Samantha is starting a fantastic project called Form of Hope to raise funds to help fight Combat Stress. She gives some great answers on getting something off the ground, persevering, and why life is too short not to get out there and do something. Best of luck!
I'm in the process of setting up www.formofhope.org which will raise money for Combat Stress, the UK Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Charity. I'm in my 40s and had had enough of the corporate world and chasing money.
After seeing photos of young lads returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with no arms and legs, I could not help but feel immense sympathy for them. On the spur of the moment I contacted Simon Weston, OBE, himself a veteran of the Falklands War, and explained what I wanted to do. Simon was incredibly supportive and we have joined forces together; we are Form of Hope.
Form of Hope is open to all artists, in whatever medium. The concept is simple: we will display your work on the website. If it sells, please agree to donate 50% of the proceeds to Combat Stress. Form of Hope will retain a small percentage to assist with our running costs and the rest is yours. Form of Hope is a great way for emerging artists to get their careers launched and to gain publicity.
Over time it is hoped that we will stage exhibitions across the country and become synonymous with raising money for a good cause and launching the careers of new artists. I'm constantly on the phone and email trying to drum up support from sponsors (if you know of one, please let me know!!!), and top artists like Hirst and Emin to become patrons, actors etc. I've just today got the authorisation from Combat Stress and their letter will be on the website later today. I've been through a few hoops but it will all be worth it in the long run. This project will be a big part of my life's work. Let's make a difference!
I graduated at the University of Bordeaux in 1987 and worked in France for a while then I was at Toyota for 8 years where I ended up as Marketing Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. Then I was at BAT as a Marketing Intelligence Manager. Then I returned to the UK in 1997 and ended up helping a friend in their property company.
From thereon I went solo and currently run my own firm, PRIMO RELOCATIONS (finding accommodation for employees of City companies worldwide).
About a year ago. Something happens in your 40s: usually divorce (as in my case), being ordered to stop smoking by your doctor, the death of a parent and a shock about one's own mortality and a major mid-life crisis or last-chance for a change-of-life as I call it. Life suddenly becomes pretty meaningless. My father's death four years ago... He had retired and he and my mother were looking forward to travelling and spending their money on fun stuff. He got ill and that was it. When it's over, it's over. Better to be happy in this life.
I just relied on gumption and self-belief. When Simon responded in the affirmative, I just felt anything was possible. I made savings, although I need a sponsor please!
I am so used to hearing 'no' from people that after a while, one becomes immune. What's the worst that can happen? They say no! Nobody dies in the process! Just persevere. And have faith.
Best: The way it will grow. I'd love to see the money make a difference to people's lives. Simon is advising us on where the money needs to go.
My dad used to say, 'take risks in life'. I suppose he meant that one shouldn't just live a humdrum existence if one feels there is more to life. Just do it!!!
The internet. It helps me find people to harass about this project.