Rob's Inspiring Primrose Award Story

Rob Camm is an exemplary, bright and adept young man of 23, currently studying at Bristol University aiming to qualify as a lawyer.  However, Rob's "Get Busy Living" approach to life, is truly challenged by the fact that he is paralysed from the neck down and reliant on a ventilator for his breathing.  The CiaO Foundation have been so impressed with Rob’s determination in meeting his challenges, including the ones he still faces daily, that we are very pleased to present him with a Primrose Award.  

In September 2013 Rob was a fit, active and sport loving young man about to head off to University when he was involved in a horrific car accident. The resulting injuries, left him facing the daunting prospect of spending the rest of his life as a tetraplegic – paralysed from the neck down, confined to a wheelchair and depending on a ventilator.  After 96 days looking at the same hospital ceiling, Rob started to rebuild his life with a steely determination, that has impressed so many people. 

Rob had significant help from his family and friends and during his recovery Rob also received fantastic support from SpecialEffect  They use technology, to help people with various disabilities to better interact and play, which in turn has a extremely positive impact on their therapy, confidence and rehabilitation. SpecialEffect provided Rob with an eye controlled computer system to enable him to access the internet, connect with friends and family and play computer games whilst in hospital.  Rob has gone onto use the software and hardware technology provided by SpecialEffect to enable him to progress his Degree course at Bristol University. 

Rob's conviction to live as a normal a life as possible, not defined by his challenges and equally not letting them stop him, means he has started his degree course at Bristol University and is now looking to move into a flat in the city for the next stage of his career/life. He has also arranged a variety of work experiences for himself including working at Reed Smith on a joint initiative with Channel 4.  Rob’s competitive and generous spirit is also exemplified by the fact he took part and completed in a 12 mile Tough Mudder course in Cirencester and raised £20,000 for SpecialEffect. 

It is that admirable determination and strength of spirit, in overcoming his adversity as well as seeking out and making new opportunities, that impressed us so much at CiaO Foundation. We are truly pleased to provide Rob with a Primrose Award that includes the adaptation of the control system on his wheelchair so that he can engage with people without having the control system in front of his face.  This may seem relatively inconsequential to an able bodied person but it is of significance to Rob particularly as he progresses his career.  As a spacial provision, Rob requested and in turn CiaO agreed that part of his Award would be passed to SpecialEffect who are purchasing Eyegaze computer equipment to assist other individuals like Rob.

CiaO foundation Chairman Geoffrey Barber and Vice Chairman Andy Hogge were extremely delighted to meet Rob at the offices of SpecialEffect in Charlbury near Oxford. Geoffrey presented the Award to both Rob Camm and Dr Mick Donegan of SpecialEffect. At the presentation, Andy Hogge of CiaO indicated “this Award to Rob totally meets the aims of CiaO to help and support people to overcome phenomenal challenges in their lives as well as helping others to overcome their challenges through Rob’s support of SpecialEffect.”


Rob Camm and Dr Mick Donegan receive a Primrose Award from Geoffrey Barber
Rob Camm (centre) and Dr Mick Donegan (left) receive a Primrose Award from Geoffrey Barber


“I am really appreciative of the recognition that CiaO has given me in meeting the challenges I have had to face up to since my accident.  The Award will be of significant benefit to me as I progress my studies and career in the Law.” 

Rob Camm 


“Rob has been an excellent ambassador to SpecialEffect; he is a great example to both disabled and able bodied people in terms of dealing with the significant challenges he has had to face in his life . In addition his generous spirit is really appreciated having donated 50% of his Primrose Award to SpecialEffect to help other disabled people.”

Dr Mick Donegan – SpecialEffect  


We would like to thank everyone at SpecialEffect for the hospitality, time and effort on the day of the presentation. It truly is an honour to meet and collaborate with such a great organisation doing amazing things helping individuals overcome their challenges.