Sir Jack Petchey CBE 1925-2024

By : wpx_ | June 28, 2024

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Sir Jack Petchey this week.  Sir Jack has been an instrumental figure in Speakers Trust’s story so far, and a hugely generous supporter of a wide range of youth programmes across London and Essex.

Sir Jack Petchey CBE set up the Jack Petchey Foundation 25 years ago to inspire and celebrate young people. Since then, his Foundation has invested over £170 million in programmes to benefit almost 1.2 million young people aged 11-25 across London and Essex. He was passionate about giving young people the skills to express themselves and to get their thoughts across in a positive and impactful way.

Russell Findlay, Chief Executive of Speakers Trust said

“One of the first things Sir Jack told me was how a one-day public speaking course changed his life, by enabling him to conquer his fear of public speaking.  It is humbling to think that he not only conquered his fear, but helped more than 300,000 young people to conquer theirs.  His legacy is seen in the young people, who I constantly meet and who point to the experience that Jack gave them as transformational in their lives.”

Thanks to Sir Jack’s vision and generosity and the partnership with Speakers Trust, Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge has become the UK’s largest youth public speaking competition and has changed over 300,000 young people’s lives over the last two decades.

We look forward to continuing Sir Jack’s work, so that another generation of young people have the confidence, and skills to speak and be heard.

We have joined hundred of others in sharing our thoughts on Sir Jack’s life and contribution here.