Yarm School’s latest ‘apprentice project’ has been successfully completed with the crowning of a winner and almost £1,700 raised for charity.
The Yarm Apprentice 2019-20 competition raised £1,698 for a range of different local and national charities, including the Salvation Army, Clic Sargent, Breast Cancer Now, Papyrus, and King’s Church Darlington food bank.
The 23 wannabee apprentices faced five tasks including taste testing mocktails at Open Day, selling poinsettias and reindeer dust from dawn till dusk at the Christmas Indoor Market, using their skills of persuasion to develop a sales pitch to convince their peers to buy children’s toys and other items from the local Boyes, writing a book suitable for EYFS children and finally persuading Darlington Building Society to donate £500.
A board of five Lord Sugars, which included a local business CEO, financial manager and the head of pre-prep, challenged the aspiring entrepreneurs to work together on the five tasks that tested their leadership qualities, teamwork and motivation, decision making and time management, conflict resolution, and the pitching and defending of their ideas.
The chief executive of Darlington Building Society, Andrew Craddock, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the pitches from all of the students and the standard of work was exceptional. Deciding a winner was an extremely difficult task but I was delighted to award the winning team £500 towards their donation to a local food bank.
“Our society believes passionately in supporting education and the local community, and I hope the apprentice challenge has helped inspire the students and build on existing skills.”
After months of activities and hard work, Philippa Lowe, 16 who is studying Business at A-Level, was crowned the winner, she said: “I found the Yarm Apprentice a fun experience, that taught me new skills and helped me build on my existing skills and I would recommend it to everyone at Yarm School as it proves that you can do anything, if you are committed and determined.
“Personally, I enjoyed the creative challenges the most. I hope to become a fashion designer and the Yarm Apprentice has shown me what would be expected from me in the business world and the best ways to approach the different challenges I might face.”
Yarm School head master Huw Williams said: “Yarm School has a strong community ethos and our pupils are dedicated to supporting causes that they feel strongly about.
“I am very proud of our winner Philippa and all the pupils who took part in Yarm Apprentice, who have not only raised money for charity but have also learnt some very strong life lessons and skills in the process.”