Whatever you need to kick-start your dream career, if you’re over 16 and have cystic fibrosis (CF) you can apply for a Helen Barrett Bright Ideas Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Maybe you have a creative hobby and need the resources to turn it into a thriving business. Perhaps you’ve already started your business and need some training to help you reach your audience. Whatever it is, a Helen Barrett Bright Ideas Award can help you on your way.
Applying for an award
The next round of applications will open in late 2018, so now’s the time to start thinking about how a Helen Barrett Bright Ideas Award could help your small business thrive.
Who is Helen Barrett?
Helen Barrett dreamed of setting up her own business, and she didn’t let her cystic fibrosis hold her back. Sadly, having fought a hard battle, Helen died a week before her 32nd birthday - but her gym is still thriving today, and through these awards set up in her memory we hope to inspire others to make the leap too. Working for yourself can offer great benefits – you plan your own hours, earn your own money, and do what you love. We want young people with cystic fibrosis to use the grants and mentoring to follow in Helen’s footsteps and live the life they want to. With the support of The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, we’re delighted to be able to offer these awards again to help people with cystic fibrosis make the most of their passions.
This year's winners
We opened applications for the Helen Barrett Bright Ideas Awards at the beginning of 2018, and six lucky individuals were chosen to receive an award to help them advance their small business. This year’s awards went towards funding two online handmade clothes businesses, a self-employed tattoo artist, the renovation of a music recording and teaching studio and the development of a children’s theatre business.
We’ll be sharing more information about these projects throughout the year, so keep an eye out!
April's project 'Love wood love art' has given her something to focus on that she plans to develop into a craft business. She is using her award to create a suitable work space to make her pieces and to invest in a good quality camera so that she can showcase her pieces on Etsy and make marketing materials for her business.
She said: "I make pieces of art from used and reclaimed pieces of wood which would usually be thrown away, or which don't really have a use, such as old pallets and scaffold boards, and with a bit of magic turn them into something beautiful. I'd like to thank everyone who makes the awards possible, Tony Barrett for creating such an amazing scheme to carry on the spirit of his daughter Helen, and everyone at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust for always striving to enrich the lives of people with cystic fibrosis. I'd like to congratulate the other winners and say if you have a bright idea, then make sure you put it forward next year!"
Bianca recently got married and left her previous job last year due to a deterioration in her health. After creating unique stationery and decorations for her own wedding, Bianca decided she wanted to start a business selling wedding stationery. She will use her grant to buy materials and start selling her stationery online.
Chris grew up racing karts and did a degree in Motorsport Engineering. he later decided to start a business based on his passion. Chris has developed a unique tool for chain-tensioning, and has developed and filed a patent for a motorcycle version. Having launched his own company in 2015, he has since developed a range of lubricants, cleansing products and tools. He will use his grant to travel to the United States, visit trade shows and meet with a major distributor in the hope of launching his tool on the US market.
Find out more on his website.
Ciara is a vlogger with a YouTube channel where she focuses on her experiences living with cystic fibrosis. After launching her first video in May 2016, Ciara's following has grown. She will use her grant to create a studio at home with new recording equipment and lighting, allowing her to create more professional videos.
Take a look at her 'What is cystic fibrosis?' video.
After pursuing a career in advertising, Elly now wants to focus on her writing. She writes a blog called 'Professional Sick Girl' and wants to move towards writing a newspaper column. She will use her grant to pay for professional training and web hosting, and the Trust has also been able to put her in touch with a contact at a national newspaper so that she can begin exploring her idea of a newspaper column.
She said: "Professional Sick Girl is about balancing the demands of a career with a chronic illness. My blog gives me the perfect outlet to write about CF with honesty and humour ('cause if you can't laugh about how ridiculous you look sending emails on your phone with a plastic ion conductor stuck up your nose, when can you?). I'd like to start submitting column pitches to newspapers and magazines and build up a reputation as a writer so that I can start to earn an income from writing. The big dream is to have a weekly column, and be approached by papers for my writing. I want to write to raise awareness of CF to illustrate the challenges people with CF live with every day and make them relatable to others. I want to talk about the things we do, not the things we can't.
"I would never have made a start with this idea if it wasn't for the Trust. They've not only given me help and funds but the confidence to pursue it and the belief that people will want to read my writing! Knowing that the Bright Ideas Awards team are behind me feels fantastic."
An aspiring artist, Jack has been awarded his grant to pay for new materials and art classes.
He said: "I like to try to get my ideas and experiences of self-control of the conscious and subconscious mind across in the form of paintings, and I am planning on working towards learning lapidary (gem cutting), so I asked for a bit of help to get classes to either improve my painting skills and materials, or to get started with gem cutting this summer, and the Helen Barrett Bright Ideas Awards very kindly accepted my application! I'd like to say how very grateful I am to the Trust and everyone involved in the awards for granting me this opportunity."
James is 28 years old and has cystic fibrosis. Earlier this year, James and his business partner (who has many years of experience as a chef) launched a specialist recruitment agency, aimed at sourcing chefs for high-end restaurants. This business has grown well, with several high-profile clients secured. They are currently based in James’ kitchen at home, so they have been awarded a grant of £1,000 to help them secure a serviced office space for client meetings, and the Trust is helping James to access support and mentoring to help build plans to ensure this is financially sustainable. James and his business partner have now funded their first three months of office space.
Kate is self employed and works part time as a dog walker. In the past she has found it difficult to talk about her CF, but she has now developed a blog discussing life with the condition, and she would like to start vlogging. Her grant will cover the cost of site-hosting and Photoshop, and will enable her to buy a camera
Take a look at her application video.
Kate is 31 years old and works part time as well as spending time on her art. Kate has been working on ‘Island Collaborations’ – an art project about the experience of being an inpatient on the CF ward at the Royal Brompton Hospital. Captured through recordings and photographs submitted by patients and made into drawings and drawn film by Kate, Island Collaborations highlights the juxtaposition of shared experience despite isolation due to cross-infection risks. Material from the project was exhibited successfully last year, and Kate has been awarded a grant to allow her to show new material and create a new installation called 'Message in a Bottle' at the hospital and then tour it, creating a next ‘chapter’ for the project. The installation uses a viewing window to suggest the experience of being a CF inpatient and an interactive 'message in a bottle' for visitors to read and write messages to each other and to CF participants. Visit Kate's website.
Kate was interviewed by the Trust last year about her exhibition.
Lauren is currently completing a level three apprenticeship and has her own graphic design business. With her award she has been able to buy a new laptop and graphic design software.
She said: "I am interested in digital design and travelling to see great things and do photography. I really wanted to start up a little side business to share my work. I have had previous experience working for businesses here and there, but I really wanted to kick start something I could be proud of, and the Helen Barrett Bright Ideas Awards helped me to do that! A massive thank you to all that are involved with the award and the Trust for giving people opportunities to do these things."
Take a look at her website and Instagram account.
Polly is on the transplant list and works part time, and will use her award to expand her beaded jewellery business.
She said: "I am so happy to have received a Bright Idea Award. Growing a jewellery business requires a lot of resources and it is so great to have this help for me to cover some of the costs. It will mean giving me the opportunity to grow my skills and learn new techniques. This support has given me a massive motivation, not just financially but also by encouraging me to keep going and make the most of my ideas which sometimes can be quite hard. Thank you so much to the Trust and those who are involved in the awards."
Rob is currently on the list for a lung transplant and lives with his partner and two young children. After identifying a local gap in the market for darts supplies, Rob was able to purchase some stock and attend a competition, which was very successful. The business is locally-based, so when possible he can be at competitions to sell stock on the day, but if needed he can take orders and with the support of his family, can make deliveries. He is a keen darts player so has a good knowledge of what players will need, and this is a business he can keep going while on the transplant list and spending a significant amount of time in hospital, with a view to growing the business after he has had a transplant. This grant will allow Rob to buy a wider range of stock, enabling him to grow his reputation as the key point of sales for the local darts community.
You can find Rob on facebook at @1990checkoutdarts.
William is a film maker developing a global podcast that brings together the voices of people with CF around the world to share their experiences. He will use his grant to cover the cost of animations and music for the podcast, and he hopes that it will help raise his profile and portfolio of work.
Take a look at his application video.