Sorbon and Shellwin mentor pupils to a Dragon’s Den final at the Green Schools Challenge 2023

Sorbon Estates together with Shellwin Real Estate, were proud to mentor a group of students from The Buckinghamshire College Group (BCG) to a Dragons’ Den styled final of the 2023 Green Schools’ Challenge held at the Oculus Centre earlier this month.

Over three rounds, Katherine Croom, Managing Director, Sorbon Estates and Helen Shellabear, Managing Director, Shellwin Real Estate, led their team of green-minded entrepreneurs from BCG to develop a community bike-sharing scheme which we hope can be put in place in the future.

In its second year, the challenge, organised by Buckinghamshire Council in partnership with Buckinghamshire Skills Hub, tasked Year 12 pupils, from five local schools to develop real solutions to environmental issues currently faced by their schools. Mentors from businesses across the region were on-hand to help pupils develop their green skills, employability, technical, creative, and academic skills.

Over the course of the competition, launched in October, local business leaders Katherine and Helen advised the Flackwell Heath-based pupils on career choices and discussed every-day green challenges within their own businesses. Further support was offered in brainstorming green solutions to issues within their school and developing ideas to present at the competition stage.

Pupils also visited one of Shellwin’s owned and managed offices in Bourne End to see eco features that have been incorporated into a recent refurbishment and learn the benefits of these modifications to its tenants – helping them to visualise practical solutions first-hand.

Despite the BGS team delivering a persuasive pitch, Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School team and its Swapify App designed to help parents and pupils to buy and sell school uniform, were crowned the ultimate winners.

Katherine Croom, Managing Director of Sorbon Estates, comments:

“Working with pupils and sharing examples of environmental challenges we face regularly was an incredible undertaking. We are pleased that all schools taking part were able to apply some of the learnings to address environmental issues their schools may be facing. We are so proud of the team from Buckinghamshire College Group, and we know that their Bike Shed idea will be a great success in the future and an asset to the community.”

Helen Shellabear, Director, Shellwin Real Estate, commented:

“Collaboration between businesses and students makes absolute sense if we are to find another way to stimulate growth and do business in the future. We were so proud of our group of BCS pupils for standing up in front the Dragons to present The Bike Shed. Their idea shone a light on the need for sustainable transport, social inclusivity within their community.”