A CHARITY supporting disabled children has put a communication company’s managing director up for this year’s Local Business Charity Awards.

Businessman Brendon Cross is the managing director of two major Witney-based companies – STL Communications and Hexagon Business Centres.

He is also one of high-profile gamers who are vice presidents of Special Effect, an organisation describing itself as 'the gamers’ charity'.

The title is also held by Tom Watson MP, Philip Selway of Radiohead, the BBC’s Kate Russel and a few others.

READ ALSO: Oxfordshire: Finalists announced in the 2019 Local Business Charity Awards

Based in Oxfordshire, Special Effect’s aim is to give entertainment and equal chances to people with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games.

The charity explains its methods: “By using technology ranging from modified joypads to eye-control, we’re finding a way for people to play to the very best of their abilities.

“But we’re not just doing it for fun: by levelling the playing field, we’re bringing families and friends together and having a profoundly positive impact on confidence and rehabilitation.”

Among those who have received support from Special Effect is Ceyda, a girl with cerebral palsy, for whom hand control was difficult.

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Thanks to the customised gaming set-up at Special Effect, which includes special controls to make play easier, she can enjoy playing Disney Infinity.

Ceyda’s mum said: “She’s been having the time of her life.

"It’s something she can play with her friends and not be excluded, or her and her dad will sit and play football, just having fun. It’s lovely to watch, absolutely lovely.”

Brendon Cross's nomination is the result of his involvement in fundraising for the charity.

READ ALSO: John Lubbock nominated for Oxfordshire Local Business Charity Awards

Nick Streeter from the Special Effect named him 'the mastermind and driving force' behind the annual Twin Town car challenge from Woodstock to France which has so far raised more than £800,000 for charity and, according to Mr Streeter, is on course to pass the £1 million mark next year.

He went on: "The way Brendon have engaged the local business community around the Twin Town is truly remarkable and that has extended to attracting support from global companies including Microsoft and Dropbox with a business community being created around the event meaning many more people with are able to have fun and freedom with the funds raised.

“Brendon’s support and impact though is about far more than the amazing amount of funds he has raised. His wisdom, friendship and advice in so many different areas of the charity, including informally mentoring staff and being an amazing sounding board is valued by all at the charity.”

Mr Cross explained why he decided to support Special Effect: “While there are many small charities doing extremely worthwhile work in and around Oxfordshire, it’s impossible not to be inspired by the passion of Mick Donegan and his team for the work that they do.

“After a tour of their offices I was hooked. I hope that I can use my business contacts to heighten awareness for Special Effect and help generate continuing income to support the disadvantaged people the charity so ably supports.”

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Brendon Cross is one of three individuals and six businesses nominated for this year’s Oxforshire Local Business Charity Awards sponsored by insurance brokers A-Plan and Jelf with Oxford Mail’s media partnership.

If their nominated business wins, the charity will receive a donation of £1,000. The winner of the individual award will receive a weekend break to the value of £300.

The finalists in the Oxfordshire Jelf Award are Lucy Group Ltd (nominated by Oxfordshire Youth), Oxford Castle & Prison (nominated by Helen & Douglas House) and STL Communications (nominated by Special Effect).

READ ALSO: Helen and Douglas House nominate Oxford Castle & Prison for Local Business Charity Award

In the A-Plan Award the Oxfordshire finalists are: Knox & Eames (nominated by Clear Sky Charity), Midcounties Co-operative (nominated by Banburyshire Citizen Project) and Pillow Wad (nominated by Springfield Sanctuary).

The Finalists in the Oxforshire edition of Individual Award - except for Mr Cross - are The Orcherstra of St Jon’s John Lubbock OBE (nominated by the Clear Sky Charity) and Keeley Dennyschene of the Hilton Garden Inn in Abingdon (nominated by Helen & Douglas House).

The finals will be held on August 29 at Thomley, Worminghall.