Dragon Growing Happy

Today marks the first anniversary of Dragon as a brand. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last year, notably the work we are doing with the LGBT community through our “Pride” initiative.

Sport is a powerful vehicle that can transform your mental, physical and spiritual health, while building communities that make a difference. As a brand, we believe that we are always better when we are doing something good for the benefit of someone else.

With this in mind, we are delighted to mark our first birthday by announcing our new partnership with Growing Happy.

Growing Happy is a social enterprise determined to create a happier world. Recently they’ve run workshops empowering individuals with learning difficulties to create the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games, and continue to work with the Barons Court Project, a day centre supporting the homeless and those struggling with mental ill-health, to reinforce their mission to deliver social change and community enhancement.

Dragon Hockey is partnering with Growing Happy to change lives by using sport and performing arts to bring communities together and increase awareness around mental health issues. 5% of Dragon’s Christmas profits will go into the Growing Happy Foundation, which manages projects designed to support and improve the lives of the homeless; those suffering from mental ill-health; and individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities.

One of the first projects, started by and in collaboration with Chickenshed Theatre, will be ‘The Space Between Us’, an intergenerational project exploring the space between disadvantaged, disempowered and disillusioned groups and ‘mainstream society’. A number of outreach sessions and immersive workshops will lead to a final performance piece and documentary film that explores, celebrates and, in some cases, eliminates ‘that space between us’. By using performing arts to connect different groups in society, we will allow them to build confidence, show their talents and start to believe in a brighter future.

At a time when many people feel that human connection is being lost, this partnership aims to put community and giving at the forefront of sustainable business.

Commenting on the announcement, Growing Happy’s founder Rupert Pearce says: “This is the whole reason I set up Growing Happy. The opportunity to work on meaningful projects that have a direct impact on people’s wellbeing and happiness. I am very grateful to work with organisations like Dragon who care deeply about ‘doing the right thing’ and using their success to give back to those most in need. The project with Dragon and Chickenshed will further prove the power of the social enterprise model and our belief that we need to focus on what people ‘can do’ rather than what they can’t.

David Kettle, Managing Director of Dragon, added “Mental health is something which is very close to my heart. True happiness is hard to attain without focusing on how you can positively affect other people's lives and I’m very proud that Dragon is able to partner with Growing Happy and the Chickenshed Theatre to deliver ‘The Space Between Us’.

Louise Perry, Chickenshed’s Director of Strategic Development and Impact, believes that performing arts can provide a positive space for individuals, who may feel isolated and excluded, to re-define their lived experience as something that can educate, inspire and transform their society.

“The partnership with Dragon and Growing Happy will enable ‘The Space Between Us’ to promote communities as holding the solutions to society’s problems. It demonstrates that we all can take responsibility in ensuring the voices of those communities are heard.”