St Ursula's Convent School, Greenwich
St. Ursula’s first became involved with the Jack Petchey Foundation in September 2006. A letter came through the post inviting the school to take part in the Jack Petchey Achievement Awards and since money was mentioned it was decided to apply to the scheme.
Since that time 52 pupils have benefitted directly from the generosity of the Foundation, garnering recognition, self-confidence and a sense of pride in what they have done and in what they are capable of doing in the future. Amongst other things girls have been given awards for services to their local community, for fundraising, for dedication to their chosen sport or performance art, for being young carers and for being outstanding role models not just to their peers, but to the adults around them.
The public celebration of their achievements at the annual Presentation has brought great joy to the winners and their families as well as very real enjoyment as they watch the various groups of young people perform on stage for their benefit. Performing at the 2011 Awards ceremony launched the St. Ursula’s Choir into the Jack Petchey Glee Club Competition where they fought their way through to the grand finale at the Savoy Theatre. The boot camps, choreographers, and artistic directors all gave the children new and valuable experiences which they will take with them into the future.
The generosity of Jack Petchey Foundation has allowed the school to enhance the curriculum with the aid of new resources such as musical instruments, books, PE equipment, cameras and new technology. Pupils have also benefitted from “small project grants” obtained under the aegis of the “Leader Award” which have paid for the construction of a shelter in the school playground and towards the cost of an on-going music project. We hope to make a successful bid for new media equipment in the New Year.
St. Ursula’s has also been involved with a degree of success in the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge competition which has helped individuals to gain confidence and kudos through public speaking.
In short over the last five years the school community has benefitted 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.
~ Frances Randell, Jack Petchey scheme coordinator at St Ursula's Convent School