More than 150 young people and adults will be awarded tonight, in front of dignitaries including the Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Felicity Banks, Redbridge police borough commander Det Ch Supt Sue Willaims, Ilford North MP Lee Scott and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes.

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Among them will be 12-year-old James Duffy, the UK’s youngest person ever to be trained in using a defibrillator and one of the UK’s youngest and longest serving St John Ambulance volunteers.

Jack Petchey was born into a poor family in 1925 and left school with no qualifications aged 13.

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He joined the Navy and went on to invest his £39 discharge gratuity by buying a second hand car and starting a taxi business. He went on to become a multi-millionaire through various business ventures and decided to encourage young people’s aspirations for success.

He began his foundation – which operates out of Clements Lane, Ilford – in 1999.

In 2012 he was awarded the CBE in recognition of his services to young people.

See this website tomorrow for coverage of the awards night.

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