10 teams of local students take up the Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge to earn money for charity

Ten teams of students from schools in Dacorum and beyond will be putting their entrepreneurial skills to the test as young Apprentices in the Connect Dacorum Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge in a bid to raise money for charity.
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The Challenge pairs teams of Year 12 students with local business people (a Dragon) and each team is then matched with a local charity or community group.

They are then tasked with developing business strategies and delivering their ideas to turn £100 of seed capital into £1,000 or more, with all profit generated going directly to the team’s charity.

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At the launch on Monday 2nd October, held at John F Kennedy School, Connect Dacorum Manager, Cindy Withey, matched the teams with a Dragon and with the charities and community groups that each team will support.

Last year’s winners Dingo Dollars from Sir John Lawes SchoolLast year’s winners Dingo Dollars from Sir John Lawes School
Last year’s winners Dingo Dollars from Sir John Lawes School

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.

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The 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.

Dragons Apprentice Dragons Apprentice
Dragons Apprentice

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 in April 2024, in a bid to become the overall winner of the 2023/24 Challenge.

645 pupils have taken part in the challenge over the past 10 years and have raised just under £109,500 for local Dacorum charities. Cindy Withey, project leader of the Dacorum Challenge said, “We’re overwhelmed with the interest and excitement that the Challenge generates each year and I’m excited to see what the teams develop over the next 5 months and look forward to our Awards Evening.”

Residents and businesses based in Dacorum should look out for and support the teams in their various activities.

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Projects might include running stalls at the various Christmas markets, hosting dinners in local restaurants, organising musical events and quiz nights and making and selling refreshments at local fairs.

Teams this year are:

School Dragon Charity

Adeyfield Creative Stripes Gaddesden RDA

Adeyfield Sandra Wright Coaching Hospice of St Francis

Hemel School Heads Up and Freer Dacorum Heritage Trust

John F Kennedy Sarratt Equity Berkhamsted John Sayer Almshouses

John F Kennedy Action Coach Community Action Dacorum

John F Kennedy Art By Vanessa Dacorum Mencap

Longdean A-Plan Insurance Watford FC Trust

Sir John Lawes Redway HR Hospice of St Francis

Sir John Lawes 4R Office Herts Young Homeless

Tring B&M Care The Pepper Foundation.

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