Dragons ApprenticeDacorum students raise over £10,000 for local charities in Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge

Winners of 2016/17 Challenge announced after budding entrepreneurs pitch to SuperDragons at Shendish Manor finals

27th March 2017 – Think Tank team from JFK School has been proclaimed the overall winner of the 5th annual Dacorum Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge which is organised by Connect Dacorum. The team was one of eight who completed the challenge and invited to present to the SuperDragons - leaders from the world of business, education, local government and charity - at this week’s Challenge Finals at Shendish Manor Hotel.

All teams from Dacorum secondary schools were supplied with £100 stake and challenged to turn it into £1,000 or more, with support and advice from mentors within the borough’s business community. 

The teenage tycoons in waiting stepped up to tackle a charity challenge and were showered with praise on Monday night.  The SuperDragons were impressed with their all round business abilities as well as the confident way in which they presented themselves, always representing their charity.

Cllr Bob Mclean, Mayor of Dacorum, presented the awards and inspired the audience of young people, businesses and charities by emphasising the practical value of the Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge. Presentations at the finals night at Shendish Manor revealed the wealth of business lessons learned by the pupils as they staged everything from cake sales and quiz nights to offering friendship photos to hit their daunting targets.

Named as overall winners on the night were the team from JFK  School, who scooped a Snow Centre session for their efforts in support of Druglink charity.  Their Dragon was Peggy Barnard from Barnard & Co Employment Law Solutions. Peggy said “I am delighted of the hard work that Think Tank has done over the past six months and the teamworking skills that they have now developed.”

Other winners were:

Community Action Adeyfield  for Most Money Earned, prize of Tea and Cakes from Shendish Manor Hotel

Longdean Dragons  for Most Innovative Business Idea, prize of a meal from Nandos Restaurant in Jarman Park

Wisdom Waters from JFK for Close Co-operation with your Charity, prize of a game of footgolf at Little Hay Golf Club

Kings Langley Warriors for Best Display, prize of a voucher towards a meal from McDonalds Apsley

Team Sigma from JFK  for Best Presentation, prize of a Costa voucher

As they celebrated their successes all the teenagers agreed that the Dacorum Dragons Apprentice Challenge – now in its fifth year – was both a lot more work than they had ever realised but a test that both developed their skills and gave them a chance to get involved in their community.

Schools who completed the 2016/17 Dacorum Challenge include: Adeyfield, Cavendish, Hemel Hempstead, JFK, Kings Langley and Longdean.

The teams are supported by Dragons from local businesses including: Riverside Shopping Centre, BAM Construct, Osborne, Ecoservice UK Ltd, Churchill Retirement Living, RES, Barnard & Co Employment Law, Affinity for Business and Witts Moloney Solicitors.

Charities/Community Groups to benefit include:  Community Action Dacorum, Rennie Grove Hospice, RNIB, Druglink, Gaddesden Riding for the Disabled, Waterways Experiences, Signpost and The Snow Sports Foundation.


The Challenge is organised by Connect Dacorum and runs annually from September – April. Any schools, businesses or charities across Dacorum that are interested in taking part in Dragons’ Apprentice 2017/18 should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Notes for Editors

Originally conceived in St Albans, the Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge offers Year 12 students the opportunity to experience setting up and running a business, gaining organisational and job related skills and learning about the work and beneficiaries of their designated charity.

The Challenge is being run simultaneously across Hertfordshire with a total of 53 teams in

Broxbourne & East Herts



North Herts

St Albans

Welwyn & Hatfield

The SuperDragons for the 2016/17 Challenge were:

Dave Gaze, from the Dragons Apprentice Challenge St Albans

Lesley Crisp, Assistant Team Leader in Strategic Planning and Regeneration from Dacorum Borough Council

Claire Dutton, Business Teacher at West Herts College