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Funding ideas that make things better


The aim of Solent Dragons' Den is to fund innovative and creative projects that enhance the services and support that we provide, and as a result, improve the care and experiences our patients and community members have.

Solent Dragons' Den logo

What you need to know about Solent Dragons' Den...

How does Solent Dragons' Den work?

It gives an opportunity for people to suggest projects that will improve or enhance care and the experience our patients have, by awarding small grants to help bring these ideas to life.


Initially, you'll need to to submit an application that outlines your idea and how this fits with our objectives as a Trust. Applications are reviewed by the dragons and if it's considered "doable" (most are) you'll be invited to present your idea to the dragons in the "den". 

Take a look at the full process below.

How much funding is there? 

Each project can "bid" for up to £10,000 in funding.

Who can apply for Solent Dragons' Den?

Solent staff, patients and members of the community are welcome to apply to funding for their innovative idea.


  • If you're a member of Solent NHS Trust staff, you can make an application directly by following the process laid out below.

  • If you're a patient or member of our community please email the team to discuss your idea and how we can help you make an application:

Who are the dragons?

The following members of staff make up our current Solent Dragons’ Den panel:

  • Dr Sarah Williams - Chair - Director of Research and Improvement

  • Sam Hemingway - Deputy Chief of Nursing and AHPs

  • Ben Meehan - Head of Estates Projects

  • Gareth Banks - Head of Digital Solutions

  • Vickie O’Leary - Deputy Director of Finance

Is there a deadline to submit an application?

We hold four "rounds" of Solent Dragons' Den each year. This means that the dragons meet four times each year to review applications, open the den for presentations and award funding to successful projects.

The 2023 application submission deadline dates are as follows:

- 9th February 2024

- 3rd May 2024

- 9th August 2024

- 8th November 2024

What help will I have with my project?

All projects will be assigned a ‘sponsor’, who will provide support and guidance to applicants as they work on their pitch and, if successful, help them bring their idea to life.

Applying to Solent Dragons' Den


Submit your application

Take a look at the Information and Presentation Pack, then download, complete and email your application form to the Solent Dragons' Den team. Provide as much detail as possible about how your idea will help make a difference.

Application assessed

Once your application has been received the dragons will carry out an initial review in order to make sure that it is eligible to be considered for funding. Those that are suitable will then be invited to pitch their idea.

Prepare to meet the dragons

Once you've been invited to make a pitch, you'll need to work on what you'll present to the panel of dragons. You'll find some helpful tips in the Information and Presentation Pack.

Make your pitch

You'll receive a decision from the dragons after your presentation. You may also receive some suggested amendments and successful applicants will be given a sponsor to provide support.

Bring your idea to life

With help and guidance from your sponsor you'll be ready to start working on your project. You'll also be asked to feedback on the impact and learning from your project.

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Get in touch with the team

The Solent Dragons' Den team are here to help you with any questions or if you'd just like to discuss an idea you have.

Leave them a message and they'll get back to you as soon as they can.

Thanks for your message, will be in contact as soon as possible.


News + events

Poster Writing Day - Portsmouth

4 September 2024

9.30am - 4pm

Portsmouth, UK

Poster Writing Day - Southampton

19 September 2024

9.30am - 4pm

Southampton, UK

Introduction to Clinical Outcome Measures

14 October 2024

9.30am - 11am


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