Chairman of The Drake Foundation and Artist
“Never hesitate to express what you feel, even when you’re in opposition to established ideas. Maybe you won’t be understood at first, but your isolation will be short-lived. For what is deeply true for one man is true for everyone.” Auguste Rodin
I launched The Drake Foundation in 2014, a not-for-profit organisation committed to understanding and improving the health and welfare of people impacted by head injuries – including sports players and IPV survivors – through scientific research. I have connected leading neuroscience research with mainstream contact sports in the UK. The Drake Rugby Biomarker Study resulted in the landmark finding that 23% of current elite rugby players sampled had abnormal structural changes in their brain. We also organise an annual Drake Sports Head Impact Research Symposium in London: https://drakeshirsymposium.com
My roots began in scientific publishing: I am the Founder and Chairman of Future Science Group (FSG), which focuses on sharing breakthrough medical, biotechnological and scientific research via our trusted journals, digital hubs and events.
FSG’s Literary Unit, OfLostTime (www.oflosttime.com), is publishing a series of thematic books each with an expert overview of some of history’s greatest letters. Letters for the Ages: The Private and Personal Letters of Winston Churchill is copublished with Bloomsbury: https://youtu.be/w5isVJaLsKQ
My team have also created, on behalf of the artist’s family, a central database of the works of the great sculptor Paul Troubetzkoy:
In 2015, I established The Drake Calleja Trust to help exceptional musicians from underprivileged backgrounds at the start of their careers. We now have over 1000 entries each year, and our scholars are among the most talented young musicians in the world. One scholar, Alim Beisembayev, won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2021.
YolanDa Brown heads up a section of the Trust on non-classical music genres: the DrakeYolanDa Award.
I am honorary publishing advisor to the Blair Partnership, the literary agent of JK Rowling and others from debut and established writers to broader talent across business, politics, sport and lifestyle.
YouTube clip of my interview with rugby legend Steve Thompson, who sadly suffers from early-onset dementia, for a BBC2 documentary.