Founder of The Drake Foundation – philanthropist and entrepreneur
“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.
As well as being an amateur artist, I am also Founder of the FSG Literary Unit (www.oflosttime.com) which is publishing the selected letters of Sir Winston Churchill and thematic letter collections such as Letters from Sport and Letters from Science. My team have also created, on behalf of the artist’s family, a database of the works of the Rodin contemporary Paul Troubetzkoy. He is the Singer Sergeant of sculpture, many of whose treasures are housed in a beautiful museum on the shores of Lake Maggiore www.troubetzkoy.org
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.