James’ Place will open later this year in memory of Harry’s older brother James. Harry, his parents Clare and Nick and younger sister Louisa strongly believe that James’s death could have been prevented had somewhere like James’ Place existed when James needed help. Harry and James shared a love for the outdoors and Harry’s best memories with James are of growing up on the farm together in Hampshire.
About five years ago a couple of Harry’s friends took part in the Atlantic Challenge. He followed their race and was absolutely gripped and since then it had been something that he wanted to do. He also knew, that had James been around he would be thinking exactly the same thing and that gave him the push he needed to start thinking about doing it for real. His plan was to try and persuade three friends who he could rely on and trust to make up a four-man boat. That turned out to be the easy part, getting his parents approval was a different matter entirely.
The incessant combination of physical and technical training, fundraising, PR and planning events were in some ways harder than the race itself. Once the race was underway Harry found himself the most relaxed he had been since the campaign started knowing that all the preparation was behind them and they just had to put it into practice. The most memorable moment for Harry during the race was when they stopped rowing to enjoy a beer on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. They sat looking each other in the eye and reflected on their journey and how far they had come.
For Harry, the whole campaign has been life changing and it was the greatest experience of his life – he feels like he kept James’s spirit alive. He is incredibly proud of what the team have achieved in the row, the fundraising and the awareness it has raised. He has learnt to appreciate what you can achieve when you put your mind to something.
Harry has been using his property knowledge from working as a charter surveyor at Savills to help secure the first premises for James’ Place in Liverpool. His next challenge is to make sure that James’ Place is a success and that there will be many more opening in the future.
To read more about the Ambassadors, Trustees, and the Founders, please click here to visit the Meet the Team page.