A CHILDCARE company used a dragons’ den-style competition as part of a new scheme to enhance professional development and personal experiences of nursery staff.
Childbase, based in Northampton Road, Newport Pagnell, put £5,000 into the scheme and encouraged staff to come forward and pitch for a sum of money to pursue their individual goals.
In total 41 staff applied to go into the den, 21 were selected to pitch and 17 were awarded between £150 and £2,000 each.
The panel of four Childbase dragons included operations director Lynda Gostelow, training co-ordinator Clair Drury, director and team leader Alison Goodrum, and internal auditor Russell Beadle.
The dragon’s den was open to entry to all of the company’s 1,200 team that work across 39 nurseries and the head office in Newport Pagnell.
Pitches ranged from requests for money to buy a bee hive, learning Makaton sign language and hypnotherapy to give up smoking. With each individual came a personal account of why the sum of money they were requiring would make a positive impact on their lives at home, at work or both.
Clair Drury said: “The dragon’s den really caught everyone’s imaginations and the buzz around the nurseries in the lead up to the event was amazing. Some of the presentations really tugged at the heart strings and of course you want to be able to make everyone’s dreams come true but sometimes we I had to say those dreaded words ‘and for this reason I’m out’.”
She added: “At Childbase we feel it is important to support our staff and give them opportunities they may otherwise never have. We see it as a thank you for all the hard work and dedication they show to their jobs. It is important to us that we share the success of our company with our team.”
Wendy Morris who works at the company’s head office was awarded £549 to buy a bee hive said: “Being awarded £549 to buy a bee hive meant such a lot to me. The bee population is declining and the ecosystem relies on honey bee pollination so it’s something that I feel strongly about. It is good to know that the company I work for really cares about my personal happiness.”
In 2011 Childbase will be running its second dragon’s den and will be awarding a similar sum of money to more hopeful candidates.