Over £20,000 raised for Special Effect – thanks to all who helped raise such a fantastic sum
(Mum and Dad had also received an invite to the gathering which had on it that it was an opportunity to meet guest of honour Rob Camm!) Primarily it was a thank you from Special Effect to many of their ambassadors and hardworking supporters who help raise awareness and funds.
The day started with the alarm going off at 6am and the carers getting Rob up and ready for the day and leaving for Uni at 8.30am. The seminar was not until 11am but Rob wanted to get into Uni and do some reading beforehand rather than try to prepare at home and then rush in later. Dad joined the trip into Uni as he had managed to take the day off and the plan was to go straight from Bristol to the Winter Warmer. As soon as the seminar was finished it was a quick dash back to the caravelle and get straight en route to Oxford. After a short pit stop at the services for refreshments whilst having the necessary nebuliser and cough assist Rob arrived at the Special Effect offices in good enough time to allow a guided tour of the offices and in particular the room where many gaming stations were set up. This is the room where people go to try out various systems so that the Special Effect team can work out just how they are going to enable anyone to control computers, switches or joysticks with the aim of finding the specific way that any disabled person can keep connected with their friends and play computer based games.
Then fuelled by some delicious mulled wine, it was then down to the main point of the gathering which was not only to meet other ambassadors but also for Rob to tell the gathered audience of his challenging Tough Mudder experience. Naturally Rob used the opportunity to thank Mick and his team for what they had done for Rob in those early dark days in hospital. Rob was able to say that through the generosity of his friends and supporters that his Tough Mudder adventure had managed to raise over £20,000 plus the Gift aid top up for Special Effect. An amazing achievement and beyond expectation. It will help purchase equipment that will be used to enhance the lives and put smiles on the faces of over 60 people.It was great also to hear of the magic moments that each of the staff recalled about someone they had helped recently through eye gaze and gaming to achieve something that the individual thought was impossible.
After the official speeches Rob tried a couple of systems and could see how it could work for him using a chin control joystick and possibly head switches for acceleration or firing in different games. It is now on the agenda for Rob to return at a later date and work out just what system would be best for him. It would mean that on cold wet winter days when he needs a break from the serious heavy course work he could enjoy playing games rather than just watching the TV. It will bring out the competitive spirit again when he takes on friends and family on level terms. Anyone up for the challenge?
Rob eventually got home 12 hours after setting out in the morning.