Portsmouth teenagers dare to enter Dragons’ Den

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  • Young people present their ideas in order to win cash
  • Afternoon was part of the government-run National Citizens Service
  • Teenagers are taking part in four weeks of activities to prepare them for work
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BRAVE teenagers faced some of Portsmouth’s fiercest ‘dragons’ as they pitched their community ideas with the hope of being rewarded with cash for their efforts.

The presentation was part of the government-run, four-week long, National Citizen Service programme, run by Pompey in the Community.

Team 15, who were awarded �150 to renovate Russet's care home ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (150812-1102)

Team 15, who were awarded �150 to renovate Russet's care home ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (150812-1102)

It is designed to give students the skills to carry themselves into the world of work. Three groups of young people, aged from 16 to 19, pitched their community project ideas in the Victory Suite, at Fratton Park, yesterday to a panel featuring the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Frank Jonas, Portsmouth College principal Steve Frampton, the owner of Love Southsea LuLu Whitmore, the manager of 1000 Lakeside Karen Tyrrell, Strong Island director Paul Gonella and News reporter Kimberley Barber.

James Shannon, an NCS manager who oversees the programme, said: ‘The dragons’ den adds a bit of suspense and drama to it and it gives them a focus on week three which is the hardest week to keep them engaged.

‘This gives them someone to impress and something to aim for, and business people come in rather than people they already know.’

The first two weeks of the programme saw fun and games on a home and away residential, while the last two weeks focused on making a difference to the community.

The dragons’ den adds a bit of suspense and drama to it

NCS manager James Shannon

It was with these charitable sentiments in mind that the three teams came up with ideas, which included helping the homeless, raising money for the PDSA and renovating the garden of a Portsmouth care home for people with learning disabilities.

Winning the largest amount of money – £150 – was the team who will be renovating the garden at Russet’s Care Home next week.

Receiving £90 was the team who will be organising a 48 hour sleep-out at Fratton Park to raise money for Two Saints. The third team won £60 for their PDSA fundraising, to help the Portsmouth branch of the animal charity.

Being a dragon...

From left, the panel of 'Dragons' - News Fareham reporter Kimberley Barber, Portsmouth College principal Steve Frampton, Love Southsea director LuLu Whitmore, NCS manager James Shannon, his assistant Lucy Keil, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Frank Jonas, Strong Island director Paul Gonella, and client and communications manager at 1000 Lakeside Karen Tyrrell Picture: Malcolm Wells (150812-1151)

From left, the panel of 'Dragons' - News Fareham reporter Kimberley Barber, Portsmouth College principal Steve Frampton, Love Southsea director LuLu Whitmore, NCS manager James Shannon, his assistant Lucy Keil, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Frank Jonas, Strong Island director Paul Gonella, and client and communications manager at 1000 Lakeside Karen Tyrrell Picture: Malcolm Wells (150812-1151)

STANDING in front of six dragons would be scary enough for a person my age.

Let alone being a teenager and presenting your work in front of six business people and a roomful of peers.

But these 45 young people pulled it off, despite some technical difficulties which meant that they had to rely on notes and personalities rather than Powerpoint.

Their projects were all well-thought out and showed some real fundraising potential.

I especially liked Team 13’s quirky sleep-out at Fratton Park idea, which will see them sleep rough for 48 hours to raise money and awareness for homeless young people.

But the most heart-warming story of all came from Team 15, who were inspired to do up the garden at Russet’s Care Home, which cares for people with learning disabilities, to help one of their own team and his fellow residents. Great work all round.

KIMBERLEY BARBER