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Posted on: 29/09/2020

A Big Shout Out to the Jack Petchey Winners at St Charles- January to June 2020

On Wednesday 23rd September 2020 a number of St Charles Sixth Form students were presented by Martin Twist, the college  Principal, with their well-deserved Jack Petchey certificates in front of a small, socially distancing group of staff who nominated them for the award. The award recognised their many contributions to the College and wider community.  Well done to all our winners in this round!

J Petchey 2020 September awards

January 2020 Winner – Feben Hagos

Feben was nominated by the performing arts department staff and its team of volunteers at St Charles.  She is described as a diligent and an extremely hard working student who made amazing progress on her course resulting in a fantastic D* D* outcome in her summer exams.   Her talent in dance was commended and celebrated when she was awarded an individual talent prize in the ‘Dance Energy’ Youth Showcase and competition at Cadogan Hall (London) last year. Feben was instrumental in creating the choreography for the competition, in addition to choreographing a significant amount of dances on her course. She also took on the role of lead choreographer in last year’s Christmas cabaret as well as performing superbly in it and supporting others with their performances.  Ms Nash states Feben was always super helpful in the department and across college and Ms Henriques comments that “there was never a moment in the day that I don't see her revising, making notes, rehearsing or helping the rest of her class and the year 12 performing arts students whom she has become an amazing role model for.”  Feben's peers respect her hard working attitude and regularly look to her for advice. Always professional, Feben is a willing volunteer at college events. Deeply affected by the Grenfell fire tragedy, she is an active campaigner against all forms of injustice in society. With all these superb talents and passion, we are confident Feben is destined to have a great future in the industry.


February 2020 Winner – Elvie Orosco

Elvie Orosco is in her final year at St Charles studying Level 3 Travel & Tourism & A Level Business.  Her teachers describe her as “totally motivated and committed to her studies and someone who is always willing to go the extra mile.” She has been a hardworking and diligent student throughout her time in sixth form and this work ethic did not waver when she was working remotely on her studies through Teams in lockdown.

Elvie is off to university in October 2020 to study a BA Honours in Airline & Airport Management, a very apt choice for her indeed.  Her Travel & Tourism teachers say she will be very much missed in the department as she was so generous in spirit and actions.  Having moved from the Philippines to join her family, who she had been separated from for 10 years, Elvie has now lived in the UK for four and a half years.  Elvie tells me although she misses “the hot climate and her friends” from the Philippines, living in the UK has helped her grow in independence and maturity as she had to take on lots more responsibilities here.  She also values the diversity London offers her and as well as making many new Filipino friends at St. Charles, she has also forged strong friendships with students from all cultural backgrounds, which she cites as a “real gift” of the college and the urban community she is part of.

In her home country Elvie was an active volunteer in Sunday School at her catholic church and this volunteering streak did not stop when she came to St Charles.  She has from day one given freely of her time to support the college community, helping out with a myriad of activities from open events to singing (Elvie loves to sing and perform!) at college liturgies. Her rendition of Hamilton at the college’s annual Christmas Cabaret was “a standout moment” according to Ms Nash, Head of Performing Arts.  An active member of the college’s Chaplaincy Committee and a regular participant in the annual retreat to Kintbury where she regularly took a leading role, she has led on many fundraising activities and awareness raising campaigns, benefitting the college population, so it is no surprise that in lockdown her sense of community spirit prevailed.  Firstly, Elvie has used her creative talents to create a great video tribute to the NHS and frontline workers (Watch this here: and then she helped produce a St Charles ‘Thank You’ poster dedicated to them, which was posted on the college website, featuring some St Charles alumni who now are front liners themselves.

As a young Filipino woman, she has also been volunteering with Filipino associations linked to the Philippine Embassy in London who do outreach and charity work to help Filipinos living in the UK.  Elvie, within government guidelines, has been reaching out to Filipino immigrants struggling in the pandemic with donations of food and essential items as well as organising “prayer brigades” dedicated to Covid-19 patients and frontliners with her local community throughout the pandemic.  She also recorded a hymn which is being played at online Sunday masses streamed at her local church.

Elvie gives 100% energy to everything she does so it is no surprise she’s kept herself busy helping others less fortunate than herself in these challenging times and we are in no doubt she will continue to play a full and active part in her future studies, university life and society!


March 2020 Winner – Enrique Beade Lopez

Enrique is an extremely resilient and dedicated student who has achieved in the face of adversity.  He was an excellent student on his L1 Business course last year and he has now reaped the rewards by successfully progressing to Level 2 Business in September 2020. Ms Capote described him as an excellent, hardworking and committed student on his L1 course “who held an exemplary attendance and punctuality record.” He displayed a positive attitude in relation to his work and personal life and it is evident he is willing to go above and beyond to achieve his goals”.  Staff who work with him describe him as a pleasure to work with and as a great team worker. Ms Wilson Gayle says “he is the perfect recipient for this award as he has worked extremely hard this year despite his personal struggles and that even when he feels discouraged, he always adopts a positive outlook.”

Mr James who supported Enrique states “It is nearly always hard to say why someone deserves recognition, this is not the case though with Enrique.  He is a positive young man who always manages to present a positive attitude.  He seems to run on batteries and will present with the same high levels of energy first thing in the morning, and last thing in the afternoon.  He is a passionate and dedicated student and this passion is especially evident where his beloved Tottenham Hotspurs are involved.  He can appear to be fully engrossed in a conversation defending his team with his peers to the point that you think he will miss the next class, but this never happens.  He is punctual with a 100 percent attendance, he engages in classroom activities and discussions and is liked and respected by both his peers and teachers alike.  There is a lot more to come I believe and it has been a pleasure to have worked with him.”

Enrique is indeed a friendly and respectful young man who is popular with peers and staff. He is passionate about charity work, especially the Macmillan Cancer Support, which is close to his heart. He advocates for the charity and has completed a project on the work of the charity and helps fundraise for it. He is currently organising the September Macmillan Coffee Morning with Learning Support Staff. Keep up the good work Enrique!

April 2020 Winner – Daniyal Shah

Daniyal is in his third and final year at St Charles Sixth Form College studying L3 Travel and Tourism, having successfully progressed from Level 1 ICT to L2 T/T and then L3 T/T.  This is a real testament to his commitment and desire to achieve as Daniyal came to St Charles from a smaller specialist school. Daniyal states that studying Travel and Tourism is ‘enjoyable’ as he is able to understand how organisations in the industry, especially his family business, functions; Daniyal’s parents run two successful hospitality businesses in London. He states “studying travel and tourism allows me to bring new ideas to my parents’ hotels; I now understand how hard it is to make sure the business remains successful.” The Travel and Tourism department appreciates Daniyal’s presence and states that “Daniyal is one of the few students who has taken the opportunity to attend all the workshops, trips and career development programmes that the department offers.” Daniyal thrives on learning about the travel and tourism industry as it will allow him to take on more responsibilities in the family business in the future.

A polite student, Danyal has a very positive attitude towards his learning. One of his LSAs, Mr Gyakyi states that “Daniyal’s independent study skills gradually increased as he progressed through his academic studies. One of his strengths is that he is always willing to tackle new obstacles and challenges”. 

Daniyal has  been an active member of the Learning Support Department. He is enthusiastic about getting involved in the activities prepared by the learning support team and recognises the department for helping him and develop confidence. He recognises that the area is a comforting and supporting environment to get work done so that he is able to grow academically and personally. His form tutor, Ms. Cotter, comments that “Daniyal willingly contributes to the college community through the fundraising activities and gets involved in group discussions during tutor time; he has developed solid social skills and he is popular amongst his peers.”

While Daniyal’s roots are in the hospitality sector, he demonstrates a strong passion for movies too and would like to possibly pursue a career in the mass media as a film critic. “I’ve always loved watching films and discussing them with my family and friends after.” He recently watched ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and describes it as one of the best movies of 2019. Daniyal professes that “going to the cinema makes you forget about your worries; it’s like entering a different world.”  He is an active member of the College’s Film Club enrichment who meet every Wednesday afternoon.

We are confident Daniyal will continue to achieve in his endeavours through his hard-work and determination. Well done Daniyal and we cannot wait to hear your commentary on the next big movie and visit you as managing director of a hotel in the future!

May 2020 Winner –  Faith Okumagba

Faith is a polite and reflective student who has a very mature approach to her studies.  Faith came to St Charles with very modest GCSE grades and started her time on the BTEC L2 Sports course. Despite facing certain challenges, she progressed and earned a place on the advanced programme and now is in her final year with us. Although she is the only female on the course among a class of 25, she has fought her corner where needed, but has never allowed any of her personal challenges to affect her studies or determination to succeed.  Mr Hall, Head of Sport, states she has a good knowledge of sporting concepts and has little difficulty in absorbing new ideas and topics. She has become increasingly confident in class over time, both in asking and answering questions in order to improve her own understanding of a sporting concept. She is familiar with the coaching principles behind sport and has demonstrated this knowledge through practice in various units, particularly whilst working with EPIC within the RBKC youth and Primary School sports organisation for work experience. Faith’s attendance and punctuality record is exemplary and she always meets deadlines.

In addition to her studies, Faith also regularly attends the gym sessions within the College and is an active member of the Wednesday fitness club that she attends with Najlet.  All her sports staff feel that if Faith continues to show this level of resilience and determination, there is no doubt that she will do extremely well in the future and continue to excel and achieve her goals.

June 2020 Winner – Paula Saez

Paula Saez is a Level 3 student studying Art and A Level Spanish at St Charles.  Her teachers describe her as “an extremely polite and caring member of the college community who is popular with peers and staff”.  She is cited as utterly reliable and always ready to volunteer her time to help in her subject departments and college community.  During lockdown she has been keeping herself busy contributing to interesting and worthwhile projects.  She is part of a group of young activists called “Sin Fronteras”, a project run by LAWRS (Latin American Women’s Right Service) who support Latin American women like herself living in the UK.  Born in Peru, Paula tells me that she really learnt to appreciate the arts growing up there but she was also acutely aware of the extreme poverty and inequality in her country. After some challenging early years to her life she moved to Spain and later to London with very “basic English”. 

Her sense of fairness and justice has always been a part of her she says and she is always willing and wanting to work to eradicate social injustices on any level. That’s why she likes working with LAWRS who offer a variety of services such as legal and housing advice, counselling, psychotherapy and well-being workshops etc for those in need.  The aim of the Sin Fronteras project is to empower young Latin American women through the creative arts; art, dance, music.  With its “No limits” slogan the project serves as a platform for young Latin American women entering and living in the UK.  Paula states she has met some amazing and inspiring women from the Latin American community and beyond throughout the project, whose activities all moved on line during lockdown.  Having attended a Human Rights Conference, which she described “as an unforgettable experience”, last year in Dublin run by LAWRS in collaboration with MRCI (Migrants Rights Centre Ireland), she was keen to continue the good work through online conferences and workshops and personal development sessions.  She says all these activities helped her mind busy and happy in lockdown.

She is also currently working on a blog with Sin Fronteras where members can express their thoughts and experiences through the arts.  She received a Jack Petchey Community Award; out of 500 entries (The Jack Petchey Foundation Community Awards are all about inspiring young people to achieve and are big believers in acknowledging and praising efforts and acts of kindness in this difficult period of Covid 19.   The Awards programme is designed to give young people helping, within government guidelines, those less fortunate than themselves in this time a well-deserved ‘thank you’.  Students are nominated for all kinds of wonderful reasons and winners get £50 to spend on whatever they like and a letter from Sir Jack Petchey CBE.) in lockdown and in tune with her kind-hearted nature, she used the money to help her grandmother in Peru, who she is very close to. We know she will continue to be involved in worthwhile causes and achieve well in her future studies. Keep in touch Paula!

Mary McHugh

Jack Petchey Co-ordinator.