Lily’s gaming joy inspires mountain challenge

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

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In August 2021, three close friends set out to tackle 96 miles of tough Scottish mountain walking to raise vital funds for SpecialEffect. Rich, Joe and George were inspired by our support of Rich’s seven year-old daughter Lily, who discovered the magic of video games thanks to the loan of an adapted gaming setup devised by our specialist assessment team.

“Lily has cerebral palsy in her right side, and hypermobility,” said Rich. “She’d always really wanted to play games but she’d struggled with the controllers due to her restricted mobility.”

Her parents got in touch to see if we could help, and our team arranged an initial video call assessment with the aim of exploring access to a Nintendo Switch in ways that would maximise her gaming abilities. Lily could hold and use the left side of a standard controller, so the team suggested remapping the buttons over to the left side and looked at ways of stabilising the controller for easier single-handed use. After discussing several options for joystick control they recommended a large joystick with a U-shaped topper that could potentially make the most of Lily’s right arm movements. The adapted setup was sent to Lily for a trial loan period, and it’s proving to be a real hit.

“It’s enabling Lily to join in with games, which she’s so happy about. We can’t thank SpecialEffect enough,” said Rich.

The West Highland Waterboys – that’s the intrepid walking trio – ditched all means of technology for their walk. “We’re all guilty of taking advantage of technology and wouldn’t go without it but we never stop to think how fortunate we are to have it,” Joe wrote on their JustGiving page. “It’s why we raised funds for SpecialEffect… these guys cover it all to bring smiles to the faces of thousands every year.”

The West Highland Way is a linear long-distance route in Scotland that winds through remote terrain and includes hill climbs that start north of Glasgow and finish in Fort William. It’s definitely no stroll in the park at any time of year and we simply can’t thank the three friends enough for taking it on and raising over £1600 to support our work.

Below: Lily with her adapted controller setup.