DESPITE facing numerous challenges, 17 year old William James of Dudley Close, Chafford Hundred, has joined his two brothers as the third triplet to receive a Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award.
William, who has autism, has been recognised for the role he has played as Head Boy this year at Treetops School, and his success in the performing arts. A drama and music enthusiast, William has performed in a range of song, dance and theatrical performances and spent the £200 he received for winning the award on Treetop’s drama department. William is determined that his disability doesn’t hold him back and this autumn will attend South Essex College in his efforts to pursue a career in music production.
William’s achievement is the fourth Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award to be presented to the family. His brother Timothy, who has Asperger’s syndrome, has actually won two of the awards through his school and scouting group. A keen linguist, Timothy aspires to study languages at university in an effort to establish a career that enables him to travel.
He said, “I keep the Jack Petchey certificates on my bedroom wall to remind myself of how I have achieved. They have given me confidence to believe I can achieve success more often.”
The youngest brother (by 2 minutes) Rory also won a Jack Petchey award through Scouting, specifically for his role as a Young Leader and his achievements in long-distance running. Rory is currently undertaking his Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award while he also has very high aspirations for the future.
“I want to study English at a top-tier university and ultimately become a Professor of English and a playwright. The award has shown that I am capable of high achieving, and it helps set me apart, in my mind, from the crowd.”
The brother’s parents, Murray and Mo James said, “We are both extremely proud of the boys, especially given their difficulties. Rory, despite being the youngest (by 2 minutes), has always been very protective of his brothers and continues to support them both practically and emotionally. As a result of his experience of autism, he now supports several younger students in the Speech and language unit at school with their reading.”
Winners of a Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Award receive a certificate, gold medallion and a cheque for £200 to be spent on something that will benefit young people at their school or youth organisation.