Banbury teams race around France in film cars for charity

We Found Nemo return to Blenheim Palace. Photo: Ric Mellis NNL-180529-144509001
We Found Nemo return to Blenheim Palace. Photo: Ric Mellis NNL-180529-144509001

A number of teams from Banbury spent the weekend driving dressed-up cars around a French town to raise money for an Oxfordshire charity.

Accountants, electricians and many others from the town took part in the Twin Town Challenge to support SpecialEffect, a Charlbury-based charity which helps disabled people.

We Found Nemo at a soggy Blenheim Palace for the start of the Twin Town Challenge. Photo: Simon Smith NNL-180529-143045001

We Found Nemo at a soggy Blenheim Palace for the start of the Twin Town Challenge. Photo: Simon Smith NNL-180529-143045001

Around 100 teams of four drove from Blenheim Palace to Witney’s twin town Le Touquet in a £500 car decorated with a movie theme on Friday before a weekend of fun events to earn points, from carpool karaoke to driving blindfolded.

Jody Fletcher, from Chilli Promotional Products, was captain for one Banbury team, known as The Gold Members with their Austin Powers car the Shaguar. They have raised almost £2,500 so far.

“It was so much fun – despite having a flat battery at the start, the car did great, and we all had an awesome time,” she said.

Another Banbury team was headed up by Simon Smith from Wellers Accountants, who were all dressed in orange for their Finding Nemo-inspired car.

The Gold Members back at Blenheim Palace. Photo: Jody Fletcher NNL-180529-143033001

The Gold Members back at Blenheim Palace. Photo: Jody Fletcher NNL-180529-143033001

“We sold inflatable Nemos to the French children which went down really well and we tried to paint the town as orange as we could.

“We had quite a lot of cash donations but we need to get it literally laundered as it’s covered in orange paint, but we think we’ve raised around £1,500 which we’re quite pleased with.”

SpecialEffect uses the latest technology including computer games to help people with disabilities communicate and the biennial Twin Town Challenge has raised more than £450,000 for the charity.

Mark Saville from the charity said: “We can’t thank all the teams enough for a truly unforgettable weekend.

All of the competitors at Blenheim Palace before the challenge. Photo: Ric Mellis NNL-180529-144458001

All of the competitors at Blenheim Palace before the challenge. Photo: Ric Mellis NNL-180529-144458001

“As a small charity it’s incredibly humbling and a massive boost when so many locally-based companies get behind our work in helping people with disabilities.

“The money they’ve raised through Twin Town 2018 will bring a lot of happiness to a lot of people who desperately need it.”

The Twin Town Challenge has been sending decorated old bangers to Le Touquet since 2014, with lots of fun activities and parties as well as fundraising over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Founder Brendan Cross said: “Twin Town proves that if you take caring compassionate people and ask them to make a difference, they will and the generosity of all TTC18 sponsors, participants and volunteers is quite simply staggering.”