DAD GOES INTO DEN TO FACE DRAGONS
AWELSH dad who left his job as a teacher to be a carpenter, after his daughter was seriously injured in an accident, is set to appear on Dragons’ Den tonight asking Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Co to invest in his new businesses.
Craig Hill, from Whitchurch, Cardiff, made the career change after his daughter Eirian, who was two at the time, fell backwards into an open fire.
Her dad was able to put out the flames but not before significant burns to her back and legs, requiring months of intensive care and skin grafts.
After the accident, Craig struggled to deal with the emotional impact of the tragedy and found himself sinking into depression as he tried to juggle his work and home life.
It ultimately made him decide to give up his teaching career. He took on some decking jobs for friends during the summer that followed. He found he was good with his hands and enjoyed the work.
Jobs flowed in through recommendations and referrals so he trained and qualified as a carpenter and began his journey creating his own business, called Landscapes for Learning.
The entrepreneur now makes an affordable range of outdoor learning equipment aimed at cash-strapped primary schools, nurseries and day care centres.
The range of products include mud kitchens, balance beams, sandpits and scales.
And he is going on the BBC show in the hope of securing backing from the judges.
Craig says: “As the main bread winner for our family, taking the decision to quit teaching was incredibly stressful. But I was really struggling after my daughter’s accident and couldn’t continue as I was.
“I needed to find a way to support my family that also helped improve my mental health and I found working with my hands, creating something from nothing, to be extremely therapeutic. When I qualified as a carpenter it felt like a new beginning.”
Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani trying out one of Craig Hill’s see-saws. Inset, Craig appearing before the Dragons