The Jack Petchey Foundation has handed out over 150, 000 Achievement Awards in the last 15 years so it was only a matter of time before we had an Achievement Family. The Smiths from Chislehurst have won 4 Jack Petchey awards in the last 5 years!
Chris Smith (20) received his Achievement Award in June 2009 from Bexley Football Club for being a great team player and representing Bexley in the London Youth Games.
Not long after, younger brother Matt (18) won an award from them too. He also played for Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s Advanced Centre from 8-16. Although Matt excels in physical activities, he will be pushing himself mentally next year when he completes the World Challenge in Mongolia.
Their mother, Julie Smith (51), was nominated for her Leader Award in January 2013. Julie has been involved with Bexley FC since Chris joined 8 years ago. The club’s JP coordinator said "Julie has been the Kent Youth League Fixture Secretary for all of that time but she does so much more than that. She runs the canteen every other week, she is one of the main helpers when any fundraising event is held and she helps to organise our annual Awards Presentation. I'm not sure how we could ever run the club as efficiently without her."
The Smiths’ most recent Achievement Award went to Emily. The 13 year old was put forward by Bullers Wood School in Chislehurst, after asking her fellow Year 8 students to donate books which she took to Demelza House.
This ten-bedded children’s hospice in Kent was not a random choice. Emily's father, Graham, has completed several challenges to raise money for Children’s Trust at Tadworth and Demelza Hospice. He says “Last year I cycled from Bristol to London but, unbeknownst to me, Emily had decided to collect a book for each of the 187 miles I completed!”
Emily surpassed all expectations and managed to gather well over two hundred books. Demelza Hospice was so grateful to Emily that they invited her to their Elthem centre to see their fantastic work.
It’s clear that success runs in the family. Graham took his FA qualifications and was a volunteer coach at Bexley FC for several years – hence Chris, Matt and Julie’s involvement in the club. “I am really proud of what my family has achieved so far and what they are doing for the future,” he says. “I keep telling them they get it all from me, not sure they believe me though!”
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