Philanthropists recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

Philanthropists recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

News (UK)

The Queen recognised several philanthropists in her Birthday Honours list this month, including CBEs for Jack Petchey, founder of the Jack Petchey Foundation for Young People: Edward Atkin, who set up the Atkin Foundation. Marcelle Speller, the founder of received an OBE as did Dr Keith Howard, for services to business, sport and the arts in West Yorkshire.

Jack Petchey grew up in the East End of London. He left school at 14 without any qualifications. He used his gratuity on leaving the Forces to buy a second-hand car to set up a taxi firm. He went on to make millions through property and investments. Through the Jack Petchey Foundation he has given out over £65m in grants and set up the Petchey Academy, a secondary school, in Hackney. This week the Foundation donated £619,000 to Anthony Nolan trust that will enable it to add 11,000 potential donors to its stem cell register. It is the trust’s largest ever single gift, and the Jack Petchey Foundation said it hopes the donation “will harness the energy of our young and enable the charity to save even more lives.”

Petchey said of his honour: “I am very proud of this CBE as it is recognition of all that we have achieved in 10 years at the Jack Petchey Foundation. We have been able to fulfil my dream of providing the kind of opportunities I never had to thousands of young people through various projects.”

Speller founded, a website that helps supporters and donors to find small, often under the radar, charities and voluntary organisations in their community. Speller says: "My philanthropy has been a stimulating and joyous journey. I did not undertake this journey to receive an award, but if my award, and others from the new honours committee, encourages more people to take a similar journey, then that can only be a good thing."

Atkin made his fortune through the Suffolk-based Avent baby feeding products company, which he sold for £300m. The Atkin Foundation exists for the relief of poverty, distress and sickness, the advancement of education and the protection of health.

Dr Howard founded the Bradford-based academic publishing company Emerald, an international business with a staff of 250 that does much of its work overseas. He has given generously to Opera North to fund educational projects and the restoration of Leeds Grand Theatre. He is also a benefactor of Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s museum. 

  • Awards
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