Young people recognised for contributions to school community

Emmanuel Toko holding his Jack Petchey Foundation achievement award in the corridor at Forest Gate School.

Forest Gate Community School pupil Emmanuel Toko, 14, received a Jack Petchey Foundation achievement award for his leadership skills. - Credit: Jack Petchey Foundation

Young people across the borough were recognised for their selfless achievements at a virtual awards ceremony. 

In all, 137 recipients aged 11 to 25 were honoured for their contributions to their school or college community at the Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards digital event on December 7. 

Winners received medallions and framed certificates prior to the online event, along with a £250 grant for them to spend to benefit their school or youth group. 

They included Forest Gate Community School pupil Emmanuel Toko, 14, in recognition of leadership skills shown by running a sports session at a primary school before the lockdown.  

Emmanuel continued to be an example to fellow classmates during lockdown through his commitment to remote and in-class learning. 

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Emmanuel said: “Once my teacher stood there and presented my award socially distanced at my house, it seemed like a bright and golden beam of light had shone upon my face as I realised all my hard work over the years at school had finally paid off.” 

He has decided to spend his £250 grant on sports leader jackets for his class. 

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Ayisha Mahmood, 17, who attends London Academy of Excellence in Stratford, was awarded for her kindness and positive attitude. 

Despite travelling two hours each way to school, she never complains and always remains positive. 

She has also worked hard to rally the community to create food packages for those in need. 

Ayisha said: “I encouraged our communities to unite and support one another. 

“I would not have been able to complete this project without the grant from my award, and so I am grateful for the opportunity Jack Petchey has provided our community with.” 

Ayisha will spend her £250 on care packages for people in the area.  

Nine adults also received leader awards for demonstrating outstanding ability to motivate young people.

Representative deputy lieutenant for Newham, John Barber, who spoke at the online event, said: “More than ever, we need to take time to celebrate achievement and the hope it brings to us all. 

“The hard work and determination the award winners have shown to achieve this award is a credit to all of them.” 

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