The Bridge of Hope



There is something slightly pious about the title of this racing charity. It might have been a slogan
rejected by the Salvation Army, or a line by a minor 19th century poet. It’s neither, but the phrase is
ubiquitous on the internet. You might, by mistake, locate an expensive therapy clinic or an Ugandan
-based children’s organisation, or institutions committed to helping the residents of care homes or the
abolition of modern slavery.

In case you can’t find it, here it is

For those who are sceptical about charities, this may be the perfect one.

It isn’t, for example, run by OBE chasers who work a couple of hours each month, or by C-list celebs
hoping to increase their appearance fees, nor by self-publicising second-rate pop-stars. No minor or
even ex-royals, making an annual appearance for the cameras, are involved. If you are looking for
waterlogged sentimentality, sad music or victim culture you’ll have to go elsewhere.

It’s run by a very down to earth James Fellowes. In the 80s James was an energised, thrusting young
businessman. Each morning he woke up scared of failure, and thus success followed success. His life,
and the family that soon came with it, was lived on an exponential curve of triumph. When he
relocated to America everything he touched turned to gold. Until it didn’t.

James Fellowes, left.

The world he lived in was cut-throat. Knocks were routinely dealt with. In the end he took too many.
Bad luck, bad decisions and bad people conspired in such quantity and frequency that he went down
and stayed there. He couldn’t pay the mortgage or school fees, or even grocery bills. He lost two
stone in three weeks and was sectioned.

Some months later, in Newmarket, the town he grew up in, his route back from the edge began with
a job. It paid the minimum wage and made him feel like a king. That’s what his charity does. It finds
people who have lost everything and helps them get a job. A job gives routine, a reason to get up,
some autonomy. Simple, pragmatic, targeted, effective.

But not wasteful. The Bridge of Hope deals with those who have already helped themselves, often with
the aid of other charities, and recovered from any or all of drug-addiction, alcoholism, breakdown,

The Bridge of Hope helps those who have recovered from drug-addiction, alcoholism, breakdown and homelessness.

Then, with a customer who is motivated, and willing to do anything to begin with, James is the bridge.
He knows the employers, he has travelled the country meeting them. They know he doesn’t bullshit
and that anyone he sends will, or could well be, exactly what they are looking for. James’s
recommendation means that blots on the CV, like prison or periods of nothing, don’t matter. He is as
successful now as he was in the 80s. He’s just selling something different.

The single-mindedness is still there, informed now by wisdom, perspective and compassion. And, even
better, it’s personal.

Who are these employers?

Jonjo O’Neil, Tom Dascombe, Harry Fry, John Gosden, Nicky Henderson, Ascot, Goodwood, Aintree,
Godophin, The Jockey Club, The Tote, Britbet, Juddmonte Stud, Shadwell Stud for starters.

Hardly a list of bleeding hearts.

You can email James at

Even better, ring him on 07391 581017. He loves a good chat.

If you don’t give to charity, this one might make you think again. If you do, please consider adding The
Bridge of Hope.

James Fellowes knows the value of money. He made a lot, then lost it all, then recovered. Anything you
send him won’t be wasted.