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Shropshire Providers Consortium Dragons’ Den Telford

The second Shropshire Providers Consortium Dragons’ Den Event was held at Shropshire Youth Support Trust in Telford on 12th October, 2017 with Rachael Tyrrell of Oak County financial Services, Teresa Bradburn of Midcounties Co-operative Funeralcare, Neil Phillips of Phillips Chartered Accountants and John Rainford of Strawberry Fields on the panel of dragons.


Shropshire Youth Support Trust provides help and support to young people aged 18 – 30 who want to start a business – they provide subsidised incubator space at Brodie House along with training and mentoring.  Shropshire Youth Support Trust is located at Brodie House, Telford, TF3 4DR

The Dragons:


Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSE):



Teresa Bradburn, Area Manager, Midcounties Co-operative Funerals covering Shropshire and the West Midlands including 3 funeral homes in the Telford area and 2 in Bridgnorth.

Neil Phillips, Chartered Accountant, a Governor for Telford College and member of the Telford Business Board

Rachael Tyrrell, Financial Adviser with Oak County Financial Services, based in Telford.  She is also a volunteer with West Midlands Search and Rescue.

John Rainford Strawberry Fields, Entrepreneurship, innovation and digital marketing specialists.


Wendy Condlyffe, Chief executive of IMPACT AAS, said the charity was originally formed to provide psycho-therapy to adults with addiction problems.  Between April and August this year, they have received 164 requests for help and 88 of these were from children under 16 years of age.  CaMHS only treats young people diagnosed with mental health issues.  Many children do not qualify and for those that do,  there is at least a six-month waiting list for an appointment.  Wendy said issues on the increase were eating disorders and self-harm rather than drug related.

They get spot purchases from schools and local authority referrals from the safeguarding team and carers but no contracts.  The contract they have for gambling problems is for a limited number of people so they end up providing the rest free of charge.

Most counsellors are volunteers, paid staff include a clinical lead, admin and supervisors.

What IMPACT asked for:
Help to establish a business case


CEDAR Education CIC

CEDAR provides community education and death awareness and resources.  Judith is a unique specialist in temporality
Early childhood loss can be the cause of behavioural problems.
CEDAR offer life sessions – courses talking about the difference between death and dead.  Death is an idea – dead is a fact.  Death is a part of everyday life.
CEDAR provides death education for health and wellbeing – understanding grief and bereavement – it is not counselling.
Judith organises death cafes where the menu is starter questions and anyone can talk to anyone in a safe, warm environment.
CEDAR has developed a legacy app with the University of Coventry.

What CEDAR asked for:
Help launching the app
Help raising awareness and promoting courses.


The Greenwood Centre at Ironbridge is part of the national Small Woods Association which has over 2000 members nationally and provides education, training and promotes good practice.  They train Forest School leaders.

More people are now interested in woodlands and recognise them for their wellness factor and providing human wellbeing.

Membership is £34 per year – members get discounted courses and a quarterly magazine.  Family membership has just been introduced.

It is not possible to just leave a woodland to nature – it needs management in order to preserve the variety of species and prevent damage from rodents, disease and weather.

As a charity the Small Woods Association is reliant on membership, grants and operations (selling logs and other woodland products like baskets and charcoal and training courses); 94% of charcoal burnt in the UK is imported.

They offer team building days and corporate days.

What the Small Woods Association asked for:
Help improving their membership offer
Investigating attracting CSR funding
Creating a CSR strategy
Their biggest challenge is sustainability, income and resilience as they rely on funded projects.


Pauline Mack explained that Yellow Ribbon was started as a Telford Christian Council project.  They offer mentoring and befriending support for people leaving prison who sometimes have no home, no friends, no transport and £46 to last for weeks before benefits are received.  There is no rehabilitation in prisons – often 150 people to 2 guards.  Probation case loads have doubled.

They meet people before release, set up support, meet them at the gate, provide accommodation, mentoring.

Another charity bought a house so they can provide temporary accommodation.  Leavers stay for 3 months to over a year.

Triangle Trust set up a social enterprise with café and furniture restoration business so leavers have something meaningful to do.  Once they have proved they can work well then they get paid.  This gives them belonging, purpose.  It also gives them a reference for future work.

What Yellow Ribbon asked for:
The café makes a loss – need mentoring for café manager and financial advice.



CEDAR Education CIC

Midcounties Co-operative – Teresa offered the use of rooms for Judith to hold CEDAR meetings.  She will also investigate the possibility of courses to provide education for Co-operative funeral colleagues – and speaker opportunities for Judith.

Rachael said she would ask if West Midlands Search and Rescue would be interested in one of CEDAR’s courses.

Possibility that schools could include death education courses in their PSHE lessons?

Rachael will ask Oak County Financial Services about possible help with the app.



Rachael will find out the possibility of getting a local celebrity chef into the café and look at help with business, planning and advice on wastage, etc.

Neil Phillips offered financial help looking at costings and profit margins.

Possibility of working with other charity furniture schemes – restoring unwanted furniture?


Teresa from Midcounties said she would liaise with Richard on possible woodland burial sites.

There are woodlands in Telford that need managing – possibility of offering companies access for stress relief/wellbeing in return for sponsorship?

The dragons wondered what other organisations the Small Woods Association works with – Woodland Trust?  Shropshire Wildlife Trust?  Forestry Commission?  Department for the Environment?


Strawberry Fields have already offered to help IMPACT with a strategy for the future.

Could awareness courses form part of PSHE in schools? (Personal Social and Heath Education)
John Rainford, Strawberry Fields offered to provide advice on strategy for all community organisations

The dragons also discussed whether perhaps the Small Woods Association could collaborate with Yellow Ribbon to offer work experience for ex-offenders?

Although the businesses that became ‘dragons’ for the evening found the statistics alarming, they were inspired by all the volunteers and were delighted to discover that they could help in many ways – such as promoting awareness, strategy for the future and highlighting the issues.

In the press release published on Lindsay Barton of SPC said: “SPC wants to connect businesses for social good, providing a link between industry and voluntary and community enterprises in Shropshire. These events are enabling local businesses to support community organisations benefitting local communities and Shropshire as a whole.”


From L to R: Pauline Mack, Yellow Ribbon Community Chaplaincy; Wendy Condlyffe, IMPACT AAS, Richard Thomason, Small Woods Association; John Rainford, Strawberry Fields, Lindsay Barton, Shropshire Providers Consortium; Rachael Tyrrell, Oak County Financial Services; Teresa Bradburn, Midcounties Co-operative Funeral Services; Judith Wester, CEDAR, Neil Phillips, Oak County Financial Services and Richard Nuttall, Shropshire Youth Support Trust.




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