The Jack Petchey Foundation “Backing Young People Since 1999”
He is one of the UK’s most successful businessmen and now in his eighties, is still as active as ever. Jack Petchey left school at fourteen before joining the navy during the second world war, but after applying for a management position with a company he was told “You’ll never make a businessman”.
He vowed to go it alone and with £60 to his name, he bought a car and started a car hire business, later branching into the property world. In 1969 he took on a holiday complex in the Algarve, and founded Petchey Leisure, the successful timeshare business which continues to manage resorts in Spain, Portugal and the UK.
Petchey remains active in the world of business – on May 4th the newspaper The Independent profiled Petchey in a feature, but just as important to him as business ventures is his own charity, The Petchey Foundation.
He set up the Jack Petchey Foundation in 1999 with the goal of giving young people in London with bleak prospects new opportunities, and over the years donated millions – to the sum of around £65 million – to schools, clubs and projects in the London area. Just five years after launching the Foundation, in 2004 Jack Petchey was awarded an OBE at Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty The Queen. His life story, ’50/50 Man – The Jack Petchey Story’ is available through the Foundation.
Since 1999 highlights of the Foundation’s work include:
• Grants totalling over £65million have been given to youth and school projects.
• The achievements of over 70,000 young people have been recognised and rewarded through its Achievement Award Scheme.
• Almost 2,000 schools and clubs in London and Essex currently participate in the Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme.
• Sponsorship of many overseas/community projects including; Fulcrum Challenge, Raleigh International, Groundwork East London
• Over £4 million has been given to support ‘Out of School Hours’ or ‘Study Support’ programmes in various Boroughs.
• £500,000 given to establish the ‘Centre for Entrepreneurship’ at the University of East London.
• £1 million to support the Summer Uni programme in all London boroughs – matching the London Challenge grant.
• Supporting young homeless people through the Barking & Dagenham Foyer, which opened in 2009.
• Petchey has made a major contribution to education in Hackney through the Petchey Academy.