Recovery Colleges host ‘Dragon’s Den’ event

On 13th December 2017 service users and staff representing four of Cygnet’s Recovery Colleges gathered at a studio in London to film their own version of the Dragon’s Den.

Each Recovery College were initially asked to send ideas for improving outcomes for students at the Recovery College and the teams with the best ideas were invited to come to the Dragon’s Den. The concept was for staff and service users to work in co-production, developing ideas that really benefit the Recovery Colleges. The event was held at the Depository in North London, the same studio that the official Dragon’s Den TV show was once filmed.

Our panel of Dragon’s included Julie Kerry – Director of Nursing, Sally Gendle – Operations Manager, Rafik Hamaizia – Cygnet Health Care’s Expert by Experience Lead, EH – a service user at Cygnet Hospital Stevenage and Ian Callaghan – Recovery and Secure Care Manager at Rethink.

“An empowering event for service users, an event that was well organised from start to finish which allowed all of us involved to step out of our comfort zone and for the staff and service users pitching for funds to really take a big leap of faith. A positive experience for everyone involved and hopefully some friendship will flourish as a result of this day.”EH – Service user and Dragon

Four teams of service users and staff from Cygnet Hospitals Bierley, Bury Harrow and Sheffield were selected to take part and they spent many weeks working extremely hard to prepare for their time in the den, creating presentations, videos and working out the all-important budgets.

Each brave team employed all of their skills, knowledge and passion to persuade the Dragons to fund their projects and make their ideas a reality. The teams were treated to a day full of excitement as they were the stars of the show. With a professional film crew, director and make-up artist ready to go it really was a Hollywood experience like no other.

“I never thought that I would do something like this but I’m really glad I did.”RW – Service user and team member from Cygnet Hospital Bury

We would like to thank all of the staff and service users that gave up their time to get involved and support this fantastic event in so many ways. It was truly a fantastic example of what can be achieved through true co-production and the changes that can be brought about through the Recovery College. The video is currently in post-production and will soon be available for all to enjoy.

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