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SMRT Envision Team Wins £555 in Dragon’s Den-style Pitch4Change

Envision is a charity that mobilises young people to make ‘people-powered change.’ We are a group of ten SMRT students and through this we have formed ‘Asylum Seeker Action.’ Originally from a wide range of schools in Bristol, we’ve seen the lack of education for teenagers about asylum seekers and refugees. Many asylum seekers will have lost everything due to war, persecution or torture. They often cannot speak English, have no right to work, are faced with gruelling legal challenges, are given housing no one else wants and must live on just £36 a week. But having to stand up to prejudice could be unbearable. We want to combat the negative stereotypes surrounding asylum seekers and refugees.


Our project is to deliver workshops to Year 8 classes across the city. We really want the students to be able to meet real refugees and listen to their stories as well as learning through games. We’ll then distribute resource packs to every school in Bristol so the workshops can be recreated.


We were recently given the opportunity to take part in ‘Pitch4Change.’ Along with Envision groups from seven other schools, we presented our community project to a group of some of Bristol’s most prestigious business men and women in order to win funding. Opened by a speech from Mayor George Ferguson, the day was full of inspirational talks and film challenges!


We watched the other schools’ pitches nervously – all were amazing and unique. However we had nothing to worry about, ours too went very smoothly. We had had three great mentoring sessions with Clarke Wilmott Solicitors beforehand allowing us to practise lots and prepare for difficult questions.


Afterwards we were given a challenge to film a news report on the day. We interviewed the Lord Mayor and a student from another school. SMRT was awarded first place, winning an extra £100 for our project! With much suspense, we were presented our giant cheques! We were given the full amount we had requested - £455! The day ended with speeches, photos and saying goodbye to new friends, all of us inspired to carry out our project and make a real change in our community.

giant cheque

Eleanor Gardner

(Other team members: Rayan Bana, Dylan Brown-Wilkinson, Ruby Dark, Fatin Guled, Indi Hadi, Chloe Harkness, Carlo Hornilla and Grace Tiu)