Jack Petchey is one of the UK's most successful businessmen. Born in East London in July 1925, Jack came from a working class background with very few advantages. From an early age he showed the entrepreneurial skills that have aided his success. In 1937 a 12-year-old Jack was prosecuted at East Ham Magistrates Court for working under age. The prosecution evidence was that Jack was carrying vegetables, i.e. tomatoes, the defence being that tomatoes were a fruit - not a vegetable. The case was dismissed!
Having left school at 14 Jack worked as an office boy before joining the Fleet Air Arm in 1943. At the end of the Second World War Jack left the Navy and became a clerk. He applied for a management position but was told by the personnel officer of his firm: "you'll never make a businessman!" So Jack Petchey decided to go it alone. With £60 to his name, he bought a motor car and founded his first Car Hire business. From there a thriving Car Sales business was formed. Jack eventually branched into property and in 1969 was introduced to the idea of a holiday complex in the Algarve, Portugal, which he still runs to this day. Having just celebrated his 83rd birthday, there is no sign of Jack Petchey slowing down.
He currently manages Petchey Holdings Plc and Petchey Leisure, a management company for several holiday resorts in Spain, Portugal and the UK. In 1999, he set up the Jack Petchey Foundation as he wanted to give opportunities to young people in London. Over the last nine years he has donated over £50 million to schools, clubs and projects which benefit young people in London. In 2004 Jack was awarded an OBE at Buckingham Palace, by Her Majesty The Queen.
Jack Petchey's autobiography '50/50 Man - The Jack Petchey Story' is available through the Foundation.
Established in 1999, The Jack Petchey Foundation gives grants to programmes and projects that benefit young people aged 11-25. The Foundation is eager to help young people take advantage of opportunities and play a full part in society. The major focus of our work is the Achievement Award Scheme. The Foundation focuses on London and Essex. Since it has been established the Foundation has awarded grants totalling over £50million.
Divon Ball - Year 11
As a school Sports Leader and Health and Well-Being Ambassador Divon epitomises all of the qualities of an uber volunteer on a daily basis. Divon assists staff and students to engage in regular physical activity at St Paul's Academy and his kind, energetic and approachable demeanour means that everyone always feels included. Divon helps to deliver a health and well-being club as well as a fitness class two days a week after school.
As well as being a keen sportsman, Divon is also an extremely talented actor. Divon uses such talents to extensively assist the drama department with both lessons, productions, boosters and after-school clubs. Divon also gives his time to be a peer mentor to a number of our Year 7 students. The attention and support which Divon shows towards younger students, his peers as well as staff at St Paul's is simply remarkable! Divon is a wonderful ambassador of St Paul's Academy and we are all extremely proud of his achievements. None more so than when we were informed of Divon receiving a place at Brit School where he will begin his 6th form studies in September.
Divon is most definitely a worthy recipient of a Jack Petchey Achievement Award in recognition of the extensive contribution he makes to the life of St Paul's Academy. Well done Divon, keep up the fantastic work!
November 2014 Winner - David Ejinkonye
An inspirational student from Abbey Wood netted a top award for his leadership at a major tournament of sports for youngsters with disabilities. David Ejinkonye, 16, was recognised for his work as the Young Leader of the Year by the charity Penathlon Challenge, while he was at St Paul’s Academy in Finchale Road. More than 400 schools took part in the ‘mini Paralympic’ competitions in the past year organised by the charity who provide sporting opportunities to disabled children. The contests were overseen by teams of the young leaders. David was presented with his award by Paralympian Liz Johnson at the 2014 Jack Petchey Outstanding Achievement Awards, held in the Olympic Gallery at John Lewis Stratford City, east London.
The youngster said: “It’s amazing. I would have been very happy just to make the top three, because that would still have been a great achievement, but to win it is a big surprise.” David, who qualified to be a leader following a training course at his school last year, was selected to officiate boccia which is a ball sport related to bowls. To learn more about the Paralympic sport he held a tournament for his football mad class mates. He said: “Getting the lads to play another mainstream sport would have been hard, but getting them to play boccia was a lot harder. You have to demonstrate the game to them first and then get them involved. You have to make sure they actually play the game, start enjoying it and start thinking about it, mentally and physically.” David who is also the lead pupil basketball coach at his school said: “Sport is really important because it allows people to express themselves. Disability shouldn’t hold you back.”
His PE teacher Paul O’Donoghue said, : “David is a very humble and inspirational figure. To have the courage to lead his class in a sport that wasn’t mainstream was simply fantastic.”
June 2014 Winner - Jesil Poku
Jesil arrived as a level 2 having achieved level 2 in year 6 and is now getting level 4s-amazing progress in just over 2 terms. Full details are on the form but Paul said he's a joy to teach and always gives 100%.
May 2014 Award - Zachary Grandy-Smith
Since Year 8 Zachary has been committed to Morning basketball sessions organised by the mentoring team. During this period Zachary has shown leadership to younger students by coaching and encouraging their attendance. As a consequence school attendance and punctuality has increased and Zachary personally has matured and developed into a reliable polite member of the school community.
April 2014 Award - Kirsty Anane
Kirsty has been nominated the Jack Petchey Achievement Award, as she has made a positive contribution to girls sport at St. Paul’s Academy, not only in this academic year, but throughout out her time at St. Paul’s. Kirsty is known across the school for her hard work, commitment and drive in sport, in particular in athletics where she has represented the school and Cambridge Harriers Athletics club, and of recent, in handball where she is training for the Greenwich team. She has thrived in her role as Sports Leader, and has shown her passion, teamwork and enthusiasm for sport across the board in various activities such as charity events, competitions, sports day and sporting fixtures. Finally, Kirsty has successfully helped the PE department to increase the profile of girls’ sport, ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities to participate in sport at St. Paul’s.
March 2014 Award - Cinderella Orah
Cinderella is a valued member of the Gospel Choir. At the last two celebrations she has been a featured soloist with the choir. She has grown in confidence as a performer and has become an excellent role member for the younger students.
February 2014 Award - Matthew Ajiboye
Matthew has been an asset to the volunteering scheme implemented at school and has been an ambassador by completing 22 hours in local ecosystems from July 2012-May 2013. Matthew has worked in an array of environments ranging from Stave Hill Eco Park to the local grounds of the school. Tasks that have been assigned include; hedge laying, river clearance, litter duty, bramble clearance, marshland restoration and planting trees. At all events Matthew has shown to be a motivated and determined individual who is not afraid of hard work.
January 2014 Award - Molly Adeloye
Molly won this award as a result of a vote from her fellow peers. She is a senior Sports Leader within the Academy – helping to organise a run a range of extra-curricular clubs. These clubs include Gymnastics, Trampolining, football, rowing and Gaelic football. She is always helpful, polite, honest and dedicated - clearly an inspiration to her peers and teachers.