Twin Town Challenge hits £1m for charity

Special Effect Twin Town Challenge

The Twin Town Challenge charity car rally has reached £1 million fundraising for Charlbury based charity SpecialEffect, even before the 2020+2 event takes place. The event sees 120 cars costing less than £500 travel to Witney’s twin town of Le Touquet for a weekend of fun points based challenges. The fourth and final COVID delayed Twin Town Challenge 2020+2 leaves Blenheim Palace on Friday 29th April.

Just 40 cars took part in the first Twin Town Challenge in 2014 with more at the 2016 and 2018 events. Over 120 cars will head for Le Touquet on the Twin Town Challenge 2020+2, competing for points as they undertake challenges in and around Le Touquet in northern France. The highlight of the event is a street party with a live band in the centre of town when the Twin Towners are joined by the residents of Le Touquet for a night of partying. The event will finish back at Blenheim Palace on Monday 2nd May.

Finding Nemo Twin Town ChallengeThe Twin Town Challenge is organised by Brendon Cross, MD of Witney based STL Communications and Hexagon Business Centres and a SpecialEffect Vice President. Brendon said: “To be able to announce before the final Twin Town Challenge takes place that we have raised £1 million for SpecialEffect is truly amazing. The generosity of our sponsors and the participants over the four events is humbling.”

All the costs of the event are covered by sponsorship, which means that every pound paid in entry fees as well as the fundraising by the teams, goes straight to the charity. Brendon adds: “We are very lucky that so many businesses from the games industry and local Oxfordshire businesses give so generously to sponsor this event. Their support enables us to cover the costs of the Eurotunnel crossings, the hire of the venues and to feed all the participants during the weekend.”

The organising team are supported during the event by a team of volunteers who set up and clear up, marshal, organise, serve refreshments, score and generally run the event. There is also a team of mechanics, a bus for the media, a photographer and film crew and a bus of shame for any team who breaks down.

Based in Charlbury, Oxfordshire, SpecialEffect put the fun and inclusion back into the lives of those with physical disabilities using technology ranging from modified joy-pads to eye-control. Funds from the Twin Town events have been crucial in enabling SpecialEffect to establish a games room for young people to visit, to buy new vehicles and to take on more specialist staff to meet the rapidly growing demand for their support and services.

Dr Mick Donegan, founder and CEO of SpecialEffect, said: “To think that the organisers have already raised over £1m for us is unbelievable and we know this will be exceeded during the event itself. We cannot thank the Twin Town community enough for their passion and generosity. We are entirely dependent on donations to carry on our work, so events like this are our lifeblood.”

Andrew Hammond, MD of Oxford Products, who will have taken part in all four Twin Town Challenges, said: “Each Twin Town Challenge has been an utterly brilliant trip, great fun and we come away with lots of happy memories and new friends but to know that we have also helped to raise so much for this amazing charity is the icing on the cake.”

Focus Twin town ChallengeAnother Twin Towner, Nick Jones of Partners&, said: “Twin Town is a truly wonderful experience. I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend raising money for a wonderful charity than with the Twin Town community!”

The theme for Twin Town 2020+2 is ‘Battle of the Bands’ and teams are busy starting decorating their cars and getting their fancy dress ready. In past events, teams have driven London taxis and stretched limos as well as more ordinary vehicles disguised as Jurassic Park, Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine, Power Rangers and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Brendon adds, “We’re looking forward to seeing what amazing cars turn up at Blenheim this time. We know there is a team dressed as Abba in a glitterball car and one as the Village People and another as the Beatles, which will once again turn heads in Le Touquet!”

The final fundraising total will be announced after the post event ball in July.



About the Twin Town Challenge:  The Twin Town Challenge is a charity event organised by Brendon Cross. Cars costing less than £500 drive to Le Touquet for a weekend of fun points based activities. Proceeds of the event are given to SpecialEffect.
About SpecialEffect:  SpecialEffect offers people with complex physical disabilities the opportunity to have a better quality of life by matching, modifying and creating a wide variety of personalised technology to lend to them, opening up new worlds of fun, creativity and communication.


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