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A group of Year 12 pupils, known as Team Sicilian, from John F Kennedy School in Hemel Hempstead has won the Overall Winners prize in Connect Dacorum’s Dragons Apprentice, raising over £1200 for charity – Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust.
The team was one of eight who took part in the challenge in which pupils from local secondary schools were supplied with £100 stake and tasked with turning it into £1,000 or more for charity. Teams are also matched with mentors within the borough’s business community to offer support and advice. The challenge itself ran for several months before the finals held at Pendley Manor Hotel, where the budding entrepreneurs were invited to present their delivery to the ‘SuperDragon’ judges – leaders from the world of business, education, and local government.

The teenage tycoons in waiting stepped up to tackle a charity challenge and were showered with praise on Monday night. The SuperDragons were impressed with their all-round business abilities as well as the confident way in which they presented themselves, always representing their charity. Especially tough this year with the COVID restrictions in place throughout the challenge, the teams showed determination and perseverance in their aim to raise as much money as possible for their charity. Councillor Richard Roberts, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, presented the awards and inspired the audience of young people, businesses, and charities by emphasising the practical value of the Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge.
The team that partnered with the Hornet’s Trust not only took home the Overall Winners award but also the ‘Most Innovative Business Idea’; as they smashed their £1000 target with an array of fundraising initiatives including, milkshake services in their school, chess clubs and an environmentally friendly virtual balloon race.

Team Sicilian were supported by their Dragon, Jamie Dean-Brown from SWARCO UK Limited who said:

“I am so proud of the team, they threw themselves into the challenge and came away with a multitude of new skills such as communication, teamwork, and perseverance, learning continually throughout the challenge on how they can improve the next event. They’ve learnt skills for life from this process and I am chuffed to bits that all their hard work has seen them win overall.”

The Dragon’s Apprentice Challenge is facilitated by 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. You can find out more about them here

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