Dragons ApprenticeDacorum students raise over £18,500 for local charities in a record breaking Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge

Winners of 2018/19 Challenge announced after budding entrepreneurs pitch to SuperDragons at Shendish Manor Hotel finals

1st April 2019 – Team No2Abuse from Hemel Hempstead School has been proclaimed the overall winner of the 7th annual Dacorum Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge which is organised by Connect Dacorum. The team was one of ten who completed the challenge and invited to present to the SuperDragon judges - leaders from the world of business, education and local government - at this week’s Challenge Finals at Shendish Manor Hotel.

All teams from the 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 Rosie Sutton, 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 Hotel revealed the wealth of business lessons learned by the pupils as they staged everything from cake sales and quiz nights to carved wooden IPad stands 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 Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline. Their Dragon was Jane O’Gorman from Ten2Two who said “I am so proud of the team, they threw themselves into the challenge and came away with a multitude of new skills such as communication, teamwork and perseverance, learning continually throughout the challenge on how they can improve the next event.”

Other winners were:

Most Money raised: Primus from John F Kennedy School who raised £4357.44 for their charity DENS. Their Dragon was Ben Satchfield from The Olde Kings Arms in Hemel Old Town

Best Business idea: Heptagon from John F Kennedy School. Their Dragon was Alan Curtis from Drager Medical and their charity was Community Transport by CAD

Close Co-operation with Charity: Team Purple from Sir John Lawes School in Harpenden. Their Dragon was Mark Rickard from Robert Dyas and their charity was Pepper Foundation

Best Display: Adeyfield Trinity from Adeyfield School. Their Dragon was Chris Jones from Think Specialist Recruitment and their charity was Adeyfield Free Church

Best Presentation: Laureate Fire Lions from Laureate Academy. Their Dragon was Lloyds Bank and their charity was The Hospice Lottery.

Best Creative Idea – B.I.L.L. from Collett and St Lukes Schools. Their Dragons were Dan Dark from Warner Bros Studios and Chris Luff from Watford and West Herts Chamber of Commerce, and their charity was Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled.

SuperDragons Special Recognition Award – Laureate Fire Lions

As they celebrated their successes all the teenagers agreed that the Dacorum Dragons Apprentice Challenge – now in its seventh 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 2018/19 Challenge also included two schools from outside of Dacorum: Adeyfield, Collett and St Lukes, The Laureate Academy, Hemel Hempstead, John F Kennedy, Kings Langley, Sir John Lawes School in Redbourn and St Albans Girls School (STAGS).

 The teams are supported by Dragons from local businesses including: Robert Dyas, Ten2Two, Dacorum Borough Council, Think Specialist Recruitment, Chamber of Conscience, Drager Medical, The Olde Kings Arms, UKOS, Sopra Steria, Lloyds Bank, Burtons Biscuits.

Charities/Community Groups to benefit include: Community Action Dacorum, Gaddesden Riding for the Disabled, Waterways Experiences, Carers in Herts, Domestic Abuse Helpline, DENS, Adeyfield Free Church, Herts Inclusive Theatre, The Hospice Lottery, Rennie Grove Hospice Care, The Pepper Foundation

The Challenge is organised by Connect Dacorum and runs annually from September to April. Any schools, businesses or charities across Dacorum that are interested in taking part in Dragons’ Apprentice 2019/20 should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

                                                                                                                                              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 other boroughs in Hertfordshire, although Dacorum has now been described as the 'flagship' for the Dragons Apprentice Challenge.

The SuperDragons for the 2018/19 Challenge were:

Dave Gaze, from the Dragons Apprentice Challenge

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

Claire Dutton, Business Teacher at West Herts College