All Blog Entries

    Meet Grand Finalist, Evey Daly

    4 Jul 2022

    After a challenging pandemic with far reaching consequences for schools, students and oracy skills, the Jack Petchey Foundation recognised and responded to the needs of young people. They made it possible for more than 30,000 students to be part of the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge! this academic year alone, making this the highest number of students ever trained on the programme in such a short amount of this.

    The Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge! provides year 10 students in state schools across London and Essex with public speaking and communication training to increase their confidence, sense of agency and drive to make a difference in society.

    During the academic year, over 400 schools have received a free one-day public speaking workshop for their students. The student’s confidence in speaking to an audience, without notes, is measured at the beginning and at the end of the day. During 2021-22, 77% of students have increased their confidence to stand up and talk to a group of people. At the end of the day, every school nominates one student to go on to the Regional Final, where they compete again other school finalists and their speeches are judged based on content delivery and structure by a panel of esteemed judges. After going on to win the semi-finals, our 15 most inspirational, articulate, and impressive speakers are now ready to present their speech to you!

    We will celebrate the achievements of these awe-inspiring young people in the heart of London’s West End at Cambridge Theatre on Monday 18th July and crown the 2022 “Speak Out” Champion!

    In no particular order, meet Grand Finalist Evey Daly!

    Evey’s speech ‘My Strange Addiction’ earned them and their school, Notley High School, first place in the North Essex Regional Final. Evey spoke with wisdom beyond her years about the importance of finding freedom from the opinions of others and instead being able to turn to yourself as a source of wellbeing.

    We asked Evey, why do you think it’s important for young people, like you, to share their stories? 

    “Young people like me need a platform to share our stories, because we give a perspective on life that not everyone will understand. We are the first generation to have the technology we have — the social media on this scale, the internet pressure etc — so we have experiences that adults commonly don’t. This means it’s important for us to really get the opportunity to share our points of view in life, and try make people aware of personal issues.”

    You could have made a speech anything in the world. Why did you speak about this one subject? 

    “My entire life I’ve depended on feeling good because other people like me, but I realised that I actually feel my best when I’m doing something that I do for my own enjoyment and not to impress others. I know how many other people go through this exact thing, almost everyone in the world, and wanted to share a personal experience, whilst also writing something that could be relatable, and touch people on a certain level. I hope my speech helps at least one person be less dependent on other peoples opinions.”

    If you could make one change in the world what would it be? 

    “Obviously, there are so many large scale issues that I would want to change, like inequality, prejudice, poverty, hunger, conflict etc. but in day to day life I would want everyone to be that little bit kinder to the people around them. Just a smile at a passing stranger makes all the difference, it’s really just easy to brighten a person’s day.”

    How could this experience help you further any passions you have? 

    “For me personally, I want to be a theatre actress, so it’s great experience and confidence building, giving some extra chances to be involved in something in front of an audience.”

    Outside of delivering a speech, how do you think this experience could be helpful now or in the future? 

    “The obvious part is the confidence — it will be so helpful in future interviews or socialisation — but other than that, it has a reassurance to it that tells us that it’s okay to express our own opinions, and it’s okay for us to have something to say.”

    And finally, how would you like people to think / act differently from hearing your story? 

    “I’d like people to hear my speech and consider just how amazing they are, and the only person that needs to believe it is themselves. Everyone’s different in their own unique way, and I hope my speech can help a person love that about themself. 

    Watch Evey’s winning speech.


    Did you know you can help us amplify these young voices? Tickets are free, so join us at the Grand Final.