STUDENTS are being asked to create a trophy fit for the top business in West Oxfordshire.

Art and design students at Abingdon & Witney College’s Witney campus, in Holloway Road, will go head-to-head in a competition to come up with the design to be presented to the overall winner of the West Oxfordshire Business Awards, The trophy will be made of wood by 21-year-old Brian Overton, of Witney’s Synolos youth training centre.

Originally from Eynsham, Mr Overton left Bartholomew School at 16 but found himself homeless a year later. He then came into contact with Synolos, which helps young people into employment.

He now works full-time with 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.

Mr Overton said: “I’m now working towards an NVQ in cabinet-making and am looking forward to putting my woodwork skills to the test with the West Oxfordshire Business Awards trophy.

“I’m sure the students will come-up with some interesting and creative designs.”

Teresa Kelly, the principal of Abingdon & Witney College, said: “This event gives our students the opportunity to get involved in real-life design briefs and challenges their capacity to think and act creatively.”

There are 12 award categories and entries are welcome from all businesses, irrespective of size or the sector they operate in, as long as the company is based in West Oxfordshire.

Entries are open until Friday next week. See for more information and an entry form.

The winners will be revealed at an awards evening on February 4 next year at the Heythrop Park Hotel, near Enstone.

The 2012 Coutts West Oxfordshire Business of the Year trophy was won by CETA Insurance, from Chipping Norton, which also took the Owen Mumford Innovation Award and the STL Communications Large Business Award.