In an event attended by local MP, David Cameron, a new and very special charity in has held its official launch.
Hosted by Eynsham Hall, Witney, Cameron, as well as the charity’s patron Matt Hampson, ex-England Under 21 and Leicester Tigers Rugby player, attended the event and helped to celebrate the amazing work achieved by this worthwhile cause.
The charity is dedicated to enabling all young people with disabilities to use specially-adapted technology to enable them to play computer games and express themselves creatively through art and music amongst other areas. Without such adaptations, games technology is often too difficult for people with disabilities to use and SpecialEffect’s aim is to find a way for everyone to enjoy it.
During the course of the evening, the guests were treated to an opportunity to try out a range of specially modified games and leisure technology. Even if a young person is completely paralysed this special technology will allow them to compete and participate in the same way as everyone else by moving their eyes.
Dr Mick Donegan, who founded the charity, is working closely with the inspirational Matt Hampson, who was tragically paralysed while training with the England under-21’s rugby team. Two years on from Mick’s first support visit to Matt at Stoke Mandeville, Matt is settled back at home and getting the most of what special technology has to offer. Now, he feels he is in a position where he is ready, willing and able to help other people with disabilities by becoming the Patron of SpecialEffect.
As well providing an opportunity for David Cameron and other guests to try out a range of specially adapted technology, the occasion also marked the launch of an Oxfordshire-based appeal in partnership with Helen and Douglas House. The project, ‘A Game for Helen’, will see SpecialEffect establish the world’s fully accessible computer gaming suite for disabled children at the East Oxford hospice. It will aim to enable all of the young people who stay at Helen and Douglas House to gain full access to this technology.
Donegan says “No-one can underestimate the benefits of this kind of technology for young people with disabilities. Not only does it increase motivation and self-esteem, it also provides a perfect opportunity for social interaction – an enjoyable and relaxed context within which young disabled and non-disabled people can compete and interact with each another on a level playing field. In addition, for those who have locked-in creative abilities in areas such as music and design, this technology can provide a desperately needed release for their hidden talents.”
Notes to editors
Spokesperson available on request
Photography available on request