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Perseverance key to success for the Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentices

Perseverance central to success

Congratulations to all the teams in the 2016-17 Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge.   This is the fourth year Red Potato have worked with Welwyn Hatfield Council to deliver the Challenge.  Each year there seems to be some common element to the teams; this year it was perseverance.

The Challenge involves groups of young people working together with local businesses and charities over approximately six months.   Each year the groups of young people go through a process of forming and developing as a team.  This year the process of “form, reform, split up, make up” happened again.  What was different though was the perseverance shown by team members. Why is that important? Well, the ability to keep going with the Challenge despite changes to the team, was an important factor in the teams that were succcessful. The ability to keep going, to persevere despite the set backs is important. And crucially that grit and determination to make things work came through, in the team presentations. So, congratulations to all the teams for their achievements! Perseverance is a key quality for potential entrepreneurs. Based upon the 2017/18 Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge it looks like the teams have learnt a lot about perseverance, lessons that will help them in their future careers.

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Three tips for engaging young people with your organisation

So here’s the thing, you need to communicate with young people about something important, but not urgent.   How do you do it?

Here are three quick tips we have learnt from recent work with school and college students.

  1. Test your ideas:

    In any campaign you would test your ideas with your target market. Young people are not an homogeneous market that can be easily defined.  By asking young people what they think of your ideas, you will get very useful feedback and it will help make your engagement more pertinent and so more likely to be successful.  At a recent event we had a great suggestion that the large screen could have a rolling display of social media posts, instead of a video no one could hear!

  2. Create a buzz before the event:

    The best way to do is to work with local schools or colleges so that the students are interested in your “message” prior to the event. Clearly this is only appropriate where you are working on a public service/community interest campaign.  For example recently we worked on launching the #HealthforTeens website.   Before the event we spent lots of time discussing the website themes with schools, so that school students knew more about what was involved and could influence the message, in this case about how to stay healthy!

  3. You need to persevere:

    Engagement with young people is not a one off, but needs to be part of a plan. Young people are besieged by messages, and your message is quickly forgotten. To make an impact you need to provide regular useful information that is relevant and speaks to young people.   We worked with schools and young people, after the #FutureHeroes Careers Expo to reinforce the messages, because life moves on!  Your event maybe important to you, but it will be vying for attention, with all the other things going on;   your event is only part of your campaign.  To ensure you get your message across, you need to plan, persevere and persist with the campaign.

And finally…

Young people are interested in what you have to say, but you need to be open, approachable and willing to change. The campaign will be stronger, more successful and certainly more fun!

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East & North Herts NHS Trust AGM & Schools

East & North Herts NHS Trust AGM & Schools

Well done to all the schools who participated in the East & North Herts NHS Trust AGM! Red Potato worked with teams from local schools to help them prepare their “pitch”.  The NHS staff and many local health agencies were attending the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held in July in Stevenage.

Which schools participated?

We’re really proud of the Year 10 and Year 11 students and teachers from Monks Walk, Nobel, Chancellors, Sir Frederic Osborne and Onslow St Audrey’s Schools’.  The students spent so much time preparing for the AGM –  and then participating so effectively at the AGM.  We hope that everyone had a good time, despite the weather!

Chair 2students

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Business Start-Up Training comes to Welwyn Garden City

Business Bootcamps come to Welwyn Garden City!

Yes, the Red Potato Business Bootcamps are coming to Welwyn Garden City! We are looking forward to working with Circle Housing, the Welwyn Hatfield Community Housing Trust and Welwyn Garden City Children’s Centres. The aim of the project is to deliver a series of business start-up training sessions, so that local people can learn how to start a business.

Where and when is it happening?

The Bootcamps will be held at the Pomegranate Centre, near Woodhall Shopping Parade, Welwyn Garden City. Easter.

Each Bootcamp will start at 1pm and finish by 3pm to allow parents to collect children from school, also a creche will be available in the Pomegranate Centre.

The first bootcamp will be held on the 13th April 2016

Register by contacting:

Fiona Plumridge at Welwyn Hatfield Community Housing Trust – or Gemma Jeffery at WGC Family Centre

B-W Pomegranate Bootcamp

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Back to School!

Back to school shout the news headlines, as children in England prepare to start a new Autumn term. But if our experience is anything to go by, many teachers and school leaders have been working throughout August.  Red Potato have been working with secondary (high) schools in Hertfordshire on a follow up to the East and North Herts NHS AGM and also the next Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge -more on both these initiatives in the next few weeks.

This post is about a school consultation we conducted with Presdales School.  We undertook a survey of staff at the Secondary School in Hertfordshire on behalf of the school Governors.  The survey consisted of online and paper based questionnaires which were completed by members of staff.  We worked with the school to make sure the questions followed a natural sequence and were not open to misinterpretation.  We were pleased to have secured a near 100% response rate.  Following the survey we produced Executive level reports which the school has used to inform future business strategy.

Here is what the School Governors said about this project:

“We liked the way in which Red Potato worked with us to make sure we achieved our aims and objectives. Red Potato worked with us to ensure the survey and consultation effectively contributed to the overall business strategy”.

We’d like to thank all the teachers, staff and school leadership teams who have worked with Red Potato during this summer and we wish you all good luck with next term!


Herts Healthy Homes Partnership Programme, with Hertfordshire County Council


Hertfordshire County Council/ Herts Healthy Homes project

Red Potato were selected by Hertfordshire County Council to:

  1. build engagement and involvement from a diverse range of partner organisations, including voluntary sector organisations, district and borough Councils
  2. ensure partnership outcomes were recorded and communicated
  3. work with Herts Healthy Homes partners to create and embed referral processes

Hertfordshire County Council said:

“Red Potato were really efficient and happy to talk to other key providers. We’d have no hesitation in recommending Red Potato for project support. They deliver exactly what they promise.”


Herts Healthy Homes & Red Potato
Herts Healthy Homes – Red Potato provided project support for this Hertfordshire County Council partnership project


Herts Action on Disability (HAD)

 HAD is a charity which helps older and disabled people to lead an independent life. HAD Occupational Therapists work closely with clients to diagnose mobility issues. Disabled and older people can attend the HAD Chair Clinic to assess their mobility.HAD wanted to promote the Chair Clinic to a wider audience and chose Red Potato to produce a video to show how the service helps people. Red Potato were chosen by HAD because of their track record in partnership working, understanding of the HAD objectives and flexibility.
“Red Potato worked in partnership with HAD to produce a video to promote our chair clinic service and has helped us with market research to support our social enterprise ambitions. We were pleased with the way Red Potato worked with HAD to help deliver our community engagement and partnership objectives” Annabelle Waterford, Chief Executive HAD