Students show artistic flair with WOBA trophy design

Kelly Lea, WOBA Team

Tuesday November 4th 2014

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Art and design students from Abingdon & Witney College have battled it out in a bid to create the winning trophy design for the STL Communications West Oxfordshire Business of Year Award 2015.

Francesca Cornwall, 16, from Bampton and Ryan Mitchell, 17, from Woodstock, beat-off stiff competition with their unique interpretation of what will become West Oxfordshire’s most prestigious business award next year.

Francesca Cornwall said:

“Our design for the award is based on a spiral staircase with small steps at the bottom and bigger steps at the top. This demonstrates how success can get you from one place to another as a business grows.”

The students faced a judging panel of eight including WOBA and College representatives in addition to Bill Smith of STL Communications, sponsor of the award.

WOBA trophy 2015: Picture: Ric Mellis

“All of the students have clearly thought about the brief and what becoming the West Oxfordshire Business of the Year could mean to a business and its employees. Francesca and Ryan’s drawings and model demonstrate great artistic talent and both students have truly excellent presentation skills.”Bill Smith, STL Communications

The design will be hand crafted out of wood by Synolos, a West Oxfordshire charity that helps vulnerable young people to realise their true potential by gaining accredited training and work-based experience via its Witney training centre and shop.

Barry Ingleton, founder of Synolos, said: “Once again, the students from Abingdon & Witney College excelled. The winning design is definitely not the easiest to make but I’m sure we can do it justice! The Synolos team is looking forward to welcoming Francesca and Ryan to our workshop where they can see their concept come to life.”

There is still time to enter WOBA 2015 with 11 categories to choose from. The winner of each category will be automatically entered to become the STL Communications West Oxfordshire Business of the Year with the chance to lift the prestigious trophy at Heythrop Park in March 2015.

“Entries are starting to gather but we would like to continue our trend of exceeding entries year-on-year. There’s definitely a category for ALL West Oxfordshire businesses and becoming an award winner can really help to raise awareness, boost staff morale and increase sales.”Jo Sensecall, WOBA Team

WOBA entry forms can be downloaded from and must be submitted by Midnight, Sunday 30th November 2014.

WOBA judges will compile shortlists in December and arrange visits to each shortlisted business in January. WOBA finalists will be announced at an evening event, taking place on Tuesday 10th February 2015 with the eventual winners announced at the WOBA Awards Dinner on Friday 27th March 2015.

The WOBA charity for 2015 is Base 33 who won the Polythene UK Charity and Community Award 2014.


Notes to editor:

Photo captions:
1. Francesca Cornwall and Ryan Mitchell of Abingdon & Witney College with their winning WOBA 2015 trophy design
2. Back L-R: Bill Smith of STL Communications and Barry Ingleton of Synolos with Francesca Cornwall, Ryan Mitchell and the winning WOBA 2015 trophy design at Abingdon & Witney College

For further information, contact:
Kelly Lea;
M: 07988 195 262;

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