FBMplus Launch 2015 – A chilling Team Building Challenge surviving a Zombie Apocalypse!



The launch for FBMplus 2015/16, a Durham based business competition, took to introducing young people to the world of enterprise in a unique and somewhat chilling style… surviving a zombie apocalypse.

The enterprise competition, now in its third year created by Business Durham is a higher level business competition that has evolved from the well-established Future Business Magnates (FBM).

Gary Chaplin, Enterprise Development Manager, Business Durham:  “FBMplus is a new Business Durham initiative which allows our next generation of entrepreneurs to test and improve their skills in a real world environment.  The spirit of innovation and enterprise is integral to the growth of County Durham’s economy and programmes like FBMplus give young people the tools they need to set up and run their own businesses.  FBMplus is the latest addition to the expanding Future Business Magnates brand, which has a proven track record supporting enterprise in County Durham schools.”


Business Durham, supported by TICE (This is Creative Enterprise) not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting young people in creative enterprise projects, decided on a very different approach to this business competition.

Jennifer Barrett, managing director of TICE, said: “We wanted to showcase business start-up as a creative and exciting adventure and therefore approached  Taught in the Woods, an outdoor education provider, delivering leadership, team and personal development through bush craft, adventure and survival to create a very different team building experience. However, to give it even more of an edge we also enlisted a few zombies. It was our aim to kick start the competition with something completely different to the norm and get our budding young entrepreneurs working together, excited about enterprise and building skills they can use throughout the entire competition and beyond”

Five teams who have entered the competition from Bishop Auckland College, Park View School and Framwellgate School Durham gathered in the woods on the chilly autumn morning to be greeted by Jurassic Park style rangers, who included the owner of ‘Taught in the Woods’ Ron Lawson and his team of survival experts. As the details of the challenge started to unfold they realised that they were all in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse and we were relying on them all to work as a team to get us out of there in one piece!


Nervous yet excited the day began following Ron and the team through the woods to the base camp trying to be as quiet as possible and hoping not to disturb any lurking zombies. Steve, in true Bear Grylls style, is a bush craft expert who provided the teams with the skills required to survive in the great outdoors through hands-on challenges, this included being tasked with constructing your own weather proof shelter. Alex, our very own Ray Mears, gave a masterclass in fire lighting using everything except for a lighter.

As the teams worked on tasks and challenges, something quite special emerged and what the essence of FBMplus is all about, incredibly mature young people working together and articulating as if they were on a team building day with a large corporation. The survival guys were extremely impressed with how each of FBMplus members worked as a team, not only with their fellow classmates, but with the other regional schools.


Ron Lawson, Director of Taught in the Wood, said: “We’ve been amazed at the level of team work, quite easily these kids could be rubbing shoulders with executives on a team building day”

After an exciting and terrifying last task to find the vaccine, to get out safely and without being bitten, everyone returned to the campfire muddy, smoky and exhausted. They had endured mental and physical challenges, laughed hard, out ran the zombies, shouted (maybe screamed but won’t admit it) and made new friends.

Scott Armstrong from Framwellgate School Durham said ‘ It was a truly unique experience, because you had to make sure you were always together and it was fun to work as a team’

Arron Robinson from Bishop Auckland College said: ‘The day flowed really well and we completely understood all of the tasks and challenges’


Catherine Purvis-Mawson, Business Teacher from Framwellgate School Durham said: – As a school we don’t get to do this type of team building as much as we would like to, so getting involved with FBMplus has allowed our team to develop skills in communication, initiative and employability in an informal way. It’s been a fantastic day”.


The FBMplus competition has a further 4 workshops to see who reigns as County Durham’s FBMplus enterprise champions 2016.