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Voluntary sector organisations enter the Dragons’ Den

Voluntary sector organisations enter the Dragons’ Den to seek help and advice from the business sector

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Local business people became Dragons for an evening in support of a Dragons’ Den style charity event held at Lanyon Bowdler’s offices in Shrewsbury.  Shropshire Providers Consortium organised the event so community organisations could pitch for advice, help and support from local businesses.

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 Dragons’ Den events are enabling local businesses to support community organisations benefitting local communities and Shropshire as a whole.”

Five voluntary sector organisations explained the services they provide:

Headway provides support and rehabilitation for people with an acquired head injury and are looking for help with new purpose-built premises.  In 1970 90% of people with severe head injuries died, now 90% survive so more support is needed.

Shropshire Disability Network support people with disabilities in Shropshire providing an invaluable source of information on their website which is used by all sorts of people who work with the disabled – including carers and social workers. They also run the Safe Places community initiative in Shropshire. There are over 56,000 people with disabilities or long-term conditions in Shropshire.

Shropshire Youth Association engage with over 4,000 young people in Shropshire every week, supporting youth clubs and groups and providing programmes like the CRUCIAL CREW staying safe programme in primary schools.

Axis provides counselling for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.  They have supported nearly 12,000 people over the last 25 years – helping adults and children survive and thrive, in spite of the trauma they have suffered, to reach their full potential.

Yellow Ribbon Community Chaplaincy help ex-offenders when they leave prison (often on a Friday because of strict release dates) sometimes with just the clothes they stand up in, nowhere to go, no-one to help and just £46 to last them for up to 4-6 weeks before any benefits are received.

The ‘dragons’ Sarah Offland of Barclays; Councillor Nic Laurens, Shropshire Council; Carol Ewels of Always Consult; Holly Edwards from Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors and Mandy Thorn, Marches Care all offered advice and between them will be setting up appointments to help raise awareness and provide business support in different ways.

Mandy Thorn, Managing Director of Marches Care thanked everyone for attending, she said the range of voluntary organisations in Shropshire is amazing; thanking the voluntary sector organisations for their input, she said:  “The work you do is so incredible.”

The businesses that became ‘dragons’ for the evening said that, although they found the statistics alarming, the information provided was really interesting – and useful; they were inspired by all the volunteers and were delighted to discover that they could help in so many ways.

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