Staff members in our Kingston office recently enjoyed hosting a Dragons' Den style fundraising pitch from a group of nine 16 and 17 year-olds from NCS – the Challenge

NCS is the National Citizen Service, a government-funded programme for young people to help build skills for work and life whilst fostering closer community spirit. The teenagers take on new challenges and meet other young people from different schools and backgrounds. Most will not have visited a professional services environment before, and it is hoped that the visit will inspire some to aim for a career that might have felt out of reach to them previously. The scheme involves a few days away from home as well as participation in a team project in the local community, which involves fund-raising.

The students' pitch was a trial run for them before their official pitch for money to Dragons from local businesses. Their aim was to raise money for their community project. Specifically, they were seeking a small investment to buy ingredients to make four cakes for residents at Abbeyfield House, a local care facility specialising in looking after residents with dementia. Any surplus funds raised would be used to improve the residents' quality of life – supplying plants or providing materials for games.

Samantha Little commented "It was a pleasure for us to host the students in Kingston this year. We all enjoyed meeting them and giving them feedback on their pitch. We feel confident they will secure the funding they seek from local businesses. We also hope we have given them some helpful information about working life and perhaps we inspired some of them to think about working in an office environment such as ours or even to consider working as a solicitor!"