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

Our Timeline

See some of our highlights and proudest moments below...and here's to many more! 

1925
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Jack Petchey is born!

Sir Jack Petchey CBE is the man we owe it all too! On the 19th July he was born and it goes without saying that without him, there would be no Jack Petchey Foundation!

1948
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Jack the business man takes flight!

After being told he was simply 'not management material', Sir Jack decided to 'go it alone'. He bought a motorcar and founded his first Car Hire business. 

1999
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The Foundation is born!

After many years as an incredibly successful business man, Sir Jack decides he wants to formalise his charitable giving and on 4th August the Jack Petchey Foundation is founded. The Achievement Award is founded and by the end of the year 1,140 awards have been given.

2000
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A million for the Millennium

Something special was needed to celebrate the year 2000! Therefore, £1,000,000 was set aside for a “Millennium Awards” Fund. Applications were invited through the ‘Recorder’ series of newspapers, and 141 organisations were given special grants. The Foundation continues to support many of these groups.

2001
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Adults recognised too!

In 2001 the Leader Award scheme really took off. Organisations already recognising young people through the Achievement Award scheme realised that the Leader Award allowed them to celebrate the extraordinary dedication of adult staff and volunteers too. To date we have recognised nearly 7,000 incredible leaders!

2004
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Jack Petchey Foundation takes to sunny shores

In the 1970s, Sir Jack had established the Clube Praia da Oura, a holiday resort in Albufeira, Portugal. After thirty years of bringing tourists to the region, and with the Foundation now established in the U.K., in 2004 the Portuguese arm of the Jack Petchey Foundation was born recognising Schools and clubs in the Albufeira district. 

2004
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First grant to young people with disabilities

November 2004 saw the Jack Petchey Foundation give its first grant in support of the Panathlon Challenge. To date we are incredibly proud to have given over £420,000. This investment in Panathlon has supported the charity’s mission to help young disabled people use sport and fair play for both personal and social development.

2005
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Supporting aspiring young entrepreneurs.

In respect of Sir Jack's own entrepreneurial drive, the Foundation gave a £500,000 donation in order to set up the Petchey Centre for Entrepreneurship (PCE) which is based at the University of East London’s Business School and Knowledge Dock.

2005
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Jack's birthday gift to the Scouts

The Summer of 2005 saw Jack turn 80 and present the Scouts with a “birthday gift” of £500,000 was to support the redevelopment of Gilwell Park, an International Scout Activity Centre on the edge of Epping Forest (in North-East London).

As work progressed, a further donation was made towards the building of a new lodge for visiting Scouts to stay in overnight. The “Jack Petchey Lodge” was eventually opened in 2008, the first of a new generation of residential facilities at Gilwell Park.

2006
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The Petchey Academy opens its school gates

2006 saw the Foundation invest in the Petchey Academy. A year later when students and staff moved into the new buildings, every student was given a wooden acorn - a reminder of the expression that “great oaks from little acorns grow”.

2006
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London & Essex Speak Out!

2006 saw the launch of the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge. 2,500 students from 100 East London schools were invited to take part in what was then the country’s biggest public speaking event. Today it is even bigger with 18,000 young people, making their voices heard and taking part this year alone. In total we have trained over 100,000 young people!

2007
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Stepping forward!

In 2007, the Foundation joined forces with the Royal Academy of Dance to launch “Step into Dance”. The aim was to provide access to diverse forms of dance in schools for boys and girls between 11-16 years old. Today the programme is a huge success with a work expanded to special schools, a gifted and talented company and many performances taking place at Sadlers Wells.

2007
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Parading in celebration.

November 2007 saw the Jack Petchey Foundation's first entry to the Lord Mayor's Show in London. Since then we have entered at least every two years and proudly walked through the streets of the City in celebration of the achievements of our young people.

2008
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Seeing clearly.

Two of the bigger grants in 2008 had a personal angle for Sir Jack, who had recently undergone cataract surgery and experienced the amazing difference it made to his sight. Mercy Ships, a charity which brings medical aid to developing countries on board hospital ships, was given £120,000 for a programme of cataract operations in Liberia. In addition Sightsavers International was given £50,000 to carry out similar work in Kenya.

2009
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TS Petchey takes to the open waves

2009 saw the Jack Petchey Foundation donate £1million to enable The Marine Society & Sea Cadets to build a new power-training ship for young people. She is named ‘T.S. Jack Petchey. Sir Jack, who was himself a member of the Royal Navy (having joined in 1943 at HMS Collingwood) commented: “If the 16,000 Sea Cadets and 3,000 instructors expected to train with T.S. Jack Petchey get a fraction of the benefit I did from being in the Navy I’ll be overjoyed.”

2010
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Ten year 'Gateway to music' celebration

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Jack Petchey Foundation, ten London Boroughs joined forces to bring together a large scale concert called ‘Gateway to Music’ at Sadler’s Wells. 

2010 also saw the Foundation produce their first 'Listen Up' report asking the thoughts, hopes and opinions of over 4,000 of London and Essex's young people. 

2010
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Bounce!

October 2010 saw the Jack Petchey Foundation give its first grant to Table Tennis England and start the Jack Petchey Table Tennis competition in schools. To date countless young people have participated and hundreds of schools have been equipped with free table tennis tables!

2010
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Going global through volunteering 

2010 saw the launch of what is now an incredibly popular grant programme - the Individual Grants for Volunteers. The purpose of this fund is to give young people the opportunity to achieve more out of life and take on new challenges. This year alone we have supported over 500 young people in their projects.

2011
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The Achiever's Network is launched.

The Jack Petchey Foundation launched a unique network which will aimed to empower young people to participate in our work and inspire others. We wanted to harness the enthusiasm and potential of young people so we went in search of young leaders from across London and Essex. The Achievers Network has now run for 3 years and is going strong with each year seeing a new cohort of dynamic motivated young people.

2011
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Young people saving lives.

On average, 65 people a day in the UK are diagnosed with cancer of the blood and there are nearly 1,600 people in the UK in need of a bone marrow transplant. 2011 saw the Foundation join forces with Anthony Nolan to raise awareness of blood cancer and recruit more young donors to the stem cell register. We are now a major partner of Anthony Nolan's work and the 'Register and be a lifesaver' programme.

2011
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Don't stop believin'

2011 saw our first Glee Club Challenge. Since then the competition has got bigger and better every year. Boot camps, celebrity judges and a lot of excitement. Summing up the competition an audience member said “The standard was incredibly high. I was really impressed and moved to tears by the commitment and enthusiasm of these fabulous young people.” 

2012
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Listening to you!

In light of the difficulties for young people finding jobs, 2012 saw us go directly to you to ask how we should best allocate our funds. We held a Think Tank and submitted a proposal to our Director's afterwards. This led to a number of new programmes supporting young people in the transition from education to employment. We invested in volunteering, supporting schools in their alumni building, positive thinking workshops and employability programmes. So thank you!

2013
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The Foundation goes Dragon's Den style!

2013 saw us launch something new in the form of a Dragon's Den style competition. Those shortlisted went onto a final in the new year after participating in a boot camp to help them present their community project as well as possible. Trudy Kilcullen MBE (our CEO) said, “I was really impressed with the way the groups conducted themselves and answered questions in what was a challenging competition. We are delighted to support them on their various projects, and look forward to following their progress over the coming months.”

2013
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Soundtrack to Success!

2013 saw the Jack Petchey Foundation launch its first search for a new anthem – one specifically written by young people. As you can imagine the standard of talent was immense and after a hugely competitive process we selected an anthem composed and written by Chris Hatwell with vocals by Amanda Ward. This is now featured on our main DVD and shown to thousands of young achievers every month.

2013
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Getting into the job market!

2013 saw the Jack Petchey Foundation extend its support for young people transitioning from education to employment through a partnership with Young Enterprise. Piloted in 2013 and extended in 2014, this programme offers schools the opportunity to give students professional skills training in interview techniques. In 2014 we aim to reach 3,000 students through 25 schools. 

2014
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To the big lights of Hollywood!

2014 started with a bang with our first film competition. A partnership with Media Trust and Cineworld saw us support young writers - getting their debut short films onto the big screen. 'Dream to Screen' saw winner Sarah's film showcased in Cineworld cinemas all over the UK and Ireland, in addition this year she'll take an exclusive, all-expenses-paid trip to LA to learn from Hollywood's leading talent, provided and organised by 20th Century Fox.

 2014/15
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Celebrating 15 years!

2014/15 saw the Foundation celebrating an incredible 15 years of supporting young people in London and Essex and we couldn't be more proud. 2014/15 saw a number of special celebrations and announcements. The icing on the top was Sir Jack Petchey turning 90 in summer 2015!  

2016
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Sir Jack Petchey CBE

The 2016 New Year's Honours List revealed a knighthood in recognition of charitable work.