On Wednesday 18 May, eight ‘dragons’ listened to eight pitches in a Dragon’s Den-style event at the School of Sport and Service Management (SaSM).
The dragons represented SaSM’s teaching, management, support staff and students as well as voices from the local community. They heard eight fantastic pitches from SaSM staff and students who were hoping to win a slice of the £20k of ECHO grant funding available.
Fiona Smith, Principal Lecturer, who led the panel and is responsible for the distribution of ECHO grant funding, said:
“We were delighted with the high quality of the presentations and the great work that members of the school do and want to do more of. The ECHO grants fund projects related to excellence, community and heritage opportunities and allow students and staff to maximise their expertise and interests to pursue these opportunities.”
The hopeful pitchers had ten minutes to pitch their project and ten minutes to be grilled by the panel of ‘dragons’. Projects ranged from working with: Peer 2 Peer capacity building in The Gambia, Kenyan athlete’s saliva, school children in Bournemouth, disengaged young people in Hastings, children, local care home residents and the over fifty-fives in the Eastbourne community. “After hearing the pitches we were keen to fund more than half of the projects”, continued Fiona, “and by asking each of those pitchers to reduce their budget by 10% we were able to ensure that five great new projects can get started.”
The successful project pitches were announced the same afternoon at the Eastbourne Exchange Event by Head of Alumni Engagement Faye Brown. Faye acknowledged the support of University of Brighton alumni and philanthropic givers who make the awarding of ECHO grants possible.
Sophie Thomas, one of the successful pitchers for her joint project Fitness Fights Falls, said: “I’m so pleased we won an ECHO grant. We’ll be devising an exercise programme with care-home residents which will help to prevent falls – this could make a real difference to older people in our community. We can’t wait to get the ball rolling!”
Applications are open for ECHO grant funding twice per academic year – check back for more information about the next round.