Winning projects of the Honiton Dragons Den

Honiton community project groups brave ‘dragons’ and local audience to win share of £5000 funding pot

Eight community groups faced up to a panel of critical ‘dragons’ and an audience of local people at the Beehive in Honiton on 29 May 2019 to win a share of a funding ‘pot’ of £5,000 given by East Devon District Council, Devon County Council and Honiton Town Council.

The fun networking and community Dragons Den style funding event required participants to pitch their project ideas and funding requirements within five minutes to the dragons and audience who then voted on the projects they wanted to receive funding. Each audience member had a ballot card, which only allowed them to “spend” up to £5,000.

A panel of three “dragons” – consisting of Jamie Buckley, East Devon’s Engagement and Funding Officer, and Cllr Phil Twiss and Policy Officer Dave Slocombe both representing Devon County Council - asked the participants some tough questions to help the audience make their decisions.

The £5,000 funding pot comprised £3,000 from Devon County Council’s locality budget, £1,000 from East Devon District Council and £1,000 from Honiton Town Council.

Organised by East Devon District Council’s Community Development Worker Alex Higgins and Devon County Council’s Development Officer Ali Eastland, the Dragons’ Den event was part of East Devon District Council’s action packed #inhoniton events week (25-31 May 2019), which has been offering free taster health/wellbeing/cultural events ranging from craft making activities at Thelma Hulbert Gallery to countryside walks and even a screening of the film Christopher Robin.

The winners must spend the grant within 12 months.

Results of Honiton Dragons’ Den 2019 (with the amount of funding the participants received):

1st Honiton Shredders £500 – this is a new ‘men’s shed’ that will be starting in the grounds of the community use building next to Honiton Community College. They are looking forward to opening their doors to men and women of all ages.

2nd Honiton Youth Club £500 – this group needed a storage shed to store the equipment they need to run outdoor activities. They will share their new steel storage shed with all other users of the community use building.

Joint 3rd:

Breastfeeding Café £750 - the café will run out of the Honiton Children’s Centre to start with and the money will be spent training six mum-to-mum supporters to help new mums.

Honiton 55+ Herb Garden for Wheelchair Users £1,000 – they will use the funding to make a flat paved area in their garden and to build raised beds in it, so that wheelchair users can get gardening.

5th TRIP £1,000 – they will be using the money to fund a digital poster display.

6th Honiton Carers Health and Wellbeing Walks £1000 - will be offering carers three days (at no cost to carers) of guided walks in the countryside. It will be a chance for them to explore the countryside and make friends with other carers.

7th Honiton Health Matters £250 towards a laptop

8th Danu Blue story making sessions

Commenting on the success of the event, ‘Dragon’ Devon County Councillor Phil Twiss, said:

I always enjoy the Dragon Dens event and in its fifth years it was no exception. It never fails to attract highly quality applicants competing for a significant
pot of money put up by Devon County Council, East Devon District Council and Honiton Town Council. The range and diversity of those taking part this year was fantastic and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.

Cllr Susie Bond, East Devon District Council’s newly appointed Deputy Leader, who attended the event, said:

#in Honiton was an exciting week-long promotion of all that’s available in the town, be it the packed programme of events at Thelma Hulbert Gallery, walks at Honiton Bottom or exercise sessions at LED Honiton Leisure Centre. There is so much to discover in Honiton and it’s right here on our doorstep.

Event organiser Alex Higgins, said:

This is a different and wonderful way to fund local groups. Instead of impersonal funding forms, we get to hear directly from the passionate people behind the projects. It genuinely pulls on the heart strings to see the amount of energy the groups put into these initiatives that do so much for local people.

Heloise Marlow, Deputy Town Clerk, Honiton Town Council, said:

This year’s Dragons Den was a fantastic opportunity for community groups to obtain much needed funding at a fun but professionally run event.  Honiton Town Council is delighted to help support the community groups who took part and wish them every success over the next 12 months.