The businessman who saved Jaguar is now set on steering Coventry’s young people toward positive lifestyle choices – and is urging more businesses and philanthropic benefactors to do the same in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sir John Egan, who helped bring Jaguar cars back from the brink in the 1980s, has been a key supporter of the youth charity, Positive Youth Foundation (PYF), for the last six years.
Positive Youth Foundation works with a wide range of young people, including those who find themselves in challenging circumstances, supporting more than 3,000 young people across the city in the past year alone.
It is a non-profit organisation and is supported by a combination of grant funding and donations from benefactors.
Sir John has been involved with PYF since 2015 when he was Chancellor at Coventry University but has stayed behind the scenes.
In that time, he has donated generously to support the foundation each year through the Egan Charitable Trust, which works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Sir John is now ambassador for the PYF Patron’s Programme, which aims to encourage more people to invest in PYF to enable the charity to provide increased provision for young people in Coventry.
He said: “I was first introduced to PYF through a sports programme during my time at Coventry University and immediately took an interest in what the foundation was doing with young people in the city.
“It is a fantastic foundation, doing crucial work at an important time for young people and society at large. At times young people need a helping hand and it provides that, helps them to understand their circumstances and then make the right choices to move forwards.
“I see PYF as a way of unlocking talent and you can see the results first hand, from the people who have gone into a programme with challenges and come out the other side with a renewed energy and focus.
“But the foundation needs more funding to continue this work and we’re looking to encourage more people to invest in the future of the city that has given us so much.”
PYF runs a wide range of initiatives across Coventry, ranging from personal development, education support, mental wellbeing and leadership provision. It has a key role in challenging some of society’s major issues such as exploitation and violence, mental health and poor attainment.
Rashid Bhayat, founder and CEO of Positive Youth Foundation, added: “Sir John has been a key supporter of PYF for many years and this is the first time he has gone public about his involvement.
“We are looking for more businesses and benefactors to support the work we do in the city and join our PYF Patrons Programme campaign, helping to provide positive futures for young people in Coventry.
“The programme will give young people much needed support, whilst giving donors the confidence of working with a team of experienced professionals and fellow patrons.
“Young people have been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic but while our funding has been hit, we’ve continued to provide much-needed support to young people in the city through a range of online channels.
“It’s more important now, than it has ever been before, to invest in our young people and that is what this new scheme is designed to do.”
For further information about the work of the foundation, please visit www.positiveyouthfoundation.org
To arrange a discussion with the CEO or Sir John, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org