Staff members in our Kingston office recently enjoyed hosting a Dragons' Den style fundraising pitch from a group of seven 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 to raise funds for Spear, a local charity supporting homeless people in Richmond and the surrounding areas. They had done so by undertaking a series of activities aimed not only at raising funds but raising awareness of the issues facing homeless people by meeting people and explaining what the charity does and seeking donations. 

Samantha Little commented "This is the third year that we have welcomed the students to Russell-Cooke and it was our pleasure to do so. We all enjoyed meeting them and giving them feedback on their pitch. We were impressed with the awareness they brought to their pitch about homeless issues. We feel confident they will secure the funding they seek for this charity. 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!"