Invite smallThe Networking Lunch on the 16th September will be on the topic of employing a disabled or disadvantaged person.  Our special guests for this event will be The Mayor of Dacorum and Mike Penning MP.  If you would like to book a place, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Invite small 2The Connect Dacorum Big Business Quiz will be held on Thursday 20th October at the wonderful Shendish Manor Hotel.  Our Quizmaster is Paul Ryan from Improve on You, and if you have ever had the pleasure of meeting Paul before, you will know that the evening will be full of fun and laughter along the way. 

Several tables have already been sold, so contact me if you would like to book a ticket or two, or ten.  Feel free to bring along family and friends who are always welcome.

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Winning team Collett 1 smallerWinners of 2015/16 Challenge announced after budding entrepreneurs pitch to SuperDragons at Shendish Manor finals

27th April 2016 – The Collett Innovative Industries team from Collett School has been proclaimed the overall winner of the 4th annual Dacorum Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge. The team was one of six, shortlisted from local schools 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 Dacorum Challenge has also been supported by St Albans CVS, Affinity Water, The Graham Rowlandson Foundation and Herts LEP.

The teenage tycoons in waiting stepped up to tackle a charity challenge and were showered with praise on Wednesday night.  This was the first year that The Collett School has taken part in the challenge and as a special needs school they were keen to compete and be treated like all the other teams.  They raised a whopping £2,773,03 which is a new record since the challenge began four years ago.

Cllr Gbola Adeleke, 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 Collett School, who scooped a Snow Centre session for their efforts in support of The Pepper Foundation charity.

Other winners were:

Collett Innovative Industries for Most Money Earned, prize of Tea and Cakes from Shendish Manor Hotel

Aequitas at JFK School for Most Innovative Business Idea, prize of a meal from Nandos Restaurant in Jarman Park

BAMpAGE UK  from Hemel Hempstead School for Close Co-operation with your Charity, prize of a meal at McDonalds Apsley

Inferno from JFK School for Best Display, prize of a voucher towards a drinks and cakes from Costa Coffee

Hope from JFK School for Best Presentation, prize of a Dacorum Monopoly Board Game from Dacorum Borough Council

As they celebrated their successes all the teenagers agreed that the Dacorum Dragons Apprentice Challenge – now in it’s fourth 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 2015/16 Dacorum Challenge include: Hemel Hempstead, Collett, JFK, Kings Langley and Longdean.

The teams are supported by Dragons from local businesses including: Dacorum Borough Council, Riverside Shopping Centre, BAM Construct, Ecoservice UK Ltd, Churchill Retirement Living, Amazon, RES, McDonalds.

Charities/Community Groups to benefit include:  Community Action Dacorum, Pepper Foundation, Age UK Dacorum, Hope4Children, Volunteer Centre Dacorum, Citizens Advice Bureau and DENS.


The Challenge runs annually from September – April. Any schools, businesses or charities across Dacorum that are interested in taking part in Dragons’ Apprentice 2016/17 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 Hertfordshire with a total of 55 teams registering from 23 different schools in

Broxbourne & East Herts


North Herts and Stevenage

St Albans

Watford and Three Rivers

Welwyn & Hatfield

The SuperDragons for the 2015/16 Challenge were:

Dave Gaze, from the Dragons Apprentice Challenge St Albans

David Austin, Resident Assistant Director from Dacorum Borough Council

Claire Dutton, Business Teacher at West Herts College

Jeoff Colls, from Connect Dacorum

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.

Our next networking lunch is on Wednesday 27th April and is part of Dacorum Celebrates Business week.  InviteThere is an opportunity to show your support for the community and also attend a litter pick before the lunch.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book your place