philanthropyOur next networking lunch will be held on Wednesday 22nd October from 11.30am to 2.00pm and will have a theme of Philanthropy

If you would like to come along to our event, meet like-minded local companies, discover the benefits of Connect Dacorum and hear the inspiring presentations of the guest speakers do email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To be held at: South Hill Centre, Cemetery Hill, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 1JF

(there is parking for disabled only on site on the day, please use the pay and display Water Gardens car park which is only a short walk away)

Business Members – Free

Non-members - £10


11.30am         Arrival and networking opportunities

12.00pm        Introduction from Cindy Withey – Connect Dacorum

Guest Speakers:

Annette Yates - Grass Roots  

Philippa Taylor - Champneys

Zohar Marer – Golden Giving

Margaret Kingston - Dacorum Community Trust

1.00pm          Networking and buffet lunch

2.00pm          Conclusion

Thirteen teams of students from schools across Dacorum will be putting their entrepreneurial skills to the test as young Apprentices in the 3rd annual Connect Dacorum Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge. The Challenge, which was launched on Tuesday, will run concurrently within seven independent regions across Hertfordshire.

The Challenge pairs teams of Year 12 students from schools with local business people (a Dragon). Each team is then matched with a local charity or community group and tasked with devising a business plan to turn £100 into £1000 or more. All profits generated are passed directly to the team’s charity.

At the launch, held at Astley Cooper 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.

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 Shendish Hotel in Apsley on March 23rd  2015, in a bid to become the overall winner of the 2014/15 Challenge in Dacorum.

Last year ten teams finished the challenge and raised over £11,500 for their charities.  All schools were invited to take part this year and some schools have even put in more than one team. Cindy Withey, project leader of the Dacorum Challenge said, “We’re overwhelmed with the interest and excitement that the Challenge is generating. We’re excited to see what the teams develop over the next 5 months and look forward to our Awards Evening.”

In addition to Dacorum the Challenge will run independently in Broxbourne/E Herts, Hertsmere, N.Herts/Stevenage, St Albans area, Welwyn & Hatfield, Watford. 

teams 1

teams launch 


In this issue:Sept 14 front page

  • June's networking lunch
  • August's networking lunch
  • Upcoming events
  • Great Companies doing Great Things in Dacorum
  • Top tips for Networking

2015 logoMonday 2nd June 2015 sees the launch of the Dragon's Apprentice Challenge for 2014/15.  Schools, charities and businesses are invited to apply to take part in this year's challenge. 

Last year nearly 50 schools across the whole of Hertfordshire took part and raised over £83,500 for local charities or community organisations and is a fantastic way to engage pupils from Year 12 with the business world.

If you would like to take part - or just to find out more - please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.