BY LAURA SHARMAN
A former Olympic athlete presented young people from across South London with awards to mark their positive contributions to society.
Donna Fraser presented the winning youngsters with Jack Petchey Foundation medals, certificates and a £250 grant at the Open Door venue in Crystal Palace on Thursday.
The foundation has invested more than £110m in helping young people in London and Essex achieve their potential. Winners include grass roots youth clubs, youth organisations, secondary schools and uniformed organisations. Ms Fraser, whose own achievements include bronze medals in the 4x400m relay at the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki in 2005 and in Osaka in 2007, said: “Congratulations to all the award winners.
“The Jack Petchey Foundation has a great ethos. Always believe.”
Winners include 16-year-old Jamie Gilbey, Vanessa Ribeiro, Tom Baxendale and 13-year-old Ciaran Cave, nominated by their peers, parents and leaders for their achievements and for always doing their best.
Jamie was nominated by his ‘Forest Family’ at Go Wild With Us in Croydon. Despite struggling with relationships at school, Jamie has blossomed in the group, and chose to spend his £250 award money on camping equipment for the group.
Vanessa chose to spend her winnings on a trip to a trampoline centre for the Girls Football members, a youth charity programme in Lambeth where she was recognised for her leadership skills and helping new girls settle in.
A fellow club member said: “She makes everything easier for me when I play.”
Tom was recognised for his enthusiasm as a gymnast and coach at the Charisma Gymnastics Club in Southwark and will buy a new springboard for the club.
The youngest winner, Ciaran, was selected from Bexley Woolwich Cycling Club for tremendous improvements to his cycling skills and attitude, always having a smile on his face. Ciaran also represented the London Borough of Bexley at the Youth Games this year and will use his grant to take club members to Mote Park Watersports.
In addition, the leader awards celebrated 15 adults for their ability to motivate young people in an outstanding way, who each received a medallion and framed certificate.
South London youth organisations and schools have received £8,251,237 in funding from the Jack Petchey Foundation since 2006. Sir Jack 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.”
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