By James Twomey
Nearly 90 young people received an award for the positive contributions they have made to society. The Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards were presented at Catford Broadway on March 14 with 89 youngsters from Lewisham receiving an award and a cash prize.
Lady Kris Hibbert, former Mayor of Lewisham, said: “What a privilege to have been a part of celebrating the amazing achievements of our wonderful young people here in Lewisham.”
The event honoured Achievement Award winners aged 11-25 who received medallions to go with their framed certificate and a cheque for £250 each.
They were nominated by their peers and leaders, winning awards for a variety of achievements big and small.
Janet Daby MP said: “Fabulous evening for all of the young people and their families, schools and friends.
“It was lovely to see the happy faces and to hear the great performances. Well done Jack Petchey.”
Motasem Said, 16, attends Christ the King Emmanuel Sixth Form College.
Motasem has faced various personal challenges alongside his studies, but has consistently worked hard to stay committed.
Motasem is a dedicated member of the school’s weekly boxing class and decided to spend his £250 award money on new equipment for all at the boxing class.
Motasem said: “I was so happy to receive the award because it made my family proud. I was pleased that could ask for the grant award to be spent on buying boxing bags for our college boxing club to benefit all the students.
“As a keen boxer myself I can’t wait to use them. Thank you Jack Petchey and thank you to my teachers and fellow students who nominated me for this award.”
Seychelle Oldfield, 19, is a student at Christ the King Aquinas Sixth Form College. At a recent charity event at the school, Seychelle contributed her Henna tattooing skills to help raise funds.
Seychelle said: “Dreaming is believing. I dreamed and believed that I could achieve and I finally did and I’m so proud.”
Seychelle decided to spend her award money on a trip to Quasar in Bromley.
Another winner, Archie Stevens, 12, who attends Forest Hill School, organised various competitions, schemes and activities to engage the wider school community in the work of the English department.
The team was initiated when Archie was in Year 7 as a way to raise money for Lewisham Library to help keep it open.
Archie said: “It was great winning the award. I felt proud of myself but also really happy for everyone else who was there collecting awards.
“I am also pleased that the school could benefit from something that I had done.
“Programmes such as this show that anything is possible if you work hard.”
Nike Ajijola, 14, also won an award, she attends Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knight Academy and has acted as a role model to her classmates by running to become the Young Mayor of Lewisham.
Her positive involvement and her manifesto helped to encourage students across the school to vote in the election. Nike said: “I am honoured to receive this award.”
As a result of this commitment, she was voted in to take on the important role of Deputy Young Mayor of Lewisham.
Nike decided to spend her prize money on a trip to Thorpe Park for her and fellow students.
Schools and clubs in Lewisham have received funding of £1,111,310 from the Jack Petchey Foundation since funding started in 2006.
Sir Jack Petchey CBE, 93, 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.”