This really is a story of people coming together to make music and to make a difference...........
Our Target is £5,000 which will enable us to really make a difference. Please donate and spread the word, it is hugely appreciated and shows what People Power is all about!
All excess money will be going towards phase 2 of the project and the charity so don't stop just because we hit target!
Let me introduce myself first. My name is Warren Cass and I am the CEO & founder of Business Scene, a membership organisation for entrepreneurs & business owners. I tell you this because it provides context for the rest of the story.
As a network we are all about bringing people together to help them grow their business and follow their dreams, and we love what we do.
Running a business doesn't define me though, I'm a man of many interests, one of them being songwriting which I have been doing for less than two years simply for a creative outlet.
The story of 'The Freedom Project' starts with me coming up with a new melody for a little piece I wrote on my guitar. I hadn't written lyrics at this stage nor had I picked a theme.
The following week I was in Bournemouth meeting with one of my members over lunch and the conversation had moved away from business. We shared information about our families which included her experience finding herself in an arranged marriage at 16 years old.
Several years and two children later she was faced with a decision. The marriage had gradually become untenable and virtually impossible to manage no matter the expectations of extended family. On one particular day, following an incident witnessed by her little boy she felt especially pushed to make a choice.... Is this what I want for the rest of my life? Is this how I want my children to grow up?
She made her choice. When her husband and his brother left the house following this particular episode, she packed her bags, gathered all the most important items for her children and left with them. When we spoke I imagined what it must have felt like to leave your home, in a taxi, with no idea of where to go and no knowledge of where you would end up, just knowing it had to be as far away from the situation as possible.The following day, inspired by her story, her bravery I finished my song.
The following two years were spent re-building her and her children’s lives whilst being supported by the fantastic Women’s Aid network. It was during this period that she fought for her and her children’s freedom in court and won, thanks to the timely help of a fantastic legal team.
When the time came and her trusted lawyer asked her to choose a new family name, there really was not even a seconds hesitation to respond with FREEDOM. Just from our conversation I could tell how much this word means to her still.
So that settled it in my mind. The song had its title!
Then Came Alice
15 years ago I was very proud to be asked to become a god parent to my Cousin's daughter Alice. Alice has blossomed into a gorgeous and generous young women and in particular over the last couple of years I have been watching her follow her passion...singing.
I love her voice, its a throw back to another era in music and she sings with real emotion. Through open mic nights and school organised events Alice has been performing regualrly, growing in confidence and learning all the time.
From time to time I would share a song I wrote (Unfortunately with me singing) and Freedom was the first one which she really really liked. This got me thinking..........
I thought what if Alice recorded this song? And while we are at it... why not do some good at the same time and raise some money for a good cause which inspired the song in the first place?
The Power of a Network, Serendipity & Karma
Isn't it funny when something is front of mind, then suddenly the universe tries to solve the puzzle by throwing opportunities towards you.
Within a week of having the idea, another of my members Darren Northeast, a PRcompany based also in Dorset picked up the phone. A client of his is a charity who specialise in looking after families, women & children who have suffered in abusive relationships. BCHA also specialise in supporting victims of the growing issue in the Uk of human trafficking.
Darren asked if they could speak at an upcoming event we are running in Bournemouth and I immediately told him my idea. Within days we had all met and got excited about the project.
Next, through my network I shared the story. Within no time at all I had several people inspired by the story offering to help where they could. All willing to donate their time;
- Website & Social Media - Sarah Arrow a genius in this area volunteered her services.
- Photography - James Bastable, one of my members from the West Midlands volunteered his time to capture the events and create the artwork.
- Documenting the project - Linda Mattacks kindly offered to write about the whole experience with interviews etc
- The video on this page was donated by Alan Webb from Video Email Signatures.
- Musicians - Kim Horwood offered her help in the form of her 4 piece string quartet. The original demo I wrote I added strings through Garageband. To think we would have professional musicians is really exciting.
Using the power of the crowd we have two opportunities here.
- To raise a significant amount of money for a really good cause.
- To help a young, talented girl get one step closer to a career in music.
Before we can create a viral campaign to get the song out there, we have work to do! We need to create the website, music, social accounts, following, strategy, plan a launch event, write press releases, attract more support, create the mechanism for people to buy the song! This crowdfund will cover all of the set up expenses and realistically needs £5k to really go for it. With £2k though it is achievable.
All the proceeds for the song Freedom will go to the charity as will any left over money from this crowdfund. We also intend to create a CD with some of Alice's music on it also as well as run a few events where Alice will come and sing & raise awareness.
Everyone who donates no matter how small will be acknowledged and their contribution valued. All will be kept up to date with the project's progress.