Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge: Launch Update

The Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge launch event took place on 6th October at the Icknield Centre in Letchworth.

This year seven teams from schools across North Herts and Stevenage are competing in the Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge. The school teams aim to turn £100, provided by a charity and a business, into £1000 or more in order to raise funds for their designated charity. Each school is assigned a charity to raise the money for, as well as a business mentor, or ‘Dragon’, who will oversee their business ventures. The scheme began in 2010 and has spread across Hertfordshire since.

The launch kicked off at 16.45pm and was hosted by Jacquie Hime, Executive Director of North Herts CVS. Speaking about the Challenge, Jacquie said:

“Participation in the Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge offers a win-win opportunity for all parties involved, creating the opportunity for excellent partnerships between local community groups and charities, businesses and young people, creating a stronger community over the long term.”

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The student teams sat at the front tables while the dragons and charities were scattered about as they awaited the matching ceremony. Dave Gaze, who has been a part of the Challenge since the very beginning, gave a motivational talk on how to win, and how the scheme can help students gain skills that will benefit them in their later career. This was followed by a video showing the impact that the money raised from previous years can have on the beneficiaries.

Having been a dragon last year, Robin Mead, Managing Director of Virtual Business Source, gave some advice to the new dragons from a previous dragon’s perspective about how rewarding the challenge is for the businesses. He is also one of the four ‘Super Dragons’ this year, meaning he will sit on a panel at the final awards ceremony in March and judge the various categories.

Then the matching ceremony began. Once the allocations were all announced, the dragons and charities went to sit with their school teams for their first business meeting. Sarah Clare of What Sarah Did, who will be the dragon for a team at Hitchin Boys’ School, said of the launch:

“I feel honoured to be asked to take part this year and I am very excited to start work with my team and charity. The welcome event was very well organised, informative and we all left excited and determined to do right by our chosen charity. Good work all.”

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Team Mind Over Matter of Barnwell School have been paired with John Welch from Howard Cottage Housing Association. They are supporting Mind in Mid-Herts.

Team Iniciativa of Hitchin Boys’ School are paired with Mark Malone from Total Umbrella Services. Their charity is Waste Not Want Not CIC.

Team Y Design of Hitchin Boys’ School have been partnered with Carolyn Palmer from Molly’s Tea Room. Their charity is Phase.

Team Smokin’ Trees from Hitchin Boys’ School have been paired with Sarah Clare from What Sarah Did. Their charity is Angels Support Group Hitchin.

Team Nirvana from the Priory School are paired with Damian Slade from Hot House. Their charity is Hitchin and District RNLI Branch.

The Apprentice team of Barnwell School have been paired with John Welch from Howard Cottage Housing Association. They are supporting Mind in Mid-Herts.

Team Iniciativa of Hitchin Boys’ School are paired with Mark Malone from Total Umbrella Services. Their charity is Waste Not Want Not CIC.

Team Y Design of Hitchin Boys’ School have been partnered with Carolyn Palmer from Molly’s Tea Room. Their charity is Phase.

Team Smokin’ Trees from Hitchin Boys’ School have been paired with Sarah Clare from What Sarah Did. Their charity is Angels Support Group Hitchin.

Team Nirvana from the Priory School are paired with Damian Slade from Hot House. Their charity is Hitchin and District RNLI Branch.

For more information please visit www.dragonsapprenticechallenge.com/ or contact Rebecca at North Herts CVS on 01462 689400.

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