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Dragon Den Breathes Fire into Youth Talent

Mears' skills development initiative a roaring success with Midlands youths.Leading social housing repairs and maintenance specialist Mears Ltd teamed up with Midland Heart, one of the top ten housing groups in the country, and a community centre in Wolverhampton to run a Dragon's Den-style talent workshop for local youths.Hosted at the Gloucester Street Community Centre, Mears Ltd and Midland Heart organised a workshop that saw teams of young people working together to think of ideas to help the local community. They then pitched these ideas to a team of fiery 'Dragons' from Mears, Midland Heart and the Centre itself - the best of which won a Nintendo Wii for their community centre."Although it may look like a bit of fun for a prize," said Fiona Norris, Customer and Community Manager at Mears Ltd, "it is in fact helping the youths to develop many skills that will be required for future training and employment. Working together in a group, meeting a strict deadline, presenting coherently to a panel - these are all skills in their own rights."The winning team suggested starting dance classes, forming a local football team, refurbishing the community hall and creating a communal BBQ area as ways to improve the community, and were rewarded with the grand prize of the Nintendo Wii.Trishna Burk, youth development officer at Gloucester Street Youth Club, said: "We try to provide youths with opportunities to develop themselves as adults. The Mears Dragon's Den idea was a great way of showing the youths who took part what they could achieve in life." Mears continues to spearhead community campaigns to provide similar opportunities to those that need them the most.


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