The Helen Barrett Bright Ideas Awards are a chance for people with cystic fibrosis (CF) over the age of 16 to apply for a grant of up to £1,000 and expert mentoring to help them kick-start a new project or career. Take a look at our winners from 2016 and hear what they plan to do with their awards.
Congratulations to our 2016 award winners
One year on, Emilia got in touch to tell us how the award has made a difference to her:
"Since receiving the money from the Helen Barrett Bright Ideas Award, I have been able to set up my sewing business with a workstation, more fabric and everything I need for my stall when I'm showing at craft fairs. Without this headstart, I would never have been able to grow my business so well and so quickly.
"I am just so grateful that Helen's memory has given me the opportunity to do what I love the most and enabled me to keep my sanity after losing my job because my health got so bad. Thank you so much! You motivate me every day!"
An actor, entertainer and YouTube vlogger with a passion and talent for making videos to support the CF community and share his unique take on life with the condition. Charles wants to invest in the equipment required to deliver better videos to his many subscribers. Charles said: “It means so much to me when people support me and what I do by watching, sharing and commenting on my videos, but to receive financial support in this way left me speechless.”
Poppy is an artist with a background in fashion design. Since her recent double-lung transplant, she has decided she is ready to move forward with her art career and will use the support to start selling her striking works of art.
Polly has a passion for jewellery making and is currently undertaking a silversmithing course. She now wants to channel her creativity and enthusiasm into the development of a website and online shop, where she can sell her unique creations. Polly said: "I'm still in a state of shock! It's inspired me to really get thinking creatively, and I can't wait to get started!"
Having made the difficult decisions to give up full time work to focus on her health, Emilia applied for support in developing her textiles business by developing a workspace where she can store fabrics and work on her beautiful creations.
Emilia says: "This grant gives me the opportunity for my dream career to become a reality and for a special lady's memory to live on. It means that I can start my business with a backing of help and funds and truly put my all into it. Thank you so much to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and most importantly to Helen Barrett and her father, Tony. Thank you for your lovely phone call and saying lovely things about my work. You have given me such motivation and immense joy! I can't say thank you enough."
Christopher is an artist who has studied to Masters level at Camberwell College of Art and Wimbledon Colleges of Art, and exhibited his work at the National Gallery. He is now exhibiting his work in London, so hopes to use his grant for framing and preparing his paintings. He has recently been asked to submit paintings for an art fair in Mayfair, and to a high-end interiors shop where his paintings are for sale alongside works by David Hockney.
Christopher said: "I am very grateful for receiving help towards my framing, as this is the biggest cost in presenting my work in a professional manner as an artist. This has made a huge difference to the next six months for me, enabling me to purely focus on producing more paintings. The trust fund is a great way of giving people a start to realising their ambitions."
Mikey planned a career as a rock star, but following a decline in health had to reconsider and is now combining this passion with his graphic design and joinery skills to create bespoke, handmade drum kits.
Mikey told us: “I am absolutely thrilled to be awarded this, thank you so much! It will really help to get me going on this new venture and could not have come at a better moment.”
Sara has been studying for a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and she is now ready to start up her own counselling practice. Sara says: “Being awarded this grant means a great deal to me. It has boosted my confidence and given me the opportunity to start my own business and work my own hours - which I would never have done on my own without this support.”