Challenge for young people in Swindon goes live

By Anita Jaynes on 1 June, 2021

Hundreds of young students across Swindon are being invited to take part from today (Tuesday 1st June 2021) 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 an impressive judging panel 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.

Fiona Scott, runs her business Scott Media from Swindon and has lived in the town since 1997. She 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.”

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 6th July 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.

Creative Writing: 

  • 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
  • Bulldog Websites
  • 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 find out more about the competition and to enter visit and to see an animation about the challenge click on the link below.

Pictured top: Fiona Scott, one of the four business owners behind The Cotswold Challenge.