EcoedWould you like to support a local school to learn more about plastics and recycling, climate change, health and wellbeing and what to do to be kinder to the environment, creating real action benefitting your community?

Ecoed are looking to find sponsors/ funders for doing an Ecoed challenge in schools. They currently have 14 schools across London (primary and secondary) interested in participating, one of these is local to Hemel Hempstead.

Please see attached poster for more information.

Careers Fair opening smallA first of its kind careers event, organised as part of the Enterprise Adviser Network, draws 40 leading Hertfordshire employers and over 1000 students in a showcase of potential career paths within the county.

Over 1000 students, aged 15-17, from 14 Schools explored the variety of career paths available in Hertfordshire at the Dacorum Schools Careers Fair on 24 October. School Careers Fairs do run across the borough but this was the first time such an event included SEN and mainstream students side by side during the school day. All students benefited by talking to Hertfordshire’s major industries - over 40 leading employers supported the event, including engineering firms AECOM and Atlas Copco, life-sciences giant GSK, retailer Robert Dyas, construction firm BAM, manufacturing firm SWR Group  and leading film producers Warner Bros. Studios, among others.

The event was launched by Sir Mike Penning, MP for Hemel Hempstead, alongside Councillor Rosie Sutton, Mayor of Dacorum, and Sally Marshall, CEO of Dacorum Borough Council.

Sir Mike Penning MP said: “I’m delighted and honoured to open this, the first Dacorum Schools Careers Fair, a fantastic showcase for all the great businesses and organisations in our local area. It’s heartening to see just how many employers have turned out today to support our local schools and to engage, inform and inspire the 1000+ students that will be coming through the doors today.”

The fair was the first of its kind organised by a team of local business leaders, known as Enterprise Advisers, who work with schools to improve careers provision for young people as part of the national Careers & Enterprise Company programme, delivered locally by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and YC Hertfordshire. The fair was also supported by Connect Dacorum and Dacorum Borough Council, and hosted by the four-star Shendish Manor Hotel in Hemel Hempstead.

Event leader Ruth George, Enterprise Adviser for Kings Langley School and Director, Ruth George HR Consultancy, said: “Enterprise Advisers from across Dacorum have pulled together to create an event that has given students a chance to interact with a wide range of employers and enabled schools to connect with local businesses and each other. The response has been phenomenal, with a fully packed room and a reserve list of employers wishing to exhibit. Having received amazing feedback from the day, we can’t wait to get cracking on next year – it will be even bigger and better!”

Cindy Withey, Connect Dacorum Manager at Community Action Dacorum, said: “Connect Dacorum has been delighted to be part of this very first Dacorum Schools Careers Fair as we work very closely with both the schools and businesses in our mission of connecting businesses up with the local community. The day went really smoothly which is a credit to all involved in organising the event and we look forward to a bigger and better Careers Fair in 2019.”

Rosanna Giarraputo, Community Engagement Coordinator at Bell Group, who exhibited on the day, said: “It was a great event and wonderful to meet with so many different students, teachers and other businesses. I look forward to being invited to next year’s event!”

Sheena Jhurry, Woodfield Special School, said: “As a school, we are very much invested in supporting our students into the workplace once leaving school, should this be their preferred route. The fair enabled us to expose students to different types of employment, which supports them to make informed choices about their future. The students enjoyed meeting employers who they had shown a previous interest in and finding out about what each job entails.”

To reserve an exhibitor stand at the next Dacorum Schools Careers Fair, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Find out more about the Careers & Enterprise Company programme in Hertfordshire at www.hertfordshirelep.com. If your business would like to join Hertfordshire LEP’s Enterprise Adviser Network, please contact Gareth Dace at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01707 356 129.

launch small11 TEAMS OF LOCAL STUDENTS TAKE UP THE DRAGONS’ APPRENTICE CHALLENGE TO EARN MONEY FOR CHARITY

1 October 2018: Eleven teams of students from schools Hemel Hempstead, Harpenden and St Albans will be putting their entrepreneurial skills to the test as young Apprentices in the 6th Connect Dacorum Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge in a bid to raise money for charity.

The Challenge pairs teams of Year 12 students with local business people (a Dragon) and each team is then matched with a local charity or community group. They are then tasked with developing business strategies and delivering their ideas to turn £100 of seed capital into £1,000 or more, with all profit generated going directly to the team’s charity. This year, Dragons come from a variety of businesses which include companies such as.

At the launch on Monday 1st October, held at Hemel Hempstead School, Connect Dacorum Manager, Cindy Withey, matched the teams with a Dragon and with the charities and community groups that each team will support. The Apprentices then spent time getting to know about the work and objectives of the charities and community groups and were introduced to their Dragon. Over the next few months the teams will work closely with their Dragons to devise business based projects to raise money and awareness for their charities. With guidance from their Dragons, the teams will learn about entrepreneurship, managing a business, communications, finance, organisation and other job related skills, all of which will be of positive and practical value in the next stage of their education and development.

The teams can win awards for the most money earned, most innovative product/service or business idea, best example of close co-operation between team and charity, best presentation and best display panel. After the final reports have been judged by a panel of Super Dragons, six teams will be shortlisted to deliver a presentation at the awards event at on 1st April 2019, in a bid to become the overall winner of the 2018/19 Challenge in Dacorum.

372 pupils have taken part in the challenge over the past 6 years and have raised over £57,500 for local Dacorum charities. Cindy Withey, project leader of the Dacorum Challenge said, “We’re overwhelmed with the interest and excitement that the Challenge generates each year and I’m excited to see what the teams develop over the next 5 months and look forward to our Awards Evening.”

Residents and businesses based in Dacorum should look out for and support the teams in their various activities. Projects might include running stalls at the various Christmas markets, hosting dinners in local restaurants, organising musical events and quiz nights and making and selling refreshments at local fairs. Teams this year are:

School                                     Dragon                                     Charity

Adeyfield                                 Think Specialist Recruitment      Adeyfield Free Church

Collett                                     Warner Bros Studios/                  Gaddesden Place RDA

                                               Watford Chamber

Hemel Hempstead                  Ten2Two                                     Domestic Abuse Helpline     

JFK - Team 1                            Draeger                                  CAD Community Transport

JFK - Team 2                            Dacorum Borough Council     Herts Inclusive Theatre

JFK - Team 3                            The Olde Kings Arms             DENS

Kings Langley 1                      Sopra Steria                            Waterways Experiences

Kings Langley 2                     UKOS plc                                 Carers in Herts

Laurette Academy                  Lloyds Bank                             The Hospice Lottery

St Albans Girls School           Burtons Biscuits                       Rennie Grove Hospice

Sir John Lawes School          Robert Dyas                             The Pepper Foundation

HH School 2 smallOne Hundred and Eighty Year 10 pupils from Hemel Hempstead School took part in an Employability Skills event on Tuesday 26th June organised and run by Connect Dacorum.  The pupils were in groups of around 8, and each group had a facilitator or two from local businesses who had given up their morning to help the children with CV writing and interview skills.

                              

All students were in the hall which instantly created a buzz. The event was interactive for the pupils – interviewing their facilitators before moving on to looking in more detail at their own CVs and giving advice. The second half concentrated on interview skills with mock interviews and also a fun “speed interviewing” game. The pupils came away with lot of helpful feedback and advice directly from employers about what they look for in a CV, covering letter and throughout the interview process.

Cindy Withey, Manager of Connect Dacorum praised the pupils and facilitators for a great day “Hemel Hempstead School will be very proud of their Year 10’s who were well behaved and engaged in the session. It’s a pleasure for Connect Dacorum to organise these events as it benefits the pupils but is also very rewarding for our facilitators to help shape the future workforce”.

The pupils also completed a feedback sheet at the end of the day with most of them of them saying that it was really helpful. One wrote “I have learnt what I need to change on my CV to make it stand out more when applying for jobs”.  Another said “I will do lots of research on the company I have an interview at, and be smart.”

The facilitators came from a wide variety of backgrounds and businesses (full list see below), all willing to give up their time to help shape the future generation and pass on valuable advice.

“It was such a pleasure to help out with the Employability day at Hemel Hempstead School, facilitated by Connect Dacorum. I enjoyed working very much with both my groups from year 10, who interacted well together, a great bunch of kids.” Cathy White, HR Officer at Aubrey Park Hotel.

If there are any businesses who would like their staff to be involved and become a facilitator for these events next year please contact Cindy Withey at Connect Dacorum on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Facilitators:

April Harbour – Atlas Copco

Mark Rickard – Robert Dyas

Polly Chapman – Epson

Hannah Bailey – Osbornes

Gemma Rydqvist – Herts Chamber of Commerce

Ruth George – Ruth George HR Consulting

Richard McBarnet – Lumina Technologies

Ben Satchfield – The Old Kings Arms

Andy Forbes – AFCC

Louise Martin – One Stop Doctors

Lamare Dunkley – Epson

Collette Devine – Job Centre Plus

Longdean 1 smallLocal businesses teach pupils how to land a job

Two Hundred Year 10 pupils from Longdean School took part in an Employability Skills event on Thursday 4th May organised and run by Connect Dacorum. The pupils were in groups of around 8, and each group had a facilitator or two from local businesses who had given up their morning to help the children with CV writing and interview skills.

All students were in the hall which instantly created a buzz. The event was interactive for the pupils – interviewing their facilitators before moving on to looking in more detail at their own CVs and giving advice. The second half concentrated on interview skills with mock interviews and also a fun “speed interviewing” game. The pupils came away with lot of helpful feedback and advice directly from employers about what they look for in a CV, covering letter and throughout the interview process.

Cindy Withey, Manager of Connect Dacorum praised the pupils and facilitators for a great day “Longdean School will be very proud of their Year 10’s who were well behaved and engaged in the session. It’s a pleasure for Connect Dacorum to organise these events as it benefits the pupils but is also very rewarding for our facilitators to help shape the future workforce”.

The pupils also completed a feedback sheet at the end of the day with most of them of them saying that it was really helpful. One wrote “I have found about interviews and a variety of skills needed”. Another said “I will apply the communication skills that I have developed.”

Longdean School said “This activity gives our students an amazing opportunity to learn future skills needed in the workplace. It gives them the chance to spend 2 hours with a local employer in a small group situation where they are able to ask questions and find out information that is important to them.”

The facilitators came from a wide variety of backgrounds and businesses (full list see below), all willing to give up their time to help shape the future generation and pass on valuable advice.

“Really enjoyable day spent with the students at Longdean School – very bright futures ahead.” Said Jane O’Gorman from Ten2Two

If there are any businesses who would like their staff to be involved and become a facilitator for these events later in the year at Hemel Hempstead School in June and Kings Langley school in July please contact Cindy Withey at Connect Dacorum on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Facilitators:

Karen Gosen – Gaddesden Place RDA

Ash Vekaria – Lumina Technologies

Jane O’Gorman – Ten2Two

David Harrop – One Stop Doctors

Jane Mills – Groundwork

April Harbour – Atlas Copco

Mark Rickard – Robert Dyas

Tim Edwin – Dacorum Heritage Trust

Polly Chapman – Epson