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Twin Town Challenge on track to hit £1m

The fourth and final Twin Town Challenge next May will take the total fundraising to over £1 million. The event will see 100 cars costing less than £500 travel to Witney’s twin town of Le Touquet for a weekend of fun points based challenges to raise money for Charlbury based charity SpecialEffect. 

On Friday 1st May 2020, the cars will leave from Blenheim Palace and head to Le Touquet on the Twin Town Challenge 2020. Once across the channel the teams will compete 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 4th May. 

The 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:

“The Twin Town Challenge is an amazing sight with a hundred cars, 400 people in fancy dress and over 50 volunteers. For the last ever Twin Town Challenge we have a fabulous programme of events planned in and around Le Touquet including a day at Abbeville circuit as well as the now infamous street party with live bands in the middle of Le Touquet.” 

All the costs of the event will be 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 generosity 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.

The theme for Twin Town 2020 is ‘Battle of the Bands’ and teams are already starting to plan their car decoration and fancy dress. 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.

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. The charity has already benefited from the £840,000 raised by the Twin Town Challenges in 2014, 2016 and 2018. 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.

Support for the charity has escalated as the contacts made on the Twin Town Challenge brought wider gains, as Dr Mick Donegan, founder and CEO of SpecialEffect, explains:

“The legacy of each Twin Town Challenge continues long after the event itself as businesses keep on supporting us. We are entirely dependent on donations to carry on our work, so events like this are our lifeblood. To think that the organisers are hoping to raise over £1m for us is unbelievable. We cannot thank the Twin Town community enough for their passion and generosity.”

Teams entering the Twin Town Challenge can be a group of individuals but many are local Oxford businesses and the games industry. Andrew Hammond, MD of Oxford Products said:

“We have now done all three Twin Town Challenges. Each one has been an utterly brilliant trip, great fun and we come away with lots of happy memories and new friends. We were blown away with the whole experience.” 

Another Twin Towner, Nick Jones of Focus ORM, 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 Twin Town Challenge 2020 is taking place from 1 – 4 May 2020. With over 80% of the places for the 2020 event booked already, the organisers are confident that they will reach the £1m target. Any businesses or individuals wanting to enter are encouraged to reserve their place on the starting grid soon to avoid disappointment. There are still some sponsorship opportunities available. 

See www.twintown.org.uk for further details.

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