Char­i­ties fight for Dragon cash

Groups pitch to a panel of judges

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Mort Smith mort.smith@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

THE first ever Dragons’ Den-style event aimed specif­i­cally at Bucks char­i­ties proved a big suc­cess at the an­nual Vol­un­tary and Com­mu­nity Sec­tor Con­fer­ence, held ear­lier this month in Ayles­bury.

Four Bucks char­i­ties – Bucks Play As­so­ci­a­tion, Chal­font St Giles Youth Club, Puz­zle Cen­tre and Sound­about – pitched to re­ceive an in­vest­ment of £5,000 so that they could ex­pand their work.

The Dragons in­cluded lo­cal busi­ness­man Guy Lach­lan, Guy Birkby from The Clare char­ity cen­tre, Jill Brown­son, a for­mer health sec­tor em­ployee and mem­ber of the Heart of Bucks grants panel, coun­cil­lor Carl Et­holen and Becca Acres, a pre­vi­ous mem­ber of Bucks Youth Bank Panel.

The Dragons Den event was or­gan­ised by Heart of Bucks (for­merly Bucks Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion) and was part of the an­nual con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by Com­mu­nity Im­pact Bucks.

Each group made a pitch in front of their char­ity peers for a max­i­mum of eight min­utes, show­ing the im­pact they could achieve with £5,000 by work­ing in a col­lab­o­ra­tive way with oth­ers to make their or­gan­i­sa­tion more sus­tain­able.

The groups then had to face seven min­utes of ques­tions from the Dragons.

“It was a real chal­lenge for the groups to pitch their ideas in a suc­cinct and in­spir­ing way that would catch the imag­i­na­tion of the Dragons, and yet at the same time also an­swer all the Dragons’ ra­tio­nal ques­tions about the sus­tain­abil­ity of their or­gan­i­sa­tion,” said Richard Dick­son, di­rec­tor of Heart of Bucks. “Judg­ing by the re­ac­tion from the watch­ing au­di­ence it was also a huge learn­ing ex­er­cise for oth­ers too.”

The win­ning char­ity was Bucks Play As­so­ci­a­tion who will use the money to ex­tend their ac­tiv­i­ties by a fur­ther two weeks each year.

The other three groups re­ceived £500 each.

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