Hundreds of young students across Swindon are being invited to take part from today (Tuesday, June 1) in a competition with cash prizes to celebrate their talent.
Four business owners from Swindon and the Cotswolds have raised thousands of pounds in sponsorship to launch the contest aimed at young people who would have been taking their GCSEs, A Levels or equivalent examinations in 2021.
The team have gathered a stunning array of judges for this year’s competition including TV presenter and owner of Cotswold Farm Park Adam Henson; artist, social media influencer and comedian Arron Crascall; interior designer and TV presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen; and journalist and TV personality Dom Joly.
The Cotswold Challenge was first staged in March last year by a team of self-employed professionals Nigel Chute (Chute Design); Allison Murray (Allison Murray Design); Chris Roberts (Chris Roberts MBE PR) and Fiona Scott (Scott Media).
With education in schools and colleges being disrupted for the second year running, it’s returned to give young people from the Cotswolds and across Swindon the chance to win a ‘real world’ prize judged by people who are successful in their profession.
The team believe that the past year’s Year 11, 12 and 13 students, who have been penned ‘the lost or Covid generation’ need to be able to showcase their talent and be rewarded for what has been, without doubt, a very tough time for them all.
“We are urging young people, their parents, guardians, grandparents, friends, brothers and sisters to take part. This is an opportunity not only to win a cash prize but also to showcase talent in public to people who are influential in their respective fields. In life and business, contacts are invaluable,” said Fiona (pictured).
The initiative was so successful in 2020 around 500 young people entered the categories of Art & Design; Creative Writing; Innovation & Entrepreneurial Thinking. The prizes in each category are £500 for first place, £300 for second, £150 for third, £50 for fourth and there will be £25 book tokens for four students in each category who are highly commended.
This year there will also be a Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Talent chosen by The Cotswold Challenge team and given to one person in each category. Entries can be submitted online until the evening of Tuesday, July 6 and judging will take place in mid-July. The judges to date are:
Art & Design:
Val & Martin Adamson – The Sculpture Studio
Lady Bathurst of Cirencester Park
Martin Burgess – art gallery owner & artist
Paul Cottrell – designer
Arron Crascall – artist, social media influencer & comedian
Trevor Hart – creative writer, artist & commercial photography
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen – interior design & tv presenter
Lucy McMillan-Scott – portrait artist
Nic Vickery – artist
Sally Wyatt – artist.
Angela Atkinson – author & Swindon blogger
Kim Harvey – owner of The Mad Hatter Bookshop
Amanda Jennings – author
Dom Joly – journalist and tv producer
Fiona Scott – journalist
C L Taylor – author
Enterprise & Innovation:
Nigel Chute – Chute Design
Nicky Godding – editor of Business & Innovation magazine
Tom Harper – Little Imagineers
Adam Henson – owner Cotswold Farm Park & tv presenter
Andy Langley – CEO of tech company Ntegra
Verity Manners – of Wrag Barn Golf Club
Caroline Summers – owner of The Paperback Shop
Jeevan Thandi – of Enterprize
Ruth Waddingham – designer & innovator
This year’s sponsors to date are:
Barbara Leatham Photography
Jeevan Thandi of Enterprize
Ernest Cook Trust
Jodie Fraser of Fraser Allen Estate Management
Fi Da Silva Adams of Revolution Performing Arts
The Royal Agricultural University
Caroline Summers of The Paperback Shop
Kevin Wignall, mystery, crime fiction, thriller and suspense novelist
To enter visit https://thecotswoldchallenge.com