An incredible 54 Girl Guides from across South-east London came together to receive Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards presented at the Albany, Deptford on Tuesday, November 28.
The event honoured Achievement Award winners aged 11-25 who received medallions to go with their framed certificate and a cheque for £250 each. They were nominated by their peers and leaders, winning awards for a variety of achievements big and small but always for doing their best.
In addition, eight adults were celebrated with Leader Awards who have demonstrated, in an outstanding way, an ability to motivate young people. They received a medallion and a framed certificate.
The Guides London South East region has received funding of £188,513 from the Jack Petchey Foundation since funding started in 2007.
The Mayor of the Greenwich, Councillor Peter Brook said “I am honoured to be able to present these awards to the Guides who have achieved so much personally and then have given back to their communities.
“These young people are fantastic role models for their peers and it’s been great to hear about their achievements – I know that this is just the start of their journey.”
Jenni Randall, county commissioner, from the Guides said “We are so grateful to the Jack Petchey Foundation for what they have helped us achieve over the last 10 years. Not only have the grants enabled us to subsidise many trips and camps and purchase equipment, the awards have also given us a mechanism to recognise Guides in our county who go above and beyond through peer recognition which aligns so well with our girl led programme. I am very proud of all of the winners here this evening and those who have been recognised over the last 10 years.”
Winners included Charlotte Biro, aged 11, who is part of the 1st Rew Guides Unit in Eltham Fellow Guides voted to nominate Charlotte because she inspires them a great deal. Charlotte is a young carer. She helps looks after three of her siblings. Charlotte helps her older sister to take the younger ones to the shop to buy food and occasionally clothes. She also helps dress them, wash them and teach them how to behave.
On top of this she makes sure they do their homework and she reads to them. Charlotte puts her younger siblings to bed and keeps them occupied in the morning.
The other Guides are supportive of Charlotte and they admire the way that she makes light of her responsibilities – ‘she is always smiling’ said one girl. With Charlotte caring for her parents in this way, she is enabling them to take part in the community and she contributes to keeping the wheels on her family unit.
The girls are ‘blown away’ by Charlotte’s commitments to looking after her family and they rally to do things for her at Guides to help her back. Her unit said Guides are learning about the different challenges there are in families and how much responsibility some children, like Charlotte, have.
She decided to spend her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on equipment for her unit.
Charlotte Davis, aged 13, is part of the 3rd Lee North Guides Unit in Lewisham. She has a long-term health issue but this has never stopped her from participating fully in all aspects of Guiding. Charlotte is described as “kind, friendly” and a “smiley and funny person”.
This shows how much she has grown. Charlotte was a reserved girl when she joined the Guides but they have watched her gain confidence and assurance in her willingness to tackle new challenges.
She has also volunteered to help collect food for a food bank. Her peers describe her as a considerate Guide with a sense of humour while adults called her modest and a valuable member of the Guides who thoroughly deserves this award.
Charlotte decided to spend her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on a trip for her unit to go trampolining.
Niamh Chamberlain, aged 11, attends the 10th Lee South Guides Unit in Lewisham. Niamh is a really dedicated member of the unit. She joins in all activities with enthusiasm but she also goes the extra mile and makes a great effort to do activities outside the meeting place.
For example, she helped her group raise over £90 for Cancer Research through cleaning and car washing.
Not only is she very reliable but she always remembers to bring in materials requested for meetings whether it’s for the Harvest Festival or supporting her Patrol where she is showing great signs
Niamh spent her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on a trip for her unit to go ice skating.
Alicea Hylton-Balfour, aged 14, attends the Guides in Southwark. Alicea is one of her unit’s pioneers, starting as a Brownie, seven years ago, and is now a Guide.
A confident and vibrant individual, Alicea is always on hand to help when needed and has been a ‘buddy’ to any Brownie who joins their Brownie Unit. Alicea, is also a talented musician, an aspiring actress and an athletic netballer! Alicea spent her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant on a trip for her unit to go to a trampoline park.
Asha Francis, aged 14, attends the Forest Hill & Sydenham District unit. She was described as caring, always helpful and a team player. When her unit do their planning, Asha makes sure everyone in the patrol gets to decide on something to do.
While Asha is a quiet member of the unit she is the one that the girls always go to first for help. She now helps at Brownies as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award and the Brownies like having her around. They always ask her for help especially drawing things. As a result of her involvement in the Guides, Asha has gained confidence and will now always speak out when she has any suggestions.
Asha used her £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award grant to treat her unit by taking them out for pizza.
Sir Jack founded the Jack Petchey Foundation in 1999 to recognise the positive contributions young people make to society and to support them in achieving their potential.
Since then it has provided support to a wide range of 2,000 initiatives supporting young people across London and Essex and has invested over £110m.
Sir Jack Petchey CBE aged 92, said “I am passionate about our awards scheme which enables young people to be recognised, valued and rewarded for their achievements and positive contributions to society.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.