Jack Petchey award honours Newham’s young heroes

From left, Mathunisas Yoganathan, and JPF award winner with Priscilla Hossain, both from Sarah Bonne

From left, Mathunisas Yoganathan, and JPF award winner with Priscilla Hossain, both from Sarah Bonnell School. Photo: Mark Lees - Credit: Archant

The glittering achievements of young stars across the borough were recognised at an annual community awards ceremony last night.

An incredible 142 youngsters from 19 schools and colleges scooped gongs at the Jack Petchey Achievement Awards, acknowledging their astonishing community spirit and talent.

A teenager who overcame her disability to help others and a gifted musician who collected more than 10,000 bottle tops for charity were among the award winners at the Newham Town Hall ceremony.

“The night was one of the best Jack Petchey awards evenings,” said Newham’s deputy lieutenant, John Barber, one of the VIPs who helped present the awards.

“Newham leads the way as it always does and tonight was really glorious.”

Alongside the young winners, whose achievements were recognised with medallions to accompany the £200 cheque they had already received, leader awards were also presented to adults to recognise extraordinary achievement in helping youngsters fulfil their potential.

The extraordinary talent in the borough was further highlighted through the array of music on the night, with students from Sarah Bonnell, John F Kennedy and Langdon Academy schools taking to the stage between award presentations.

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Entertainment also included a music video by Rokeby School about anti bullying.

Borough commander, chief inspector Tony Nash, was thrilled to present awards at the ceremony.

“I am a great supporter of the Jack Petchey Foundation and have been so for years,” he said.

“When my own children were being interviewed for university places, they had A grades like everyone else, but they stood out because they had both won Jack Petchey awards.

“We should never underestimate the value of winning a Jack Petchey award.”

Others who helped present awards included Cllr Joy Laguda MBE, director of children’s services James Thomas, and Recorder editor Michael Adkins.

Now in its 15th year of funding, the Jack Petchey Foundation was brought about to recognise the positive contributions young people make to society.

Since 2000, youth organisations in Newham have received £4.6million, while across London £90million has been invested into some 2,000 youth initiatives.

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