Charities fight for Dragon cash
Groups pitch to a panel of judges
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.