AS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE OLI BENNETT CHARITABLE TRUST FROM OUR SETUP FOLLOWING OLI’S DEATH IN 2001, I STOOD DOWN FROM THIS ROLE AT OUR LAST AGM IN JULY 2015. I AM DELIGHTED THAT KIERON CONNOLLY A TRUSTEE, FRIEND AND CONTEMPORARY OF OLI’S HAS AGREED TO TAKE ON THE ROLE. I WILL REMAIN AS CEO AND OVERSEE APPLICATIONS. ALL THE TRUSTEES SUPPORT KIERON IN HIS NEW ROLE AND WISH HIM WELL. JOY BENNETT CEO. OBCT.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER OLIBENNETTCHARITY@OLI_CHARITY. WE JUST HAVE HAD AN ENORMOUSLY SUCCESSFUL ART POSTCARD SALE. OUR THANKS TO ALL OUR ARTISTS.SEE THE CARDS ON OLIPOSTCARDS.COM
Wonderful balmy evening for gathering friends and supporters together with enough to drink and plenty of food to reaffirm our aims of helping young people harness their business ideas into viable businesses. Some of our recent sucessful applicants were able to come. It was good to greet them and intoduce them to some of our longterm grantees. They have a wealth of experience to exchange. Especially 4 year old Roxanne.
This year Luke Mugliston spoke movingly of his friendship with Oli and how they might have gone into business together [ideas along the night club range] but with Luke getting married, he became committed to needing a predictable income. Not that that stopped Oli from discussing fresh ideas. Luke recalled how Oli spoke often his mantra – ‘Love all, trust few, always paddle your own canoe’ and ‘not knowing how life will turn out, enjoy the journey along the way’. Luke said how much he misses Oli, as do we all.
We had a humorous and very sucessful auction with Ed Stern calling the bids. Donations from a number of thriving businesses who we helped in earlier years. To mention a few, Tristram and Liz from Somerset Wood brought a beautiful wooden pestle and motars. Hetty Rose sent a clutch bag decorated with antique kimono silk panels. Kieron had obtained theatre tickets to several shows, all snapped up rapidly. Roxanne said she was 4 but that wasn’t enough to get her Kieron Connolly’s book on ‘The Dark History of Hollywood’. Champagne went well as did a CD set of Fresh Meat [all 943 minutes] donated by the scriptwriter Jesse Armstrong.
The Oli Bennett Art Prize was won this year by a final year pupil called Maddy who came to the evening for her presentation of a cheque for £100 and a congratulatory speech from Joy. Simon Crow the Westminster School Head of Art, who has been nothing but supportive to us extra to his school responsibilities, was able to come as well. Maddy leaves Westmnister this term going on to study art history in USA.
Joy and I could not have carried on for the last 12 years running the Oli Charity without the support of our trustees, contempories both of Oli’s and ours’. Joy the mainspring and I both thank everyone for their help and support.
AS FRIENDS OF THE TRUST YOU ARE WARMLY INVITED TO JOIN US AT WESTMNISTER SCHOOL ON FRIDAY 20TH JUNE 6.30-8.30 PM FOR A FUND RAISING EVENT. IT WILL INCLUDE AN ADRESS BY A SCHOOL FRIEND OF OLI’S AND A FUN AUCTION OF DONATED ITEMS. NO CHARGE FOR ENTRY NAMES ARE NEEDED FOR SECURITY. VERY BEST WISHES JOY AND ADRIAN BENNETT
SINCE OUR STARTUP IN 2002 WE HAVE GIVEN 97 GRANTS TO 77 ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS WORTH ABOUT £100,000. APPLICATIONS ARE ASSESSED AS THEY ARRIVE. IN NEARLY EVERY CASE WE NEED TO ASK FOR A BUSINESS PLAN. SO IF YOU HAVE NOT SENT ONE YOU MUST THINK ABOUT A PLAN. WE ALSO NEED TO CONFIRM YOUR NAME AND AGE. DETAILS ARE IN GUIDANCE TO APPLICANTS FIRST PARAGRAPH. WE DO NOT GIVE GRANTS TO ANYONE OVER 30 AND YOU MUST BE AT LEAST 18.
In 2011, the Oli Bennett Charitable Trust held an Anonymous Art Fair at Westminster School where we sold more than 100 works by, among many others, Peter Blake, Kipper Williams, Anita Klein, Guy Denning, Sarah Butterfield, Candice Tripp, Remi Rough, DFace, Beejoir, Josie McCoy and raised a great deal of money for the charity.
And, yes, we’re doing it again on Friday 21st June. The works will again be presented anonymously – you could be buying an artwork by Peter Blake or by a current school pupil. Each artist will offer a postcard-size artwork, but you’ll only know for sure who the artist is once you’ve bought it and seen the signature on the reverse. All postcards will be sold for the same fixed price (last time it was £30 a postcard). They’ll be wine and canapés too and plenty of opportunity to hear about the charity’s work, meet its beneficiaries and see the work they’ve done.
Admission to the event is free, but places are limited, so if you’d like to come please let me know and I’ll add your name to the list. Security at the school is tight: if you’re not on the list, you won’t get in.
More information about the sale (and some of 2011’s postcards) can be found here:
Additionally, if you would like to donate an artwork to the sale then please email this address and we’ll send you a pack: firstname.lastname@example.org