Entrepreneur Ross Kemp visits St Albans’ Sandringham School

RICHARD Branson and now students from St Albans are just some of the people who have been wowed by the inventions of an ambitious entrepreneur who made a trip back to his home city last week.

Following a recent appearance on BBC Three’s Be Your Own Boss, Ross Kemp was invited to Sandringham School, where he used to study, to talk to design and technology students.

The 25 year old secured a spot on the television show after impressing Innocent Drinks founder Richard Reed with his life-saving watercraft.

He was given the opportunity to compete for a stake in a one million pound investment and had the chance to pitch his idea, which would be used by lifeguards to rescue people who get into trouble in the water, to Richard Branson.

And it was this product that he brought along to the school in The Ridgeway last Thursday to show to pupils and discuss how they can pursue a career in product design.

During the visit Ross also spent time looking at the students’ own designs, which they are currently working on as part of their coursework.

The TV star, who grew up in Green Lane, St Albans, said: “It was really interesting to see their work and I remember going through the same thought processes.

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“It is so inspiring to see they have real potential, they are going to be the next entrepreneurs and designers.”

Ross went on to explain his passion for making things started when he was studying at Sandringham.

After leaving school he went on to read Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University where he first began working on his motorised watercraft, which he is hoping will soon be manufactured.

He added: “At school I could suddenly see what I was making will be in someone’s lives and make their lives easier; with my other subjects I was not getting that same buzz.

“If what I am doing can inspire people to go into product design that makes it all worth while.”

Design teacher David Hassett, who taught Ross when he was at the school, described him as the “golden boy” of the technology department and said Sandringham was very proud of what he has achieved.

Speaking about the day Mr Hassett said: “I think the way people can get out of this economic climate is people like Ross showing some innovation.

“Hopefully if one of the students thinks ‘I can go to university or make a living from making something’ today has been a success.”