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    Meet Grand Finalist, Lubelihle Ncube

    8 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 Lubelihle Ncube!

    Lubelihle’s speech ‘Fat is Fabulous’ earned them and their school, De La Salle School, a place in the Central Essex Regional Final. Lubelihle uses her personal experience to reframe the word ‘fat’.

    We asked Lubelihle, what three items or people would you choose to take to a desert island and why? 

    “A boat for transportation, a hammock for sleep, and water for hydration.” 

    Why do you think it’s important for young people, like you, to share their stories? 

    “To connect with each other and understand each other more. Our stories could impact anyone and it is our duty in society to uplift each other using our gifts whether it be storytelling, or listening to what someone has to say. One story could make a difference.” 

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

    “This subject plays a heavy part of my identity, who I am and who are at present to the world. It has created many barriers to me in the past, because of this amazing opportunity I have been able to address it to a wider audience who may relate to my story in hope of it inspiring someone else.” 

    How would you like people to think / act differently from hearing your story? 

    “Don’t be the one caught making fat phobic comments. Any size is the new norm.” 

    Watch Lubelihle’s winning speech.

    Support these young speakers, join us at the Grand Final.