Welcome to the
Winning and Commended work from the 2020 Cotswold Challenge
An inspirational and innovative award for 16-19 year olds
“I would like to congratulate the creators of The Cotswold Challenge on this fantastic scheme and all the young people who took part. Engaging young people through the activities and creative competitions facilitated by The Cotswold Challenge empowers them to build their confidence and open their eyes to the choices and opportunities still available to them. I would like to express my gratitude to initiatives such as these which do such worthwhile work in encouraging the aspirations of our young people in these difficult times.”
Secretary of State, Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE, MP
“I’m very pleased to support this great initiative for young people at this difficult time. So much will be on their shoulders, so this is a chance for them to try something for themselves. Hopefully, there will be some great ideas – perhaps even something for our farmers, who will need all the help they can get!”
Owner of the Cotswold Farm Park, author and BBC TV presenter on Countryfile
“When the going gets tough, the true entrepreneur has nothing to lose but the opportunity offered. The Cotswold Challenge offers young people the chance to unleash their wildest ideas, showcase their capabilities or, at the very least, given them confidence.”
Editor of Business & Innovation Magazine
“I felt really humbled to read how many of our younger generation genuinely are so passionate about the environment, the elderly and animals. Such a wonderful thing to see when youngsters often get a bad press.”
Judge and Sponsor, The Paperback Shop, Fairford
“I have been struck by the quality and high standard of many of the entries.”
The Cotswold Challenge Story
When lockdown happened at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, five self-employed philanthropic professionals Nigel Chute, Barry Jackson, Allison Murray, Chris Roberts and Fiona Scott – got together towards the end of March and decided to offer direction and inspiration to the young 16-19 year olds whose school life had abruptly come to an end.
The five of us decided to create The Cotswold Challenge initiative developed solely to support those 16-19 year olds who felt they were losing their future dreams: their GCSEs and A-Levels were cancelled, they had no idea whether or not they could get into a college or university come September, they had no social life as they could not meet up with their extended families, friends, boy-friends or girl-friends nor could they go to clubs, pubs, the cinema, dances or shopping because of lockdown.
The Cotswold Challenge gave these lockdown students the opportunity to take part in a creative and educational initiative that was absolutely free to enter. It offered them the chance to shine, gain a sense of achievement and self-worth at a very difficult time and maybe also win a monetary prize.
In three months, we had created a name and identity for the award. We also managed to recruit 20 illustrious judges – experts in Art and Design, Creative Writing and Innovation. We secured funding for prize money from 18 generous sponsors, built a website and launched the initiative to all the schools via the press and social media in April with the deadline for entries being 1st June. The response from these young people and schools was incredible and, when The Cotswold Challenge closed at 9pm that day, we had received over 500 entries!
We are very proud as a team to now put together a very deserving showcase of the winners and commended work for you to see and enjoy. Share feedback from the judges and highlight some success stories that have grown from the competition.
We also want to thank everyone who was involved, judges, sponsors, schools and the students themselves in helping us make The Cotswold Challenge an inspirational and winning success at a challenging time.
Nigel, Barry, Alli, Chris and Fiona
The Cotswold Challenge team