'An absolutely brilliant evening': Havering's inspirational youngsters recognised at second Jack Petchey Awards night in Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 16:00 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:26 24 January 2020
The Mayor of Havering described it as a "real privilege" to honour some of the borough's inspirational youngsters at the second night of the borough's Jack Petchey Awards last night.
Cllr Michael Deon Burton was one of the night's VIP's alongside Havering Council's assistant director for education and Recorder chief reporter Matt Clemenson, who all presented Jack Petchey Foundation award winners with their medallions at Hornchurch's Queen's Theatre on Thursday, January 23.
The Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme recognises outstanding young people aged 11-25 across London and Essex, and the winners are young people who have gone above and beyond to achieve - perhaps when others thought they might fail.
Thursday night saw 84 young people and inspirational leaders from across 10 Havering Schools receive their prizes.
Cllr Deon Burton told the Recorder: "It was an absolutely brilliant evening.
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"My enjoyment of the entire night was heightened by the sheer professionalism on display from the young people involved, who all deserve a night like this to celebrate their innate talent.
"If ever a group of young people have served as true ambassadors for Havering then this was the night that typified it."
During the course of the awards night on Thursday, the audience were treated to performances from the Drapers' Academy Choir, which performed a version of REO Speedwagon's Can't Fight This Feeling; Drapers' pupil Bethany Dunn, who performed a solo original song named Conversations; the Frances Bardsley Academy Chamber Choir, which performed two songs; and a band from Emerson Park Academy who performed a jazz number entitled Real Thing.
Cllr Deon Burton revealed he had been very impressed with each of the performances, and planned to reach out to each school's headteacher to invite the performers for tea at the Mayor's Parlour at Romford Town Hall to say thank you.
He added: "The least I could do is offer everyone a cup of tea.
"Thursday night was so enjoyable because there seems to be so much negativity around young people these days, so be able to put forward a more positive view and share the news that some of our young people are doing amazing things was tremendously enjoyable and a real privilege."