Students who signed up for the inaugural Dacorum’s Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge didn’t know what they were letting themselves in for – but they wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Representatives from four schools signed up for the six-month stint of practical work experience which saw them provided with a £100 stake which they then had to turn into £1,000, or more, for a local charity.
They were given guidance by ‘dragons’ from the local business community and the charities they were supporting, and the results of their hard work were on show at a Shendish Manor finals night.
Tring School, mentored by the Grass Roots group and raising funds for the town’s local history museum, took the top prize, and sports sessions at Hemel Hempstead’s Snow Centre, after the audience including Mayor of Dacorum Bert Chapman heard how they overcame adversity, enlisted the support of local traders for a town Christmas raffle and cleared a profit of more than £1,500, which will be fund memory boxes the museum team will use when working with elderly people in the area.
Kings Langley School, mentored by BAM Construct UK Ltd, supported the nearby Waterside Centre, Hemel Hempstead School pupils were advised by Britvic Ltd as they raised funds for the Dacorum Community Trust and Cavendish School had help from Steria Ltd in their work for Radio Dacorum.
Hemel Hempstead School took the prize for the most money raised through their Christmas hamper project, while the Cavendish team was saluted for working most closely with their adopted charity.
The Tring School team also won recognition for having the most innovative business idea and Katherine Powell of Kings Langley School took the honours for making the best individual contribution overall.
After such a successful launch, organisers at Connect Dacorum have confirmed that they will be running the challenge for Year 12 students again later this year, and an invitation will be going out to every secondary school in the borough encouraging them to get involved.