Business awards inspire college students

Kelly Lea, WOBA

Tuesday January 14th 2014


Design students from Abingdon & Witney College excelled in creativity when tackling the challenge of producing a design for the 2014 Coutts West Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award trophy.

Eleanor Cooper (17), Jake Maundrell (17), Rea Parker (17) and Zoe Gibbs-Joel (16) beat off stiff competition from their fellow students to win the prize of seeing their design come to life when it is unveiled at the WOBA Entrants’ Celebration Event being held on 4 February 2014 at AirTanker, Brize Norton.

The event, at which the 2014 WOBA finalists will be announced, will also provide entrants with a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes of the organisation that currently operates the RAF’s newest aircraft at RAF Brize Norton.

College student and team leader, Eleanor, said:

“We were given a brief to create an organic trophy as it is going to be made from wood. Our design is like a business that is blossoming with new shoots growing and has taken us three weeks to create. We are looking forward to seeing how it looks when it is made and also to attending the event to see who may win our trophy!”

Teresa Kelly, Principal of Abingdon & Witney College said:

“This was a great opportunity for our students to pitch their ideas in a competitive environment and is another excellent example of how Abingdon & Witney College is committed to equipping its students with the skills they need to excel at work.”

The winning design was inspired by British sculptor and artist, Henry Moore, best known for his semi-abstract bronze sculptures, although the WOBA trophy will be made from wood by Brian Overton of Witney youth training centre, Synolos. Commenting on the winning trophy design, founder of Synolos, Barry Ingleton said:

“The students made a fantastic effort in coming up with unique ideas within the brief of creating a design worthy of the winner. It is very different to what Brian usually makes but I’m certain that his wood carving talents will live-up to the challenge and expectations of the students!”

The WOBA judging process is currently underway, and once again, there has been an increase in entries for the fourth consecutive year. The WOBA 2014 winners will be announced at a glamorous Awards Dinner at Heythrop Park on Friday 14 March 2014.

“On behalf of WOBA, I would like to thank Abingdon & Witney College and Synolos for the inspirational ideas, skills and hard work involved in creating such a unique trophy design.”Jo Sensecall, spokesperson for the WOBA organising team


Photo caption: Winning team of students from Abingdon & Witney College who designed this year’s Coutts West Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award trophy. L-R Rhea Parker, Zoe Gibbs-Joel, Eleanor Cooper and Jake Maundrell. Photo by Ric Mellis.

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,