Young St Albans and Harpenden Dragons are a roaring success

Team Allegiance were crowned the winners at this year's Dragon's Apprentice

Team Allegiance were crowned the winners at this year's Dragon's Apprentice - Credit: Archant

Students in St Albans and Harpenden raised a mammoth £22,517 for charity, while battling it out for the winning title in this year’s Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge.

Year 12 students made up 13 teams who were given £100 to turn into as much money as possible, resulting in a 1,700 per cent return investment that benefitted many local charities.

St Albans Girls’ School’s (STAGS) Team Allegiance were crowned the winners after impressing the judges with their presentation, and raising over £3,200 for the charity Youth Talk.

The team staged various events, including a dance therapy evening, race night, and inter-school disco. Jessica Culnane, team leader, said: “One of our biggest lessons was learning how important communication within the team was.

“From the start we set up a group chat on our phones allowing us to have discussions about small details that may have been overlooked at larger group meetings.”

Team Allegiance was one of six shortlisted from schools across Harpenden and St Albans who competed in the final last Wednesday. Fellow competitors included teams from STAGS, Sir John Lawes School, St Columba’s College and St George’s. All who were shortlisted won specific awards for their efforts, with Team Limitless from Sir John Lawes School clinching the Money Most Raised award, after they raised £4,495 for the Harpenden Trust.

Sue Coad from the charity, said: “In addition to the huge amount of money they raised for us, our team helped increase an understanding of poverty and family issues, especially how it affects young people.”

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Alongside charity fundraising, the challenge gave participants the chance to learn valuable business skills.

The Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Annie Brewster, who presented teams with their awards, said: “Work experience and even internships are now a highly sought after commodity. However, this challenge knocks both of these out the water.

“You apprentices are not shadowing other people’s roles or filing tonnes of paper and entering days of data onto computers, you are the trail blazers.”

Since launching five years ago, the Dragon’s Apprentice Challenge has raised over £105,000 for 47 local charities and community groups.

The challenge runs annually from September to March. Any organisatopms interested in participating contact