Nick Streeter of SpecialEffect tells us why he would encourage any organisation to enter the WOBAs.
SpecialEffect nearly didn’t enter the first ever WOBA 2011. Why? We were so busy, and we really didn’t think we stood a chance of winning. The decision to actually request an entry form, and enter, turned out to be a pivotal moment in the history of the charity as prior to then we had little or no awareness or support in the local business community, despite being 3 years old.
What has happened since? We were lucky enough to win the WOBA 2011 Charity and Community Award which led to us being the WOBA charity for 2012. This meant that our Patron Matt Hampson, an ex-England Under-21 rugby player who suffered a major spinal injury while training in 2005, was able to address the 270 guests at the WOBA 2012 Awards evening and tell them about what we do. SpecialEffect was the beneficiary of the collection at the 2012 event. This money was much appreciated and used to help our beneficiaries, but the WOBAs have had a much deeper impact on the charity with a number of local companies volunteering their professional expertise to help us develop and getting involved in everything from fire walks and glass walks, to bag packing!
SpecialEffect is still far smaller than most people think and the support of local companies in a myriad of ways is helping us in our quest to help more people with disabilities to have fun and freedom. Working with local companies has taught us to think big and nothing demonstrates that more than our involvement with STL Communications and their MD Brendon Cross who we first met at the WOBAs in 2011. SpecialEffect has grown and is now able to help more people thanks to the support of West Oxfordshire businesses. Next year we are organising our biggest event ever under the leadsership of Brendon (who is also a Vice President of the charity) and the amazing efforts of so many other local companies. The SpecialEffect Twin Town Challenge in May 2014 will see 80 teams travel from Cornbury Park in West Oxfordshire to France in a £500 car!
The WOBAs and the friends we have made have been transformational for the charity and we would encourage any organisation to enter.
SpecialEffect, winners of the Charity and Community Award 2011, and the Social Media Award 2014