Westgate Oxford has announced the winning team of its 2023 sustainability focused enterprise challenge.

The winners of the ‘Made in Oxford’ challenge were ‘Greyfriar Girls’ from Greyfriars Catholic School.

The students raised a total of £500 for the charities, WaterAid and Aspire.

thisisoxfordshire: Team ‘Greyfriar Girls’ from Greyfriars Catholic School giving a presentationTeam ‘Greyfriar Girls’ from Greyfriars Catholic School giving a presentation (Image: Westgate Oxford)

The contest involved 22 pupils from Oxford Spires Academy and Greyfriars Catholic School.

Tasked by Westgate Oxford, Landsec and Ahead Partnership on June 22, students were asked to create designs, pitches, and social media campaign launches for a re-usable Chilly’s water bottle, that mirrors Westgate Oxford and the local community's ethos.

With partnership support from Ahead Partnership, the initiative aimed to develop young people's employability skills particularly eyeing interactive learning from local employers.

The Westgate Oxford Centre Management Team mentored the students in marketing, sales, and sustainability, plus offered an in-person tour of the Westgate to inspire the participants for their forthcoming project.

The participants then returned to their campuses with five weeks to refine their concepts and strategies.

On July 12, participating students pitched their concepts before a judge's panel.

Brendan Hattam, centre director at Westgate Oxford, together with Claire Figgures-Wilson, portfolio manager at Landsec, and Donna McNulty, partner and deputy brand manager at John Lewis made up the judging panel for the contest.

The 'Greyfriar Girls' edged out the competition with their design emblematizing the eco-friendly and sustainable city traits, and the renowned Oxford against Cambridge boat race.

The re-usable water bottle was produced, and the team had the chance to sell it to guests at Westgate on November 6.

All funds raised from the sale were donated to local charities.

Mr Hattam said: “We were amazed by the creativity and innovative thinking shown by the students from Oxford Spires Academy and Greyfriars Catholic School.

"All the entries were fantastic, but Team 'Greyfriar Girls' from Greyfriars Catholic School were the winners after much deliberation from the judging panel.

"We're thrilled to have seen all their hard work pay off with the sale of their designs which raised funds for great causes."

Georgina Johnson, programme manager at Ahead Partnership, said: "We’re delighted to have delivered the ‘Made in Oxford’ challenge.

"The feedback we’ve received from the students demonstrates the importance of giving young people the opportunity to learn directly from employers.

"We’re so grateful to the team at Westgate Oxford for committing their time, wisdom, and skills to support young people in their community with this interactive and creative challenge.

"It’s especially important that we give young people opportunities to visit and experience workplaces so that they can face the future with more confidence."