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Lloyds Banking Group HQ in Gresham Street turned into a makeshift Dragons’ Den in June, as 40 students and teachers from Woolwich Polytechnic – an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school, which has tackled social integration challenges – came to pitch some innovative ideas for digital apps.

The day, which was the culmination of a year of activity, invited students to put themselves in the shoes of the Mayor of London and create digitally-based ideas to help their local community. The Lloyds Dragons were delighted with the results.

All of the pitches were creative and original. Categories included apps that gave tailored career advice and encouraging exercise through local sport, but the winning idea was ‘Re-Think’ from team Paragon, which was designed to tackle cyber-bullying.

Sean Gilchrist, Managing Director Commercial Digital, who introduced the event, said the whole programme was a great success. “I’m delighted we were able to support Woolwich Polytechnic – the quality and originality of the apps the students presented were superb; they were a credit to themselves and the school. I hope we can continue to support and encourage their enthusiasm for developing digital propositions.”

Sig Enterprise Event 4

It’s all part of a wider programme of activity that Lloyds has been running with our charity partner Business in the Community since 2013 including mentoring schemes to help the students develop cultural capital, providing interview practice, CV and personal statement writing, career advice and support. Their ‘Alternative Routes’ session helps students consider alternative routes in employment, especially for those who find the financial constricts too challenging.

Adrian Walker, Managing Director, Head of Global Transaction Banking, added: “We’re proud to work with our charity partner, Business in the Community, and their education programme ‘Business Class’ creates great school-businesses partnerships. We’re passionate about improving the skills of local students, developing their employability as well as the business needs of the school. We hope it helps the students to dream big in their future careers and lives.”

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