BUDDING entrepreneurs at a Flintshire high school put their business acumen to the test to turn a ten-pound investment into hundreds of pounds for a children’s hospice.

All year 10 students at Flint High school took part in the Dragons’ Lair Challenge, the enterprise element of their Welsh Baccalaureate GCSE qualification.

The challenge is designed to enhance employability skills, gain 'real life' experience and the opportunity of working with local businesses as well as boosting confidence, creativity and teamwork. It also helps students’ wellbeing by showing that they can make a difference.

Over a six-week period the students formed small groups, planned their challenges and delivered their pitches to a panel of local business ‘Dragons’, showing how they would grow their ten pounds into funds for Hope House Children’s Hospices. The next step was to put their plans into action and achieve their forecast revenue.

Katrina Edwards, curriculum leader of Welsh Baccalaureate, said: “The students have shown maturity throughout the enterprise challenge. They conducted themselves professionally and everyone involved has been impressed by their creative abilities, and their planning, organisation and business skills.

“Some of our students have close relationships with Ty Gobaith/Hope House as their siblings have utilised their services in the past so they were all keen to help as much as they could.

“We set ourselves a target of raising five hundred pounds, a huge amount for a school our size. Thanks to the students’ initiative and hard work, they have exceeded this and raised an impressive £1,137.87 through a host of exciting events including an Easter egg hunt, student teacher football matches, tuck shops and car washes.

“The Dragons were very complimentary about our students with many of them commenting that in future there would be a place for our students in their workplaces or businesses.

"We are incredibly proud of what the students have achieved, and I know this has been an amazing experience for every one of them.”

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Hannah Brownbill was judged ‘star performer’ for her role in organising a teacher versus students basketball game. She said: “The project was stressful to start with, but it is so rewarding to raise money for charity and learn about who we can help.

“I have learned a lot through the process and presenting ideas has built my confidence. Taking on the role of team manager really helped develop my organisational skills too.”

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Nicola Sciarrillo, Hope House Area Fundraiser, said: “It has been fabulous to work with Flint High School. This is the first year they’ve taken part in Dragon’s Lair and it is brilliant to see the drive and determination that each of the students had towards the cause. They really understood the reason for taking part which is raising money for local children.

“I am overwhelmed that a year group of fourteen and fifteen year olds can return such a large amount of cash and the students are clearly well supported by wonderful staff to make this happen. I would like to say a huge thank you from everyone at Hope House. Without support like this Hope House wouldn’t exist.”

The panel of Dragons comprised Kevin Hughes, former editor of the Chronicle, freelance journalist and photographer; Libby Entwisle, Director of Entyce Creative Agency, Chester; Sam Davies, an RAF Pilot Officer; Philip Brennan, Managing Director of Businesscomparison.com; Katie Griffiths, WBL Manager at Coleg Cambria, Rhys Hellen, Managing Director of Crystal Collections, Steve Morgan, CEO of the P&A Group; Rob Trotter, retired Director from Altrad NSG, and Amanda Holmes, Coleg Cambria.

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