Many of you will know Gareth Samples, he’s the MD of Brief Your Market and ex LSL, a dear friend and one of those rarest of people whose universally liked. What I’m guessing most of you won’t be aware of is that he tragically lost his son last year in a road accident.
Last week Brief Your Market hosted a golf day and they launched a charity in Luke’s memory with the intention of raising awareness around safer driving for teenagers. Car accidents is the biggest killer of young people above all the normal suspects like cancer and drug dependency. I’m pretty sure everyone will know of someone whose experienced a tragedy like this and the Samples family is hoping to reach out to youngster direct to highlight the risks.
It’s a subject that’s close to my heart, as a man known for spectacular feats of stupidity it will surprise no one to hear that I was even worse as a kid. Like many who pass their driving test I was a little giddy and took off down the country lanes eager to test my new found driving prowess. Driving far too quickly I lost control and rolled the car, I was lucky, Luke and many like him wasn’t and he paid the ultimate price. I had the chance to learn from my stupid mistakes, he never got a second chance.
I like many people at that age barely listened to my parents or the police, however I know that if I’d heard first hand the devastation its had on their family that I’d have thought twice about the whole thing. The charities aim is to go into schools and talk about their experiences to raise awareness on this killer of so many of our youth.
As so often happens with terrible events like these it brings to the forefront the best of people. For an industry that often gets pilloried in the press often without base what has happened with people throwing their support behind the event to support Gareth, his family and the charities. Rick Palmer another legend of the industry and co-founder of Brief Your Market with his wife Mandy have helped support the foundation wherever they can, putting together the golf day that was supported by the likes of I Am Sold, Van Mildert, David Newnes & his old LSL team, Jon Cooke & the Guild, Legal 4 Landlords, No Letting Go, Manning Stainton and Eric Walker of Northwood to name but a few. Hats off to Rick & Mandy from everyone that attended and saw the hard work that went into it.
You won’t have known Luke and might not know Gareth but that’s irrelevant really as we all have teenagers around our families that you’ll care about, can I ask that you donate whatever you can to the charity and if they can help save one life it’ll be worth it. Remembering that its not just the young adult that has lost their life but also the ripple effect of devastation on the families and friends as well. Over 500 people attended Luke’s funeral, every one of those people’s lives was changed that day and a little worse for it.
Lets try and prevent that happening again.