Since FOCUS began back in 1990, we have taken our responsibility to the community very seriously. We are committed to continuing this support – both as corporate partner to SpecialEffect and by providing support to aspiring young sportsmen and women.
SpecialEffect and Twin Town Challenge
SpecialEffect help people with physical disabilities to put fun and inclusion back into their lives by helping them to play video games. They do whatever it takes to help people with physical disabilities to enjoy games. By using technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control, SpecialEffect find a way for people to play to the very best of their abilities. But they are not just doing it for fun. By levelling the playing field, they bring families and friends together and have a profoundly positive impact on therapy, confidence and rehabilitation. Registered Charity Number 1121004.
We first came to hear about SpecialEffect in 2014 at business meeting. In the corner of the room was a banner about SpecialEffect. This got us talking about the charity and the Twin Town Challenge.
Having visited SpecialEffect and learning about the StarGaze project, it became clear to me that this was a charity I wanted FOCUS to support.
From here, FOCUS became a main sponsor and put a team together to take part in Twin Town Challenge 2016. The weekend involved getting a car purchased for no more than £500 from Witney to Le Touquet and back, completing challenges along the way. The “Never Lose FOCUS” team just about completed the trip in a 1983 Porsche 944 which was found in a farmyard in Somerset and had a somewhat dodgy radiator.
Quite frankly, we had a blast – an incredible weekend and the most brilliant way to raise much needed funds for such a deserving charity.
There was never a question about whether we would be back for 2018 – both as sponsor and competitor. This time we upped our horse-power in terms of style and comfort and completed the event in a ‘99 Jaguar S-Type 4.0, raising over £7,000 in the process.
SpecialEffect means a lot to me because I’ve seen what they do first hand. Technology has the power to do some amazing things, especially when it’s used to change the lives of those less fortunate. I want to continue supporting the charity so they can carry on doing such valuable work.
Supporting aspiring and talented sportsmen and women
Having played sport all my life, starting from the age of 6 years old when I was first introduced to rugby, I was given a lot of help and support along the way during my playing career. It was a natural progression to give back in many ways so I now coach and referee a local youth rugby team.
Being around grass roots sports clubs, it became apparent the struggle that aspiring youngsters have in trying to reach their potential. It became an obvious route for my business to support young sports people in their quest for greatness.
We are proud to support Tiegan Trafford – an up and coming gymnast who we hope to one day represent Team GB at the Olympics. Tiegan, daughter of my PA, Michelle Trafford, is just 10 years old and following success at both County and National Championships, has now been selected for the Team GB Development Squad.
In addition to the Team GB Training camps that take place throughout the year, Tiegan trains for 19 hours every week, perfecting her skills on the vault, bars, beam and floor routines and has recently returned from a training session in Malta that she was selected for along with a small group of handpicked young gymnasts.
FOCUS also supports Jack Willis of Wasps Rugby Club. A key back row player, Jack secured a regular starting spot during the 2017/18 season and won the February Premiership Player of the Month trophy. This was soon followed by the club’s Young Player of the Season Award. Jack was selected for England’s summer tour to South Africa – but sadly missed out after being injured during the Aviva Premiership Semi-Final against Saracens in May.
FOCUS continues to support Jack through his rehabilitation and hope to see him back in the first team squad towards the end of the season and hopefully in an England shirt.