Two Hackney school groups awarded �500 to make social projects a reality

Two Hackney school teams were each awarded �500 to make their social action project a reality, by a panel of top business ‘Dragons.’

Over 50 schools applied to take part in social charity’s Envision’s Pitch4Change competition, held in Docklands’ Canary Wharf, which emulated the BBC show Dragons’ Den, where entrepreneurs pitch for investment from some of Britain’s top business brains.

Clapton Girls’ Technology College in Laura Place and Our Lady’s Convent School in Amhurst Road, Dalston, were among seven schools selected to send teams of 16 and 17 year olds, to pitch their innovative ideas for sustainable living.

The Clapton Girls’ team were commended for their creative project, which focused on how to improve Hackney’s image, by leading positive activities within the community.

They have been given money to paint a community wall and create a community garden.

The Our Lady’s Convent team impressed the panel with their idea to send cards to women prisoners.

Although they were keen to stress that they believe in prison sentencing they feel that it is important that prisoners are supported to re-integrate into society and have been working with PACT, a charity working with women in prison to raise awareness of the effect of imprisonment on whole families.

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They plan to run an event called ‘Prisoner for a Day,’ to raise awareness and encourage people to sign their cards.

In the lead up to their pitch the two teams received weekly mentoring from experts at top law firm Clifford Chance, who coached them on how to prepare and deliver their pitches.

In its third year, Pitch 4 Change sees businesses working with Envision, with the common goal of finding creative solutions to social problems.

Envision Chief Executive, Andrew Dick, said, “This is a great example of the way charities and business can work together – the young people not only get the funds to improve their communities, but also learn a lot about the professional world and business skills that will help them succeed.”

Envision provides young people with the opportunity to make a difference, helping them design their own local community projects