Three talented Swindon school students scooped three of the top prizes in The Cotswold Challenge 2021 run by four local business owners.

The challenge, running for its second year, supports young people who missed formal exams because of Covid.

Students from Swindon & The Cotswolds received an invitation to submit entries in three categories:
1. Art and design
2. Creative writing
3. Enterprise and innovation

From across Swindon and the Cotswolds

Volunteer organisers Fiona Scott, Allison Murray, Chris Roberts and Nigel Chute secured sponsorship and funding from business owners and organisations across Swindon and the Cotswolds.

‘We’d like to thank everyone who supported this year’s Challenge, Fiona Scott, of Swindon-based Scott Media, said. ‘From our sponsors to our judges and most of all to the young people who took the time to enter and who saw this as an amazing opportunity to showcase their talents to experts in their field. And all with the possibility of a decent cash prize too!’

Swindon students stepped up to the plate

Swindon students stepped up for sure, with tens of them entering the competition. Ayesha Reeves, who is in Year 13 and attends New College, Swindon, won the Art & Design top prize of £500. Her entry Cocoon elicited high praise from the expert judges.

Art director and oil artist, Paul Cottrell said: ‘This captivates the viewer’s attention. It’s beautifully haunting and the pencil work is very sensitive to the subject matter.’

TALENTED SWINDON STUDENTS WIN PRIZES-Talia Northam, 3rd place Creative Writing winner from New College Swindon -
Talia Northam, 3rd place Creative Writing winner from New College Swindon

As part of her prize, Ayesha will also receive a professional mini photo-shoot carried out by Barbara Leatham Photography. Another student from New College also won a cash prize. The third place prize of £150 went to Talia Northam, for her Creative Writing entry entitled Did You See Him?

A joint third place in the Enterprise & Innovation category went to Ben Lawniczak and Oliwier Zwawiak, who attend Lydiard Park Academy. They worked jointly on their project entitled ELS Walking Stick.

Other Swindon schools/colleges scooped prizes too. A student from both Dorcan Academy and Swindon College received a Highly Commended prize of a £25 book token. Commended certificates also went to students from Dorcan Academy, Kingsdown School and The Ridgeway School. New College, Swindon added two Commended certificates to their total of prizes. Meanwhile, Lydiard Park Academy also added a Commended certificate to their overall wins.

For 2021

This year, The Cotswold Challenge invited schools and colleges in and around Swindon to take part alongside Cotswold-based educational establishments. The challenge comprised three categories and 150 talented entries. It had 12 top money prizes and 3 Special Recognition Awards.

There were also – bringing to mind the Twelve Days of Christmas song:
12 Highly Commended awards
26 Commended awards
25 illustrious judges
9 generous sponsors
27 schools and colleges …
… and four members of The Cotswold Challenge team, who organised the initiative. They were:

1. Nigel Chute of Chute Design
2. Allison Murray of Allison Murray Design
3. Chris Roberts, freelance writer
4. Fiona Scott of Fiona Scott Media.

Born Again Swindonian Logo

Sign up to receive awesome Swindon content in your inbox, every week.