Many of us have heard about Jack Petchy whether it was from an assembly in school or just from some website. The name Jack Petchy is common, and most people have come across that name. But who exactly is this person?


Well Jack Petchy was an incredible inspiration and is seen as a huge role model to many people. He was born into a working-class family in the East End in 1925, left school at a very young age of thirteen and then joined the Navy in 1943. After leaving the Navy, he began working as a clerk for a solicitor’s firm. He applied for management training but was told he would never make a businessman. This must have been a very hard experience for him as he joined the navy a boy and left as a man trying to get into management but was rejected without thought. However instead of accepting that rejection Sir Jack Petchy used the money he was given from his services in the Navy to buy a secondhand car and started a taxi business. Through hard work and perseverance, he proved to them that he could do it and built a multi-million-pound empire. 


Sir Jack’s experiences and the obstacles he managed to overcome led to an increase in passion in young people as they strived harder to reach their personal goals and aspirations. In 2016, Sir Jack Petchy received his knighthood in recognition of his many years of charitable work furthermore acknowledging his wonderful work.  


I recently had the opportunity to be able to participate in the Jack Petchy Speak Out Challenge. Designed and delivered by Speakers Trust, and funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation, this program has become a well-established workshop and a part of school life across London and Essex. It allows young people to be able to build their confidence through their speaking skills. It allows children to be able to communicate confidently, effectively and with purpose. This is a very meaningful workshop as many kids feel as if they don’t have a voice or are too scared to let their voice be heard. 


This means a free full day of learning skills associated with public speaking for Year 10 students. Speakers Trust’s expert trainers create a safe environment for the students to have an interactive and fun time during this day.  Throughout the day there is lot of structured exercises for individuals and groups that can provide young people with opportunities to share their views. When I took part in this event, I managed to pick up skills that I know will stay with me for the future. The most important lesson I learnt was the practice makes progress. Although we are used to practice makes perfect, during my time there I realized that no one can be perfect but if you keep doing it then there is no doubt in progress coming your way. If other students are handed this opportunity, I strongly encourage people to try it out.