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In Memory of Andrew Billington

In Memory of Andrew Billington

In loving memory of Andrew Billington, First Director of the Jack Petchey Foundation, we are saddened to announce his passing.

Andrew was the first Director of Jack Petchey Foundation (1999-2008), having been asked by Sir Jack Petchey in 1998 to help him establish a charity that would formalise the way that Sir Jack could support the charity sector.

Andrew and Sir Jack in 1999 at the House of Commons

Andrew and Sir Jack in 1999 at the House of Commons with a group of young people


Andrew was the perfect choice for the task. Not only because of his many years’ experience of leadership in the voluntary sector, but also due to his energy, commitment, and focus on making the world a better place! It is a sign of Andrew’s energy and drive that just one year after Sir Jack asked for his help, the Foundation was officially entered on the register of charities.

The initial years of the Jack Petchey Foundation were exciting and pioneering as Andrew sought to ensure every young person had access to our flagship Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme. This rolled out firstly in East London, eventually expanding to the whole of London and Essex.

Building on Sir Jack’s high expectations for quality, Andrew laid the foundation for our prestigious Achievement Award celebrations by building a dedicated Events Team, using high-profile venues and theatres, and seeking out fabulous performances and great presenters to ensure that young people truly felt celebrated.

Andrew listened to Sir Jack’s desire to increase the confidence of young people and sought out partners such as Speakers Trust to help pilot the ‘Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge’. Later, after his retirement, he became the Chair of Speakers Trust to ensure that this work could expand and grow.

Andrew was a wonderful networker and helped the Foundation establish a name for itself. Through him, the Foundation worked with many local authorities to fund and initiate afterschool youth activities, to sponsor schools on the governments School Improvement Programme, to support the development of the TS Jack Petchey, and to even helping to establish the Petchey Academy – becoming the Chair of Governors in order to support its early development.

Andrew with some young people in Uganda who'd won Achievement Awards

Andrew in Uganda in 2005


Andrew was a giant of a person, always engaged and interested, willing to give things a go and wanting the best for everyone.

Sir Jack enjoyed working alongside Andrew and recognises him for his input into the success of the Foundation. Writing in 50/50 Man, his biography, Sir Jack said: “The Foundation may never have grown into what it is today nor have been as successful” without Andrew.

Many people admired him, respected him and learnt from him. Trustees and Staff at the Jack Petchey Foundation offer our deepest sympathy to his family and friends. He had a good heart and made a difference to many people.

He will be sadly missed.

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