In people’s lives, ‘opportunities’ can come in various guises, some can be clear and obvious and others may not be evident until after the passage of time.

At Nova New Opportunities, we aim to create the conditions for people to take new life chances, and to see where it may take them.

The Opportunity’ is a series of discussions with successful individuals who recall a particular moment – or opportunity – that changed the course of their lives. Sometimes it wasn’t obvious that a particular moment would prove so important to their future, at others, it was a blazingly clear juncture that they knew had to be grabbed with both hands. It could be deemed ‘a stroke of luck’, or it could just have been that someone, somewhere showed a little faith, but these moments are when we recognise the turning points in our lives.

"To get the opportunity to educate yourself later in life is fantastic – but you have to take it, you have to believe in yourself and find the strength within to be what you want to be."

One of the greatest try-scorers in British Rugby League history recounts his unusual school and the role that self-belief played in his dazzling career. The opportunity afforded by his schooling was not passed up! Read more of Martin’s story here.

"‘If not now, when? People worry about failing but learning a subject is about more than an exam, it’s the journey, right?"

Wildly successful author and raconteur Kathy Lette gives chapter and verse on sex, surfing and not letting that big chance pass you by – her particular opportunity led to the most successful Australian film ever and a place in the country’s cultural history. Read more of Kathy’s story here.

"It is important that those two communities – the wealthier and the working class – get to know each other."

Nova’s work on social cohesion rings a bell with Copeland because of his diverse upbringing. He lived in places that became bywords for division, hate and violence.
Founding member of the legendary band, the Police, and one of the world’s greatest rock drummers, Stewart Copeland talks about gothic film scores, split second decisions on chances that appear, and the discovery that Sting could actually sing! Read more of Stewart’s story here.

"If you are struggling to survive and just get through each day, you don’t feel compelled to make overt contributions to the society around you. So we HAVE to help people and it’s so important that Nova are doing that."

Broadcaster and journalist Penny Smith credits her intrepid nature and a risk-taking Dad for her ability to see opportunities when they arose. Luck plays its part, too, but she didn’t always follow the advice given to her….thankfully. Read more of Penny’s story here.

'Language courses like those at Nova are a good example actually ... Nothing is better for you than good communication – I learned this the hard way and absolutely killed myself learning English. I knew that I had to be able to communicate and express myself effectively. So if the chance to improve your language comes, then take it, dive off that cliff. You really never know where things are going to take you!'

The Strictly judge and possibly the world’s most glamorous and effervescent Italian talks about the wonders of chance, the fear of failure and how to cash in on the moments of fate that can suddenly appear. And what it means to risk everything. Read more of Bruno’s story here.

" I love what Nova are doing for their community. Opportunity knocks at any time in life and everybody should answer that door when it does. Go for it! "

Now one of Britain’s best loved actors, Amanda Redman talks to Nova about being in the right place at the right time, jumping at opportunities and her passion to be on stage from an early age. Read more of Amanda’s story here.


Brian’s advice to those considering taking up a Nova opportunity is therefore very simple; don’t leave the field wondering.

Injury nearly robbed him of an international career, but luck, instinct and the skills of an old physiotherapist set England ruby player Brian Moore onto a glittering international rugby career. He talks to us about why the fear of failure must never stop you. Read more of Brian’s story here.