Sir Ian McKellen, new Patron of Tower Hamlets charity STEP FORWARD along with the Director Jennifer Fear, met Jack Petchey OBE on Thursday 21st September at the charity’s purpose built premises in Bethnal Green to receive a cheque for £15,000 from the Jack Petchey Foundation.

Funding from the Jack Petchey Foundation will be used by STEP FORWARD to develop a Healthy Living and Personal Development Programme providing services to help young people deal with problems and issues affecting their lives and support them to make healthier and positive choices.

Sir Ian McKellen said “STEP FORWARD is a door to knock on for so many young people who would otherwise be left to deal with problems on their own. The charity is providing essential support which is why this funding from the Foundation is vital. I am delighted to meet Jack Petchey who clearly cares passionately about helping young people.”

Jack Petchey OBE said “STEP FORWARD is just the sort of charity we want to support and one where young people can get the help they need to make the most of opportunities and help themselves. We are impressed with their work.” he added.

The Jack Petchey Foundation continues its rapid growth since it was established in 1999 and has donated £23 million to clubs, schools and organisations in London and West Essex that support young people aged 11-25. A grants budget of £7 million is allocated for 2006.

Jennifer Fear, STEP FORWARD Director said “We are extremely pleased to be awarded a grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation and to be able to have an opportunity to thank him in person. The support from both our patron Sir Ian and Jack Petchey will make a real difference to our charity and allow us to continue to provide services to young people that can enable them to reach their full potential.”

For further information, contact Jennifer Fear on 020 7739 3082.