Dragons' Den - 4 February 2011
The latest Dragons’ Den took place at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Building on 4 February 2011. The Dragons were Alan Lotinga, Director for Birmingham Health and Well-Being Partnership, Adults and Communities Directorate; Katie Trout, Executive Assistant to Chief Executive, Corporate Resources Directorate; Fred Shaw, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Service Birmingham; Lucy Cross, Corporate Recognition Manager, Corporate Resources Directorate and Laura Davis, Cabinet Support Officer, Corporate Resources Directorate.
First to face the Dragons were Claire Vaughan and Christine Hughes from Selly Oak Constituency Performance & Support – Library Services Teams – Housing & Constituencies. The team wanted to encourage all groups to access library services, by hosting a community arts competition and wanted help to support the promotion of it.
With 70 entries in 2010 from people ranging from 5 years to 95 years old, the Arts Trail last year displayed a wide range of arts including photographs, paintings and poetry. It also showcased different ability levels. The benefits from last year included; increased footfall in the participating libraries, improved partnership working with the group of libraries, improved team working and stronger relationships.
With such success and high standards of work submitted last year, the team want to turn the Arts Trail into an annual event. The team want BEST to fund professional exhibition panels which will be utilised throughout the year to display work in a more professional manner and encourage more budding artists to submit their work. The Dragons were very impressed with the bid and presentation, particularly the slide show of artwork from last year. A ‘yes’ quickly followed.
Second to face the Dragons were Saleem Ayub and Toni Daly from Ward End Library – Housing & Constituencies. Saleem and his team were looking for funding to develop a reading project for primary children called ‘Premier League Reading Stars’. The project encourages children and families to improve reading and writing skills to improve their confidence. The project is in conjunction with Birmingham City Football Club, and includes a book review, writing a sports article, a visit from an author and a visit to the football club to celebrate the project.
The panel liked the idea very much but felt it could benefit more children for less money. The Dragons decided to award the team half the amount with additional requirements to fulfil.
Up in front of the Dragons next were Mandy Hope and Jeannette Flanagan, Senior Social Workers from the Adoption Assessment Team, Children Young People and Families.
Mandy and Jeannette presented an ’interactive tool’ to the panel. Adoption Assessment Social Workers will use the tool to both engage and enable children whose families are adopting to participate in the assessment process. The interactive tool will facilitate the opportunity for the children to share their thoughts and feelings with parents and social worker about the life changing events that may take place in their family.
The presenters brought along to the panel an example of the interactive tool they want funding for. Taking the shape of an attractive resource bag, there were a variety of activities inside to aid children of all ages to develop communication with the social worker who will be assessing their family. The Dragon’s, during the presentation, had time to look through the activities to give them a better idea of how the resource would work.
The panel felt it was a great idea and very relevant at this time. They offered the team the full amount of £1000, in order to supply additional resources. The team was also offered support from Katie Trout, with promoting the service through our internal communication channels.
Lined up next before the Dragons were Helen Kane - Social Worker and Christine McPherson - Team Manger from South West Mental Health Team – Adults and Communities Directorate. They presented to the panel a technique to help people with mental ill health through times of anxiety and stress. They wanted funding from the Dragons to train 20 of their team to use this current technique called ‘Mindfulness’. The techniques learnt would support service users and staff across the city to deal with challenging life issues. The team plan to pass on this technique to other mental health teams, and health or social care professionals working with services users or anyone needing support in that area.
The panel found the presentation interesting and current, however they felt it was too broad an issue to cover both service users and staff. They decided that more work needed to be done on the application and gave them a list of actions to do, before re-presenting at the next panel in April.
Last in front of the Dragons was Saima Ali, Ward Support Officer from Housing & Constituencies. Saima put forward to the Dragons a well presented case, to deliver training to 50 residents from neighbourhoods across Selly Oak Constituency. The training will try and get residents to think about their role within their neighbourhood and how by becoming engaged in the democratic process they too can contribute towards their community and neighbourhood and make a difference. The funding Saima is applying for is to pay for the venue and for refreshments. All Saima’s work paid off with an emphatic ‘yes’ from the Dragons.
Congratulations to everyone who braved the Dragons’ Den and survived. The next den will take place at the end of April 2011 at the CBSO Building, date to be confirmed. If you have an idea or want to submit your application, please contact your directorate support teams.