The first day of the rest of my life

Simon Berry | The Dream Factory
Photo by Sam Christmas for the Honda-sponsored Dream Factory project
Apologies in advance but this post has ended up being mostly about me. Normal service will resume as soon as possible!

Last Autumn I committed to leave my job to dedicate myself full-time to ColaLife. Well yesterday was my last day of my contract at Defra and people were very generous with their assessments  – including this post on the Defra blog. I know I will keep contact with all the friends I’ve made at Defra. For a start, the whole of the Strategy Team have committed to volunteer their collective brain power to ColaLife for a day in the Autumn as part of Defra’s volunteering policy.

Today could be a very anxious as well as an exciting time given that my salary stops. However, on 25 May, UnLtd came to the rescue with an award of £15,000 towards living expenses. This has kept the anxiety levels down and the excitement levels high. It also means I finally have an answer to my mother’s question which goes something like:

Yes, yes, I understand dear. But how are you going to buy food?

I should just mention that my partner in life and ColaLife, Jane, has been pretty much full-time on ColaLife for a while – writing funding bids, doing the preparation for our first intern’s imminent arrival, liaising with our rapidly growing number of young supporters and so on. The UnLtd Award was given to us jointly. As someone said to me the other day:

It’s easy to be brave when you know someone is covering your back.

Another complete surprise was an email I got from Jude Habib yesterday lunch time which said:

Hi Simon.

I’m so sorry but I forgot to ask your permission….but I wrote about you for a blog I’ve just written.

Hope you don’t mind!


Jude Habib
Director – sounddelivery
T: 020 7993 6340 | M: 07803 721 481 sounddelivery for all your digital media training, production and communications needs

Jude had written this blog post on the UK’s Third Sector Magazine’s website. Thanks Jude. With support like this we can’t fail can we? Well that’s the attitude with which I’m going into the next part of the rest of my life.


  1. Simon and Jane

    I know what a huge exciting step this has been for you BOTH and I am so proud to have played my tiny part in the evolution of ColaLife. You are not just dear friends but inspiring individuals who will succeed and will change many lives over the coming years with ColaLife.

    Congratulations and this hot humid evening I raise a glass to you both and to new beginnings

    Ellie x


  1. David Wilcox says:

    Simon Berry on the first day of the rest of my life – full time w/ @colalife @51m0n you cn count on yr friends …