Jack Petchey Foundation
If you think you can, you can!

Achievement Awards

Our flagship programme is the Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme, recognising outstanding young people between the ages of 11-25 throughout London and Essex.

Achievement Award winner

Over 1600 schools, colleges and youth organisations throughout London and Essex run the scheme, which contributes millions of pounds each year. The scheme is a reward and recognition initiative which enables schools and youth organisations to celebrate the achievements of their young people as well as receive additional funding.

“We do it because we want to help young people raise their aspirations, believe in themselves and make a contribution to their society” said Sir Jack Petchey CBE.

The following pages provide more information about the programme, how to apply, and for those already operating it, tips and guidance on how to run it successfully. At the bottom of the page you can also find a short video on the scheme.

How does the scheme work?

1. Participating groups regularly select a young person to receive an Achievement Award.

2. The nomination and selection processes are led by the young people within your organisation.

3. When a winner is selected they are publicly congratulated for their achievement and receive:

  • A framed certificate and badge
  • Membership of the JPF Achievers community
  • £250 to be spent on a something of their choice that will benefit your organisation (for example, a piece of equipment, a day out for the team, a specialist trainer to come in give a session). 

4. Award winners are further recognised by attending one of our celebration events where they are congratulated on stage in front of friends and family. 

5. In order to make this run smoothly, each school or club has a ‘coordinator’ who is responsible for the internal management and overseeing of the scheme in the school. This person can be in regular contact with our Grants Officers to gain support and advice.

What are the benefits of being part of the scheme?

Organisations on the scheme have told us about the benefits to their members / students:

“We have worked hard at installing a sense of club loyalty and pride in our Young Athletes in the hope that it would increase membership retention. This has worked better than expected...The Achievement Award scheme has played a major part in this, not only in enabling us to purchase equipment that enhances the 'athletics experience' but also in the monthly presentations which are eagerly anticipated by our members.”
Highgate Harriers.

“In short over the last five years the school community has benefited enormously from the work, generosity and inspiration of the Jack Petchey Foundation. Not just in monetary terms via the provision of resources for all pupils to use, but via the development of individual children and young people. Many of our girls, given the school’s high poverty deprivation index, would not otherwise have experienced the various activities and more importantly the growth in their self-belief which the Foundation in its various guises has provided. We would recommend the scheme to any school or institution for young people who are thinking of joining, as far as we are concerned there are no downsides to this partnership.”
St Ursula's Convent School

And importantly so, through the voices of the award winners themselves:

Nicole, aged 16, received an Achievement Award from her school for the excellent progress she’s made in her Life Skills coursework and for her fantastic contribution through performing. She explained the difference the award had made to her: “It’s very important to me because it shows me how well I have done in my school work and my singing at school; it’s given me confidence in myself”.

Wasim, aged 17, received an Achievement Award for his teamwork, positive attitude and the contributions he made to his school’s Peace Week. He said, “Jack Petchey really cares about the youth of today. He is investing in the future, not only in a financial way. By celebrating young people’s achievements, he is providing the impetus to go on to achieve further success – which is what I hope to do!

I strongly believe in Jack Petchey’s motto, ‘If you think you can, you can’. Young people need to set themselves reachable targets and grasp the opportunities that come their way to be successful in the future!”

How many awards do schools / youth organisations give out?

Organisations on the Achievement Award will either be on the Bronze, Silver or Gold level of the scheme.

Those on Bronze level will give out three awards each year (£750)
Those on Silver level will give out six awards each year (£1,500)
Those on Gold level will give out nine awards each year (£2,250)

Grants Officers assess the level of participation for an organisation based on the following factors:

  • The nature of the activity.
  • The length/frequency of contact.
  • Turnover of group membership.
  • Regular numbers of young people attending.
  • Opportunities for young people to participate in running the Achievement Award scheme.

Interview - Marc Grayston, Co-ordinator at the Maru Karate Kai Club, Essex

1) Tell us about the Maru Karate Kai club
Maru Karate Kai is a karate organisation in Basildon, focusing on ‘karate for confidence’. We have around 75 junior members who take part in weekly sessions, ranging from the age of 4 up to the age of 18.
2) How did you find out about the Jack Petchey Foundation?
We were recommended to the foundation by another member of the scheme who we had worked with locally. They suggested that with the work we do with young people, it would make sense for us to join up and recognise the work being done by the young people in our clubs.
3) What did you have to do to join the Achievement Award scheme?
Maru Karate Kai are a community club and before we joined the Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award scheme we realised that we need to go through a strict governance review on ourselves – this included a formal constitution and annual financial reports, something we had never thought of before. But realistically, this governance process has not only allowed us to join the Jack Petchey Foundation scheme, but also to unlock further funding from grant organisations like BBC Children in Need and the Big Lottery Fund.
4) What are the advantages of being in the scheme?
Primarily, it’s about empowering the young people in our organisation. The Achievement Awards are an added bonus, but the fact that the young people can have their voice heard and be recognised for the hours of work they put in is fantastic to see. Furthermore, it allows us as a club to grow and continue to develop young people in their endeavours inside and outside of the club environment.
5) What does being a Jack Petchey Foundation Co-ordinator involve?
Communication and some due diligence – but it has never been a hassle or a bind. Honestly, the foundation are one of my favourite organisations to work with, the people, the processes, right through to the awards evenings are just amazing. I’ve never once felt like the small amount of admin has been too much, it all works with a common sense approach and it’s more of a partnership now I think.
6) How do you pick young people to receive an Achievement Award?
The young people choose themselves – we use a pool of previous winners to help identify and choose nominees and then the winners. It’s a process that works really well for us and allows the young people to be in control of who gets the awards.
7) Can you give an example of someone who got an Achievement Award?
One of our first Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award winners was Ryan Chandler. He won his award with the karate club when he was 14, which followed swiftly on the heels of him winning a separate Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award at school. He has gone on to be one of our lead instructors at the club and now actively takes classes on his own. Since winning the Achievement Awards he has gone on to teach and perform all over the UK, as well as in Italy.
8) How do you pick adults to get Leader Awards?
Our young winners put nominees forward every year and then make a decision. We have had three previous Leader Awards and it’s always really nice to recognise the adults who go the extra mile.
9) Can you give an example of someone who got a Leader Award?
Our Parent Committee Chairman, Martin Massey won a parent award for his continued dedication and passion for the club. He was thrilled when he won – and to be honest he goes on about it A LOT!
10)  What kind of things have the Achievement Awards been spent on?
Typically, our young people spend their achievement awards on days out for the club. We have bought a video camera in the past to record events and we’ve subsidised seminars for the kids. We have made a wish list too, but the kids here are really creative!
11) Once you were part of the Achievement Award scheme what other opportunities have you had?
The Small Grants scheme which we unlocked through the Leader Award has allowed us to plan larger events, like a karate seminar that we planned, or like this year, a Japanese cultural event for our students.
12) Have any of your Achievement Award winners taken part in the Achievers Network programme?
We have had two so far – Charlotte and Ryan both took part in the network programme and got so much out of it. They were constantly challenged and found the mentoring to be great. They were both so pleased to be chosen.

“We do it because we want to help young people raise their aspirations, believe in themselves and make a contribution to their society.”

Achievement Pack

“Jamie was nominated for the Jack Petchey Achievement Award by both his peers and staff for outstanding sportsmanship. Jamie has the ability to involve everyone when he is taking part in sport including those less able students, he is very supportive of staff and will often help staff set up equipment and tidy away.  His peers would describe him as kind and considerate and he has a great sense of humour.”

“Honestly, the foundation are one of my favourite organisations to work with, the people, the processes, right through to the awards evenings are just amazing.”