A trophy-winning team for WOBA

Kelly Lea, WOBA

Friday November 8th 2013


Witney youth training centre, Synolos, has joined forces with students from Abingdon & Witney College to create a prestigious trophy for the overall winner of the 2014 West Oxfordshire Business Awards. Entries for the awards are currently open and close on Friday 29 November 2013.

This year, Abingdon & Witney College students will go head-to-head in a competition to come up with the winning trophy design, which will be made of wood by 21 year-old Brian Overton from Synolos.

Originally from Eynsham, Brian left Bartholomew School at 16 but found himself homeless a year later before discovering Synolos through his support network. He is now employed full time by the organisation which has provided him with training and the ability to gain first-hand experience of business through its Corn Street workshop and shop at Wesley Walk, Witney.

“I was in and out of different jobs before becoming homeless and am thankful of learning about Synolos, I’m now working towards an NVQ in Cabinet Making and am looking forward to putting my woodwork skills to something as grand as the West Oxfordshire Business Awards trophy. I’m sure the students will come up with some interesting and creative designs and hopefully the trophy will provide a platform for Synolos to encourage some of the WOBA winning businesses to visit our shop in Witney!”Brian Overton, Synolos

Abingdon & Witney College students have designed the Coutts West Oxfordshire Business of the Year trophy for the last three years. The WOBA partnership enables students to work with a live brief underlining the college’s commitment to ensure its students are ‘work fit’ and employable as well as qualified.

Principal of Abingdon & Witney College, Teresa Kelly, said:

“Abingdon and Witney College is proud to be involved for the fourth year running with this business event that gives our students the opportunity to get involved in real-life briefs and challenges their capacity to think and act creatively.”

Entering their fourth year, the WOBAs have become a firm fixture in the business event calendar with their stature growing year-on-year, proving there is nothing quite like winning an award when it comes to raising your profile and boosting business, irrespective of your business size and sector.

“Whether you are a sole trader or large business, we would like to hear from you. The entry form for each category is extremely painless to complete and you could even find yourself lifting what promises to be a fabulous and unique trophy for the 2014 Coutts Business of the Year Award. We are thrilled Abingdon & Witney College students are designing the trophy again and are looking forward to seeing how Brian and Synolos interpret the winning design.”Jo Sensecall, spokesperson for the WOBA organising team

With 11 awards to choose and the ability to enter two categories, there are plenty of opportunities for all businesses to get involved. To be in with a chance, download an entry form from www.woba.co.uk and submit it by the end of Friday 29 November 2013.

Following the judging process, West Oxfordshire’s thriving business community will gather for a fantastic event on Tuesday 4 February 2014 to see this year’s finalists revealed.

WOBA will once again host a glamorous Awards Dinner at Heythrop Park on Friday 14 March 2014 where the winners will be announced.

The WOBA charity for 2014 is Inclusive Care & Education (ICE), winner of the 2013 Polythene UK Charity & Community Award. ICE runs a variety of activities for disabled young people and those with additional needs at its centre in Carterton.


Photo caption:
Wood carver, Brian Overton (back left), who will make the 2014 WOBA Coutts Business of the Year trophy and Barry Ingleton, both from Synolos in Witney discuss ideas for the trophy with 17-year-old students (l-r) Tracy Partlett, Eleanor Cooper and Rea Parker at Abingdon and Witney College in Witney. Students will be submitting their designs to a judging panel in the next few weeks.

2014 WOBA Categories:

  • CETA Large Business Award
  • Strategic Mentors Small Business Award
  • Hexagon Business Centres Micro Business Award
  • Witney Business & Innovation Centre New Business Award
  • Ridgeway Business Person of the Year Award
  • mark-making* Social Media Award
  • STL Communications Employer of the Year Award
  • Heythrop Park Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality Award
  • Blenheim Palace Rural Business Award
  • Polythene UK Charity and Community Award
  • Owen Mumford Innovation Award

Coutts Business of the Year Award (The winning business from each category is automatically considered for the overall award).

For further information contact:
Kelly Lea,
PR Consultant,
M: 07988 195 262,
E: Kelly@kellyleapr.com