Barking and Dagenham students shine at the Jack Petchey Awards

Dozens of inspirational young people were cheered on by their peers last night as they picked up prestigious Jack Petchey awards during a lively stage show.

A total of 84 young people from one college and 10 secondary schools across Barking and Dagenham were recognised for achievements ranging from academic success to sporting prowess during the ceremony at The Broadway theatre in Barking.

Entertainment for proud parents, teachers and fellow pupils in the audience came in the form of energetic musical renditions and modern dance sketches which were put on by the pupils themselves.

The awards, which have been going for more than a decade in the borough, are run by the Jack Petchey Foundation - a charity set up by the philanthropist to highlight the many accomplishments of young people in east London.

Helen Jenner, corporate director of children’s services for Barking and Dagenham Council told the Post: “The thing that’s so important about Jack Petchey is it rewards people for trying extremely hard. If you are going to be successful you are going to have to work hard for it.

“It’s about everybody believing in themselves. It’s not as straight forward as academic achievement – it gives a chance to reward people for a huge range of efforts and what’s so fantastic is the students are so motivated by it.”

Each of the winning teenagers went up to collect a special medal from mayor Milton McKenzie during the ceremony.

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They had also been given �200 to spend on classroom facilities in their chosen subject.