Swindon students are being invited to vie for cash prizes in a competition celebrating their talent.
Four business owners from Swindon and the Cotswolds have raised thousands of pounds in sponsorship to launch the contest, which is aimed at young people who would have been taking their GCSEs, A Levels or equivalent examinations this year.
The team have gathered an 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 of last year by self-employed professionals Nigel Chute of Chute Design, Allison Murray of Allison Murray Design, Chris Roberts of Chris Roberts MBE PR and Fiona Scott of Scott Media.
Fiona Scott said: “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.”
With education in schools and colleges disrupted for the second year running, the competition has returned to give young people from Swindon and the Cotswolds the chance to win a ‘real world’ prize judged by people who are successful in their professions.
The team believe that the past year’s Year 11, 12 and 13 students, who have been described 'the lost generation' thanks to the effect of covid on education, need to be able to showcase their talent and be rewarded following what has been a tough time.
Last year around 500 young people entered the categories of Art and Design, Creative Writing, and Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking. The prizes in each category are £500 for first place, £300 for second, £150 for third, £50 for fourth and £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, 6 July and judging will take place in mid-July. The judges to date are: