Jack Petchey Awards recognises amazing feats of Harlow students

Education: Secondary / Fri 29th Jun 2018 at 02:24pm

AN incredible 128 young people from schools and clubs across Harlow came together to receive prestigious Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards presented across two awards ceremonies at the Harlow Playhouse on Monday 25th and Wednesday 27th June.

The event honoured Achievement Award winners aged 11-25 who received medallions to go with their framed certificate and a cheque for £250 each, already presented. They were nominated by their peers and leaders, winning awards for a variety of achievements big and small but always for doing their best.

In addition, 18 adults were also celebrated with Leader Awards who have demonstrated, in an outstanding way, an ability to motivate young people. They received a medallion and a framed certificate.

Youth organisations and schools in Harlow have received funding of £1,080,057 from the Jack Petchey Foundation since funding started in 2000.

Chair of Harlow Council, Cllr Maggie Hulcoop said: “We should be very proud of so many young people from the town who will all go far in their career choices. They are fantastic ambassadors of the town and with the future in their hands, how can we lose?”

Danny Crates, Paralympic gold medallist said: “I have attended several Jack Petchey presentations in the past and it is always a great way to celebrate the achievements of Essex’s young people. I am always inspired by how hard working the young people are and love to hear of their outstanding stories. A big well done to all of tonight’s award winners.”

Winners included Khalil Aldabbas, who attends Harlow College. Khalil first arrived in Harlow as a lone child refugee after his Syrian home was bombed and, after putting his life in the hands of the people smugglers and a rescue operation in Greece, he managed to escape to the UK. Once he arrived, Khalil was in care for two years but now lives independently and attends college.

Khalil has been at Harlow College since October 2014 and is now in his second year of a BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science. He is the only one in his group to progress to Level 3 and is now ready to make his way to university. He never uses his past as an excuse and continues to focus on his future and always works hard to do a good job.

As well as excelling academically, Khalil also uses the skills he has developed at college to help other disadvantaged people. He volunteers to assist Syrian students who are struggling to cope with their experiences.

Khalil will soon receive his £250 grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation and will be invited to decide how he wishes to spend it to help benefit his school.

Jade Huggins, aged 13, attends St Mark’s West Essex Catholic School. After recently beating her French competitor in Sweden, Jade has taken on the title of European Boxing Champion in the 41kg division.

She is extremely committed to boxing and puts a lot of time into training and improving on her performance. Despite this incredible dedication, she still manages to remain a hard-working student at school and is a kind member of her year group.

Jade decided to spend her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on a trip for her and her classmates to Thorpe Park.

Olivia Curaba, aged 12, attends Cross Keys Netball Club. Olivia was nominated for an award because, despite having to see her Mum battle against illness not just once but twice recently, she always manages to be a positive addition to the team and work as hard as possible.

She attends training every week, comes into club an hour early, helps to coach the younger players and is always available for matches too. She also recently helped to organise a shooting competition for charity and also took part in sponsored walks to raise funds for Breast Cancer charities.

Olivia decided to spend her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on first aid bags for the team to use.

Chelsea Green, aged 18, attends Harlow College. Chelsea first joined the college after a turbulent time at mainstream school. She had poor skills in Maths, English and other curriculum subjects. She lacked confidence in her ability and felt quite nervous towards school and education.

Chelsea enrolled onto a hospitality course at Harlow College and, over time, she has developed into a highly motivated, enthusiastic and mature young lady. After a lot of hard work and dedication she has progressed to BTEC Level 3 and is a pleasure to have in class.

As well as making improvements in the classroom, Chelsea also volunteers to help out where she can in her own time too. She has worked in the evenings with young people as part of the Junior Chef’s Academy, which is linked to her hospitality course. She also volunteered to work in the college food court over the summer and on a staff development day. She felt confident enough to be the only member of the catering team to serve the staff, enabling the permanent food court staff to receive their training as part of the development day.

Chelsea decided to spend her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on new equipment for her and her fellow college students.

Sacha Ottevanger, aged 12, attends All Ability Sports and Leisure. Sacha loves sport and meeting new people so has enjoyed attending the wheelchair basketball sessions with All Ability. He has picked up lots wheelchair basketball skills very quickly and has soon become a leading member of the club.

By working hard every week he has improved from session to session. He is reliable, enthusiastic and very committed to the sport. He has a great future ahead of him in wheelchair basketball.

Sacha decided to spend his £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on new equipment for the sports club.

Kara Bull, aged 13, attends St Mark’s West Essex Catholic School. Kara was nominated for the award in recognition of her incredible contributions to the school’s PE Department. She is an exceptional Captain of the school’s football team but also represents the school across three other sports too.

As well as taking part in these sports she also helps in other ways too, by refereeing matches, coaching primary school students as part of taster days and helps encourage and support other, less confident, players. She always works hard to develop her skills and improve where she can.

Kara decided to spend her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on new equipment for her school

Eve Dunkin, aged 13, attends Mark Hall Academy. Eve is helping to arrange this year’s school production of Annie as Assistant Director. This is a role she takes very seriously as she attends every rehearsal, does work outside of school to help and has had input in the costumes and props too.

Eve is especially creative and loves to make things. She is excellent at crochet and sells what she makes for charity. She is currently making poppies to sell for the Poppy Appeal this November too.

Eve decided to spend her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on new equipment for her school

Heather Cannon, aged 13, attends Mark Hall Academy. Heather has been nominated especially for her incredible sporting achievements. After only taking it up for a few weeks, Heather became the District Champion in hurdles in Year 7.

She also competed in the schools trampolining competition where she got through the regional final to compete in the National Final in Northern Ireland. She was up against girls of a higher level but managed to win for Mark Hall Academy!

Heather decided to spend her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on new equipment for her 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 it has provided support to a wide range of 2,000 initiatives supporting young people across London and Essex and has invested over £118m.

Sir Jack Petchey CBE aged 92, 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.”

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