Jack Petchey Achievement Award

Friday, 16 October 2009.
Jack Petchey Achievement Award

It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner for the first month’s award. September’s winner is Adam Reynolds in 11H. Adam has brittle bone disease and has been wheelchair-bound since he was 5 years old. 

He had his first operation at the age of 7, when he was first cared for by Great Ormond Street Hospital, or GOSH as it’s also known. Since then he has had further treatment at the hospital and now is one of its top fundraisers. In May 2008 the musician Mark Knopfler and his band were playing at the Royal Albert Hall for a week and he donated each night’s profits to a charity. One of those nights was for the benefit of GOSH and it was Adam they chose to speak on their behalf. Adam wrote his own speech, which included telling people about his condition, how it was treated and why GOSH needed extra funds. He spoke to an audience of 13,000 people and brought a tear to many who listened. Mark Knopfler donated £40,000 to GOSH that night.

As a thank you to Adam, GOSH gave him a VIP ticket to attend the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last year, which was won by Lewis Hamilton. Knowing that he would be with VIPs and having access to the teams, Adam used his initiative and took a bucket with him to the event! At the end of the day he had raised £4,500 for GOSH and was awarded the top fundraiser prize at the event. He met Lewis Hamilton and also Jackie Stewart and had a photo taken with Lewis. Every year a Winter Wonderland Ball is held in Virginia Water, Surrey to raise funds for GOSH and Bishopsgate School. Again, Adam was asked to speak at this event when £82,000 was shared between the two organisations. Every Christmas GOSH holds an annual treat for their patients and Adam has been a regular attendee. He met Sir Paul McCartney on one occasion and last year read some of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” with Rupert Everett! Adam was also on ‘This Morning’ TV last year, when he was again publicising GOSH. The hospital also asked him to guest edit one of their publicity magazines, which he enjoyed. In 2007 Adam was a recipient of The Diana Award for his service to the community.

More recently Adam attended the Royal Berkshire Shooting Club (clay pigeon) fundraiser where the Red Arrows and Black Cats (helicopters) performed overhead. After his speech Adam had lunch with the pilots of both teams. £111,000 was raised for GOSH. Within school Adam always helps raise money for Children in Need and Comic Relief by selling raffle tickets, cakes and running competitions like ‘guess the name of the bear’. In the summer of 2008 Adam won a commendation for ‘Kid of the Year’ from Essex FM. Despite his own condition, nothing is ever too much trouble for him. He constantly thinks of helping others, particularly children. We think you’ll agree that Adam is an absolute role model and complete ‘star’, who thoroughly deserves to be the first Notley High School winner of the Jack Petchey Achievement Award. He receives a certificate, pin badge, his name placed on the Roll of Honour and £200 to donate to a charity of his choice - Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Adam, together with the winners for October and November, will be invited to attend the local celebration evening run by the Jack Petchey Foundation. This will be held on Monday 7 December at The Institute, Bocking End; 7.30 pm. The three students’ families and friends will also be invited, along with some members of Notley High School staff. They will be joined by students from other participating schools in the area. Students will be awarded a gold Jack Petchey medallion at the celebration.

It is hoped that more parents, relatives, staff and fellow students will nominate more young people at Notley High School for this award. A nomination may be submitted for anything a student has achieved, whether it be for charity or community work, sport, music, dance or really anything which is a ‘personal best’ for them. Nomination forms are available at the school Reception or can be downloaded from the Jack Petchey link on the school website.