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Charity Dragons’ Den

Posted on: 9th December 2014 | Category: Commitment to communities

On Friday 28 November Liberal Arts business students braved the flames of the Dragons’ Den. The whole school gathered to watch the Surval in-house production, based on the popular international TV series. Presented by Miss Foxton and Miss Merrett, this charity version of the show saw three student teams battle it out with persuasive pitching to secure the international good cause of their choice for a Liberal Arts volunteering trip next March, provided by the Future Sense Foundation.

     First was team ‘Les Profs’, dressed as school teachers and equipped with an old fashioned chalk board ready to “teach the Dragons a lesson” about teaching in a nursery in Tanzania. Les Profs were followed by ‘The Inca’, whose chosen good cause was volunteering in a children’s home in Peru. The first round of pitching was brought to a conclusion by the `Elephant Whisperers’, who delivered a powerful pitch accompanied by heart-stopping graphics showing the plight of the elephants in Thailand.

    The four Dragons; Jane Kenyon from Suisse Rail, Axel Boggio, local business man from Montreux, Mr Mark Malley from Bellevue and Mrs Penney then quizzed the teams with in-depth questions and sadly ‘The Inca’ heard the dreaded words “I’m out” from Mr Malley which meant she had to leave the competition, accompanied by groans of sadness and shock from the audience. With a nail-biting head-to-head final between ‘Les Profs’ and the ‘Elephant Whisperers’, the student vote had the ‘Elephant Whisperers’ in front, but after some final tough questions, ‘Les Profs’ came out on top and were named winners by the Dragons!

     Our South African contestant reflected on the outome: “The Dragons’ Den was a very challenging but valuable experience. I feel I have learnt many new skills throughout the process, including how to plan a trip {project} independently, as well as overcoming my fear of public speaking. Researching this project awakened a new interest in me, and I am now inspired to take part in my own independent volunteering experiences in the future. Although my team did not win, I am proud of myself and my peers for what we achieved, and for all the hard work, time and passion that we put into the project.”

     Since the competition took place, the plans have changed slightly. Surval volunteers will now spend two weeks in Thailand, one week working with schoolchildren and one week with the elephants, thus meeting everyone’s choices. It will be an amazing experience!

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