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Celebrating Lambeth’s Jack Petchey award winners

by Joshua Neicho

More than 100 youngsters from across the borough have received £250 each from a veteran car sales entrepreneur to be put towards helping their peers.

Pupils who have excelled as scholars, sportspeople and humanitarians were among the 131 Lambeth teenagers receiving Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards.
The awards scheme is run by schools and youth organisations under the guidance of the foundation.

It was set up by the charitable wing of Sir Jack Petchey’s business empire and, since 2006, youth organisations and schools in the borough have received more than £1.1 million in funding.

Luca Emery, 15, a pupil at Bishop Thomas Grant School in Streatham, was chosen as one of the winners after speaking up for young people in Lambeth.

He has organised events for his form’s chosen charity and is part of the school’s eco committee and debate team, as well as a member of Lambeth Youth Council,
He chose to spend his £250 on resources for the Model UN conference he organised in June as part of Bishop Thomas’s Model United Nations group.

Luca, who aspires to study engineering and theoretical physics at university, got pulled out halfway through a lesson to be told he had been nominated.

“I really enjoy working with younger kids and being able to pass on what I know,” he said.

“People need to be aware volunteering is work but it’s fun, it’s not as hard as [they] imagine” he said. “To hear stories of volunteering might inspire people to take action, to make people feel better and happier”.

Sammy Morgan, 12, of Norwood School, won the money after excelling at school work and in sport, in which he is captain of the football team and, outside school, a member of youth basketball and football sides as well as a cross-country runner.

Ibrahim Dogus, deputy mayor of Lambeth and Lambeth Life publisher, said: “Thanks to the hard work of the Foundation there will be many more great achievers in Lambeth.”
Annie Hudson, Lambeth council’s strategic director of children’s services, said: “The breadth and depth of the talent of children and young people in Lambeth was truly awesome. The future is indeed bright”.

Winners are nominated by their peers with the cash spent on resources or a community event to benefit the wider institution. There are also grants for organisations running their own achievement awards, as well as “leader awards” for inspirational adults.

Sir Jack, a longstanding philanthropist, set up the foundation in 1999 and says it has distributed £115m since then. The scheme now operates in 2000 schools and organisations throughout London and Essex.

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