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Editor’s comment: How Jack is inspiring our young people

PUBLISHED: 10:20 25 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:20 25 September 2017

Children excitedly waiting at the Havering Jack Petchey Awards. Picture: JACK PETCHEY FOUNDATION

Children excitedly waiting at the Havering Jack Petchey Awards. Picture: JACK PETCHEY FOUNDATION

Jack Petchey Foundation

East End entrepreneur Jack Petchey has a saying ‘If you think you can, you can’.

And for decades the likeable chap, whose attitude towards the young is refreshingly fresh, unwavering and optimistic, has drummed this into hundreds of thousands of children.

Sir Jack Petchey CBE - quite rightly bestowed with the prestigious Queen’s honour unlike some I could mention - is so down to earth and in tune with young people he puts most of us to shame. He champions their cause, helps them achieve their dreams and gives them encouragement, self-belief and recognition.

His saying is something that resonates with me. Only the other day I found myself reciting his words to my four-year-old girl as we counted to 15 together. She stumbled on 14 and said ‘I can’t!’ In a flash I nabbed Jack’s line, passing it off as my own.

It’s quite true that if you honestly believe you can’t achieve something it’s very likely you will not - probably because you will simply give up.

And it’s why his message and the Jack Petchey Achievement Awards are so important.

They help celebrate educational and sporting prowess, honour those who’ve overcome personal barriers and reward hard work. And they support various partner programmes and fund grants for a network of volunteers. But most of all they encourage and recognise young people who are working hard to be the best they can be. Today on the pages of the Recorder we celebrate the success of scores of children who’ve received a Jack Petchey Achievement Award this year.

For years the Recorder has celebrated the success of our young people and will continue to do so for years to come.

I would like to pass on my congratulations to all those honoured on Monday - including the adults who received leader awards.

I hope Jack’s inspirational words stick in their minds forever. I’ll make sure my daughter, who counted to 15 on her own that day, lives by them.

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