Future Packaging Designers
Swindon College students wow GWP and Swindon Foodbank with their designs
Students at Swindon college impressed directors of GWP Packaging and the Swindon Foodbank not only with their smart attire, but also their packaging design skills at the award event to announce the winners of the design competition.
Having been running since February, the judges found it so hard to pick a winner from the 3 teams that in the end 2 were chosen as joint winners – and the prize money was increased!
The Winning Teams
The winning teams were “Jak Tac” (team members Fraser Nutland, Sam Powers, Jacob Topp and Aaron Chaplin) and “The Cardboard Cutouts” (made up of Ryan Henderson, Eric King, James Barter and Joshua Bunyan).
Each team member won £100 in prize money, obtained a certificate and trophy, and were also awarded a unique “corrugated cardboard cup” designed by Stephen Mann – a GWP designer who also acted as a mentor at various stages of the project.
The runners up, “The Super Awesome Amazing Space Pirates Limited”, were also awarded trophies and £50 each.
The Award event
The award event was held in the engineering building at Swindon Colleges’ North Star campus, with GWP Directors Ruth Cook and David Pedley, plus designers and managers Mike Poynter, Stephen Mann and Jay Dagger in attendance.
Lee Thompson, project manager at the Swindon Foodbank was also at the event, along with Swindon College Principal Andrew Miller and Director of Curriculum, Jacqueline Grubb, plus students from the course.
Ruth Cook, Managing Director at GWP Packaging, said;
We set the students a challenge and gave them a real packaging brief to work to. They all managed to balance some really creative ideas and thought processes with the need to produce a cost-effective and practical packaging solution. They all scored very well and in the end it was such a close run thing that we decided to significantly increase the prize fund so that we could reward all the finalists.
Media coverage of the event
As well as coverage in the local press, including the Swindon Advertiser, plus packaging trade publications, the event was also covered on BBC Radio Wiltshire.
Featured on both the Drive time show, with Lee Stone, and the Breakfast programme with Ben Prater, the competition highlighted the importance of industry getting involved with education, and also helped to show how the competition had caught the imagination of the students.
Working with Industry
One of the key objectives of this project was to give students the opportunity to experience working in a commercial environment, in essence seeing how industry works.
Two of the students, Ryan Henderson and Jacob Topp, were also awarded and additional prize for their enthusiasm and attitude – a work placement at GWP Packaging.
Working primarily in the design department but also getting to see an overview of how the company operates, this opportunity should stand them in good stead when entering employment after their studies.
Will Weatherall, tutor at Swindon College, said;
This competition has been a great opportunity for the students who have clearly learnt a lot about the principles of packaging design and have come up with some innovative ideas. It was a great experience for them and gave them a taste of working in the real world. The packaging design workshop that GWP gave them was excellent and the factory tour was really interesting. They found it especially useful meeting the packaging designers and seeing how ideas are turned into prototypes. It is evident that this has been a valuable experience for all of them.
Recognition of supporting Swindon College
Following the event, GWP were also delighted to be recognised by Swindon College with a “Community Challenge” accolade for supporting students with projects in the community.
The project was such a success that the boxes were put into production and are in use at the Swindon Foodbank – with the charity already having been provided with additional boxes for other aspects of their operations.
Whilst the relationship between GWP Group and the Swindon Foodbank has gone from strength, the close links forged with the college were also massively beneficial to both parties.
Amanda Ruddle, Marketing Assistant at Swindon College, said of this;
Thank you (to GWP) for your support in providing community projects for our students to take part in. We hope we will have the opportunity of working with you again in the future.
Besides working with Swindon College in the future, GWP Are also exploring partnerships with the University Technical College (UTC).
With a UTC set to be prominent in Swindon (as well as across the UK), they provide an exciting new concept in engineering education.
Students enrolling in Year 10 and 12, have the opportunity to take a highly regarded, full time, technical course of study. In Swindon, this is in the form of a brand new, state of the art £10 million college located in the heart of the town.