A brand new charity for a brand new year

With the start of our new Rotaract year, the time came to pick a new charity to focus our fundraising efforts on. There were some strong suggestions but after a vote, SpecialEffect came out on top.

They are a local charity, based in Charlbury in Oxfordshire, who specialise in making video games accessible for people with disabilities. By using a range of technology, including modified joypads and eye control, the charity is able to put fun and inclusion back into the lives of those with disabilities and make sure that they can play to the best of their ability.

And it’s not just fun and enjoyment that gamers can get from their games. The charity has seen many physical improvements from those who they’ve helped, along with huge boosts in self-esteem and independence.

Alongside adapting video games and controllers, the charity also provides special EyeGaze software to people who have been injured or in accidents, leaving them either temporarily or permanently unable to communicate. The clever software tracks a person’s eyes and allows them to communicate through a screen with a voice, meaning that they can communicate with doctors, nurses and family members and is invaluable in reducing isolation.

The work that SpecialEffect do is transformational and unique. They are determined that everyone, whatever their physical disability, should be able to share the fun, laughter and inclusion that video games can bring. This is something that is close to many of our members’ hearts so we will be doing loads of fun events throughout the year to make sure that we fundraise as much as possible for this great charity!

 

If you’d like to learn more about SpecialEffect, the work that they do, the people who they’ve helped and their ‘One Special Day’ fundraising campaign, check out their website: www.specialeffect.org.uk/

 

Scavenger Hunt is a success with record number of teams!

Our Scavenger Hunt took place in sunny Oxford city centre on Saturday 13th May and we had a record number of teams enter – 11 teams with some people coming from as far as Woking to take part!

Everyone got into the spirit of it with inventive team names and determination to complete as many clues as possible. Team ‘Will Power’ were the winners in the end, and even ran to the finish point at G&D’s ice cream cafe on St Aldate’s to secure the prize of luxury hamper.

Winning team of 2017 Scavenger Hunt

Well done to everyone who took part. We are delighted to say we raised £100 from the day which will go to our chosen charity, Helen & Douglas House, to help with all the amazing work they do.

Stay tuned for details of our next event!

Oxford Rotaract celebrates World Rotaract Week

On Wednesday 15th March, we celebrated World Rotaract Week at The Brittania pub in Headington where we took part in some great activities.

These activities included creating a banner where we wrote down answers to the following question: “What Does Rotaract Mean to You?”

We encouraged members and new members to write down a reason about why they were a part of Rotaract as well. Some answers included – being involved in the community, meeting new people, raising money for charity and volunteering.

 

One group in serious video planning mode!

We also got into teams and made videos using the subject ‘Celebrating Rotaract’.

Our teams had 20 minutes to plan and film their video representing what they thought was so great about Rotaract, both at club level in Oxford and more generally as an organisation.

You can view our winning entry below:

Our President, Emma Wilberforce, summed up her reason for being in Rotaract, “I love meeting new people and getting involved in our local community. It’s great to see that there are other like-minded people out there! Rotaract is a great thing to be a part of and I would urge anyone between 18 – 30 years old to join their local club.”

Some of our reasons for being a part of Rotaract.

Oxford Rotaract are always looking for new members to join in and our next meeting is Wednesday 29th March, 8pm at The Brittania Inn. You can also view our upcoming events on our Calendar.

Here’s to Rotaract!

What does Rotaract mean to you? A lot of happy people!

Cheese & Wine Tasting Night

On Saturday 26th November, we held a cheese and wine tasting night to celebrate our 6th birthday as a club!

img_0251We decked the hall out in rustic style, with wine bottles dripping with candle wax and checked table cloths and welcomed over 30 people to our evening in Kennington Village Hall.

Four of our members held cheese & wine stations and our groups went round in turn tasting each one and learning something new, which would come in handy for our test round in our quiz later! As well as the tasting stations, we laid on some delicious nibbles and a bar.

We collected over 13 raffle prizes, including tickets to Cinderella at the Oxford Playhouse, entry to Waterperry Gardens and a beauty voucher and sold tickets on the night as well, with all proceeds going directly to our chosen charity, Helen & Douglas House.

See photos from the night.

We are in the process of counting the profit made from the evening and will post our final amount on here very soon.

Thank you to everyone who came along to support us!

Bake Off Night & Packing Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

On Wednesday 2nd November, we gathered unused shoe boxes together and prepared eight gift boxes for an amazing cause, Operation Christmas Child.

packing-shoeboxesWe wrapped up the boxes with some festive wrapping paper and filled them with a wide range of gifts such as toys (e.g. stuffed animals, balls), stationary (e.g. colouring pens, pencils, notebooks), and clothing (e.g. hats, gloves) that were suitable for boys and girls aged between 2 and 14 years old.

shoeboxesNot only that, in celebration of The Great British Bake Off, we brought over loads of cakes to eat as we watched the final on TV and packed the shoe boxes.

 

cakes

And they were delicious!!

 

Upcoming Event: Cheese and Wine Tasting Night

wine-and-cheese-finalTo celebrate our 6th birthday, join us for a fun-filled evening of delicious cheese and wine tasting (plus nibbles!)
The event will be held at Kennington Village Hall on Saturday 26th November at 7.30pm.
On the night, there will also be a food and drink themed quiz, a raffle and a paid bar!
Plus, we’re donating all proceeds to our chosen charity, Helen & Douglas House.
So come and support us, what better way to spend an Autumn’s evening than sipping wine and tasting delicious cheeses whilst supporting one of Oxfordshire’s amazing charities?!

Buy your tickets online now – £12 online and from club members, £15 on the night (includes a free glass of wine or juice on arrival)

Please share our poster with your friends and colleagues!

Volunteering at Oxford Half Marathon

As part of supporting our charity of the year, Helen & Douglas House, we went along to volunteer at the Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday 9th October.

volunteer-group

We cheered on all of the runners, with particularly loud cheers for all the runners for Helen & Douglas House, wearing their bright orange t-shirts. We also handed out jelly babies as runners came past to give them that much-needed boost as they hit mile 12, to carry them through to the end.

It was amazing seeing all these people run through the course, some with smiles on their faces, others deep in concentration. We really enjoyed playing our part on the day and a huge congratulations to all the runners, including one of our own members, Sam Cobley, who managed to set a new PB!

Visit from Helen & Douglas House

Lauren_HDHEarlier this month, we were pleased to have Lauren from our chosen charity this year, Helen & Douglas House, come and talk to us about the charity and the amazing work they do.

Lauren gave us a history of the charity and told us more about the work they are involved in currently, such as their 2016 Appeal to raise awareness of the charity across Oxfordshire. They also work closely with hospitals where patients are involved in car accidents where they suffer from life-shortening conditions and the hospital can’t accommodate them for a long period of time.

We have also been invited to look around the hospice to better understand about the work they do and see all the amazing equipment they use to cater for each of their patients, such as the water-bed mattress for the comfort of guests and a sensory room.

We are really looking forward to working with them!

Color Obstacle Rush

On Saturday 7th May, we took part in a 5k paint dye obstacle course called Color Obstacle Rush at Windsor Racecourse to raise money for our chosen charity this year, Oxfordshire Mind. We had such a great time and our club’s Rotary Liaison Officer, Richie, put together a video of the event.

Hope you enjoy it!

If you would still like to donate, you can do so by following the link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/runrotaractrun.

Upcoming Event: Color Obstacle Rush

Hello, everyone. On 7th May, some of us will be taking part in a 5k paint dye obstacle course called Color Obstacle Rush to raise money for Oxfordshire Mind. If you would like to donate, you can follow this link to our JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/runrotaractrun.