At a dedicated event at Eurogamer Expo on Thursday, UL charity GamesAid presented a record-breaking £260,000 to five worthy causes.
Action for Kids, Lifelites, MAPS, Safe@Last and SpecialEffect each received a cheque for £52,000 each thanks to a whopping 44% increase on donations year-on-year.
All five charities expressed their heartfelt thanks and detailed how the donated funds would be put to work in the gaming community.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for taking the time to vote for us; this donation will help transform the lives of the disabled children and young people we support, by helping us to provide crucial mobility equipment to enable far greater independence and to give them support into learning, training and meaningful employment,” Action for Kids chief executive Graham Duncan said.
“Gaming is at the heart of everything we do at Lifelites which is why being a GamesAid charity is so important to us. Our connections with GamesAid have helped us to create Enable Gaming, an accessible game-making partnership with London Southbank University students. The funding is also hugely important to us: we’ll be using it to provide children in hospices across the British Isles with opportunities to use assistive technology to communicate, create and take control and, most importantly, to play games with their brothers and sisters. We’re really excited about working with the industry over the next 12 months and want to thank and congratulate everyone involved with GamesAid for their spectacular fundraising efforts,” Lifelites chief executive Simone Enefer-Doy added.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that this money really is life changing for so many. We will be able to support young people who are at risk of falling out of the education system for a variety of reasons, such as anxiety, depression, self-harm bullying, family breakdown, peer pressure, domestic violence, physical or sexual abuse.
“We will be able to provide 20 young people with a one to one mentor each week for 12 months, a dedicated person who will provide support to improve attainment and engagement, and to achieve emotional well-being. In addition we will support a further 20 young people at risk of becoming NEET (Not In Education Employment or Training) via group work focusing on employment competencies, motivation, aspirations and communication to decrease worklessness, social exclusion and to support young people to feel positive about their future. GamesAid support will help us to change the lives of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in the borough. A heartfelt thank you to all of you for supporting MAPS your award changes lives,” MAPS manager Helen Gasparelli said.
“The funding will be invaluable in helping us to continue to support vulnerable children who have run away from home and will make a real difference helping to keep them safe,” SAFE@LAST communications and funding head Clare Sherratt said.
“This fantastic donation is a real shot in the arm for anyone with a disability that wants to play video games. Demand for our help has rocketed this year, and we can’t thank GamesAid and their thousands of supporters enough for this money. It will go directly towards our unique one-to-one assessments and loans that help people of all ages and all disabilities to get back in the game,” Special Effect director Mick Donegan said.
GamesAid is an expense-free organisation run by volunteers. It has helped raise £1 million for gaming-related charitable causes since launch. All members of the UK games industry are welcome to get involved, either by donations or by volunteering.