THE COTSWOLD CHALLENGE COMES TO SWINDON! - light bulb, pencils, eraser on desk top

Due to popular demand, The Cotswold Challenge competition for teenagers under lockdown is now open to young people in Swindon as THE COTSWOLD CHALLENGE COMES TO SWINDON!

Five business owners, living in and around the Cotswolds, came together during lockdown to try to support local young people who’ve had their examinations cancelled. The contest launched three weeks ago and several students from Swindon have asked to take part. 

“Due to demand, we made the decision to widen the geographical area covered by the competition and now it’s open to any young person living in Swindon who would have been taking GCSEs, A Levels or equivalents this year,” said Fiona Scott, from Swindon, who is one of the team behind the contest. 

THE COTSWOLD CHALLENGE COMES TO SWINDON! - Fiona scott

We’ve had requests from young people from West Swindon and Central Swindon so we’ve widened the area to a 25 miles radius of Cirencester – deemed to be the centre of the Cotswolds.”

What that means

This means young people from across Swindon can submit an entry for the challenge. It’s divided into three categories:
1. Art & Design
2. Creative Writing
3. Innovation & Entrepreneurial Thinking

There’s a first, second, third and fourth prize in each category of £500, £300, £150, £50 and runners up will get a book token. 

The initiative was first developed to support 16 to 19 year olds (Years 11, 12, 13) to give them something creative to do and offer them the chance to excel, gain a sense of achievement and self-worth. 

 The challenge launched in April and it remains open until 9pm on Monday June 1. 

“We’re particularly interested in getting entries from young people who are enterprising and innovative. They may have an idea for a new product, be a fledgling inventor, have thought of the next best app or have come up with a solution for the good of their community.

These young people may have a great business idea – or simply a great idea which they want to share and perhaps take the next steps to become a reality,” Fiona said. 

The sponsors have already donated the prize money in full.

Winners will also be able to pitch for extra funds to take ‘the next step’ in showcasing their work eg. publishing their poem or short story in a local publication, staging their own art exhibition or taking an idea to an early prototype stage. 

The sponsors for the project include:

The Fred And Marjorie Sainsbury Charitable Trust
Jeevan Thandi of Karhoo
Timothy James & Partners, independent financial advisers 
Jason Houghton, Salperton Park Estate, Cheltenham 
The Fairford & Lechlade Business Club 
Royal Agricultural University, Gloucestershire  
The Paperback Shop, of Fairford
Marion Whittaker 
Author Kevin Wignall
Meg Rivers Bakery, of Shipston On Stour 
Suzannah Harvey, CEO of Cotswold Airport
Kim Harvey of The MadHatter Bookshop, of Burford. 
Nicky Godding, founder of Business & Innovation Magazine
John Biddulph, of Rodmarton Manor
Emma & Jamie Tuck of Bulldog Websites, of Swindon 
Allison Murray of Allison Murray Design, of Eastleach
Barry Jackson, of Aspire Academy
Bettina Harvey of Hector & Queen
Nicky Godding of Business & Innovation magazine

Judging

A a team of well-known people, who have themselves achieved success in their own sector or business, will judge the entries. To date 60 young people have submitted entries for consideration.

Details of the competition, the criteria for entry and the briefing pack are all available via the website www.thecotswoldchallenge.com