Winners of 2017/18 Challenge announced after budding entrepreneurs pitch to SuperDragons at Aubrey Park Hotel finals

Dragons Apprentice

26th March 2018 – Team Ignition from Hemel Hempstead School has been proclaimed the overall winner of the 6th annual Dacorum Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge which is organised by ConnectDacorum. The team was one of eleven 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 Aubrey Park 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 David Collins, 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 Aubrey Park Hotel revealed the wealth of business lessons learned by the pupils as they staged everything from cake sales and quiz nights to leg shaving and film nights.

Named as overall winners on the night were the team from Hemel Hempstead School, who scooped a Snow Centre session for their efforts in support of Waterways Experiences charity. Their Dragon was David Robinson from Riverside Shopping Centre who said “I am delighted of the hard work that Team Ignition has done over the past six months and the teamworking skills that they have now developed.”

Other winners were:

  • Most Money raised: No Excuse for Abuse team from Cavendish School who won a Paintball session donated by Delta Force and raised a whopping £2,741.25
  • Best Business idea: The Zesty Lemons team from Cavendish School who won an experience in a supercar donated by Drift Limits
  • Close Co-operation with Charity: Astley Phoenix team from Astley Cooper School who won a game of Footgolf donated by Sportspace
  • Best Display: Carers@Heart team from Adeyfield School who won a voucher from Costa for drinks
  • Best Presentation: Dinero Haciendo Dragones team from JFK School who won a meal at Nando’s in Jarman Park

As they celebrated their successes all the teenagers agreed that the Dacorum Dragons Apprentice Challenge – now in its sixth 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 2017/18 Dacorum Challenge include: Adeyfield, Astley Cooper, Cavendish, Hemel Hempstead, JFK, Kings Langley, Longdean and Tring.

The teams are supported by Dragons from local businesses including: Riverside Shopping Centre, Ecoservice UK Ltd, Barnard & Co Employment Law, Witts Moloney Solicitors, Robert Dyas, AubreyPark Hotel, Ten2Two, Abode Bed, No More Ifs or Buts, The Snow Centre, Dacorum Borough Council.

Charities/Community Groups to benefit include: Community Action Dacorum, Gaddesden Riding for the Disabled, Waterways Experiences, Carers in Herts, Domestic Abuse Helpline, Druglink, The OLLIE Foundation, DENS, Age UK Dacorum, Sunnyside Rural Trust, Woodfield School.

The Challenge is organised by Connect Dacorum and runs annually from September – April. Anyschools, businesses or charities across Dacorum that are interested in taking part in Dragons’ Apprentice 2018/19 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

The SuperDragons for the 2017/18 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

About Connect Dacorum
Connect Dacorum is a partnership between the business, public and voluntary sectors that actively participates in creating a better quality of life for all in the Dacorum and surrounding area.We provide information and expertise on community involvement opportunities for organisations of all sizes and support our members in the delivery of their Corporate Social Responsibility objectives.We are a project of Community Action Dacorum.
Contact: Cindy Withey
Tel: 01442 228216
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.