Pupils from St Albans and Harpenden have raised more than £22,000 for good causes in a Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge.

Team Allegiance from St Albans Girls School was announced as the overall winner of the 5th annual St Albans district Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge during a finals ceremony at the University of Hertfordshire on Wednesday.
The team was one of six, shortlisted from schools and colleges invited to present to the SuperDragons - leaders from the world of business, education, local government and charity - at this week’s

This year’s Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge has raised £22,517 for charities and community groups after the teams of year 12 students were each given £100 and challenged to develop business ideas to turn the investment into £1,000 or more for their designated charity, with the help of a local business mentor. 

The Mayor of St Albans, Annie Brewster, presented the awards at the finals and throughout the year, she has been personally involved in many of the teams’ events.

She said she was impressed by the students’ creativity, enthusiasm and involvement with the local community. 

She continued: “Work experience and even internships are now a highly sought after commodity.

“However, this challenge knocks both these out of the water as you Apprentices are not shadowing other peoples’ roles or filing tomes of paper or entering days of data onto computers, you are the trail blazers, you are thinking outside the box, risking your ideas and then making them happen.”

Team Allegiance worked closely with their Dragon from Stainless Wire Ltd and their charity, Youth Talk and earned £3,243 through staging a variety of events, including an evening with Dr Dance, an interactive event demonstrating how dance can be used as therapy, a race night and inter-school disco.

It was their presentation in front of an audience of around 250 people last night that was the deciding factor, impressing the SuperDragons sufficiently to crown them the overall winners.

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 Fusion, from St Alban’s Girls School, won the Best Managed Team award.

STAGS Team Evolve, from St Albans’ Girls School won the SuperDragons’ discretionary award for Best use of Social Media.

Team Limitless from Sir John Lawes School earned a massive £4,495 for the Harpenden Trust and won the award for the Most Money Raised. 

Team Pioneer from St Columba’s College were the winners of the Most Innovative Business Idea.

St George’s Team Alpha were rewarded for demonstrating the closest co-operation with their charity, the Wendy Gough Cancer Awareness Foundation.