St Albans and Harpenden pupils are on fire at Dragons' Apprentice Challenge

PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 April 2015

St Albans and Harpenden schools competed in the 6th annual Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge: Team Werk from St Georges’s School, with St Albans Mayor Cllr Geoff Harrison. Photo courtesy of Function Photos

St Albans and Harpenden schools competed in the 6th annual Dragons' Apprentice Challenge: Team Werk from St Georges's School, with St Albans Mayor Cllr Geoff Harrison. Photo courtesy of Function Photos

Function Photos

A Harpenden school team proved it had the Midas touch when it emerged as overall winners of this year's Dragons' Apprentice Challenge.

St Albans and Harpenden schools competed in the 6th annual Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge: Miracle Workers team from Samuel Ryder Academy, with St Albans Mayor Cllr Geoff Harrison. Photo courtesy of Function PhotosSt Albans and Harpenden schools competed in the 6th annual Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge: Miracle Workers team from Samuel Ryder Academy, with St Albans Mayor Cllr Geoff Harrison. Photo courtesy of Function Photos

Team Midas, comprising Year 12 pupils from Sir John Lawes School, raised £1,820 for Age UK Herts through activities including making and selling fleece scarves and hosting a celebrity football match.

Midas also received the award for best managed team at the awards ceremony last week at which six shortlisted groups of apprentices pitched their ideas to a panel of dragons representing the government, higher education, voluntary and business sectors.

Their job was to drum up innovative business ideas to help turn £100 into more than £1,000 for a local charity.

Samuel Ryder Academy’s Miracle Workers team from St Albans scooped three awards on the night, including for earning the most money - £2,046 for charity Herts Society for the Blind.

They also won awards for the closest cooperation with their charity and best example of using community radio. Fundraising events included a Halloween party and selling Christmas cards designed by one of the Society’s members.

Team Werk from St George’s School in Harpenden had to overcome a nightmare situation with one of its events, a daylight music night, when a gas leak forced them to reschedule performers, musicians and catering at short notice.

But their efforts paid off as the team won the award for most creative idea.

Best presentation went to Ignite from St Albans Girls’ School which held a Year 7 disco, Bollywood evening and Aladdin musical tuck shop, producing £2,042 for charity Youth Talk.

Tom Bakhurst, supported by members of Team Yexin from St Columba’s College, was presented with the award for best use of video, which promoted the work of the Dream Foundation charity.

The Challenge, which requires students to hone their burgeoning business skills to help their designated charity, raised £15,000 this year. Now in its sixth year, the contest has resulted in over £120,000 being donated to more than 50 charities since it was set up.

Run by St Albans Centre for Voluntary Service, the Challenge saw 15 teams of sixth formers from across the district paired with business mentors for the past six months.

Presenting the awards, the Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Geoff Harrison, praised the teams for their hard work, ideas and flexibility.

He said: “I have been extremely impressed by their creativity, enthusiasm and commitment.”

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