Out of all the things that the UK games industry has achieved over the past decade, GamesAid must stand as the best.
The industry charity has raised well over 1.2m since it launched to support children from all walks of life. Yet its impact goes beyond changing the lives of young people, as it is also symbolic of a maturing, responsible industry. With the success of GamesAid, is it any surprise that Government and investors are also treating this industry with renewed respect?
Last year, GamesAid raised 438,000, which saw seven charities – Special Effect, MAPS, Accuro, Action for Kids, Safe At Last, Jigsaw4U, Lifelites – receive 62,571 each. A lifechanging sum.
If there's room for improvement, it's in getting more of the industry involved. All the big publishers are supporters, but the charity is eager to bring in more individuals.
There are a range of GamesAid events that people can attend, but we'd love to hear from anyone who can turn a fun idea into a fundraiser,” says GamesAid Chair, Emily Britt.
Importantly, we need members to help us spread the word about GamesAid, and to help decide which charities should benefit from our activity year-on-year.
Our members become part of the GamesAid story - one which shows how our industry can do amazing things to help others and that being part of the charity is a positive and powerful undertaking.”
She adds: Year-on-year we hope to raise more money, and to do this it's important to raise awareness and grow our membership.”
"Anyone can turn a fun idea into a fundraiser on behalf of GamesAid."
Emily Britt, GamesAid Chair
Joining a charity may seem like a tall ask, but you don't have to run a marathon or climb a mountain. In fact, fundraising is not an essential part of being a member. Joining GamesAid simply allows you to support the charity by raising awareness, and voting for who you want to receive the money it raises.
We love those who raise funds for us,” says GamesAid trustee Tracey McGarrigan, and we have more people every year holding bake stalls at work, running, cycling, and training for events, or doing live game streams. But importantly, we need members to help us spread the word and find more charities to support. The impact voting on where GamesAid money is spent is essential to our success. More members means we can do more fun stuff throughout the year.”
In terms of the initiatives coming up, GamesAid supporters can look forward to the Charity Poker Night at Develop Conference, the Golf and Spa day, the annual Cologne to Brighton bike ride, while the Games On Song choir is getting back in the rehearsal studio.
All of which comes on the back of a series of other successes.
We're thrilled that we are now listed as an official charity on Humble Bundle and the support we have had has been incredible,” adds GamesAid trustee Dan Kilby.
We've just celebrated another sell out year at the Comedy Store with Stand Up 4 GamesAid. Plus, we've had a team abseil from the ArcelorMittal Orbit, Norwich Gaming Festival held a pub quiz for nearly 200 people, we celebrated the power of the sofa with our Stay In 4 GamesAid night, while Disney has done charity screenings of some of its biggest releases.”
Rich Keen, GamesAid Co-Chair concludes: The big events are fabulous, but every time an individual overcomes a fear or trains to do something amazing on behalf of GamesAid, it's a success. The spirit and dedication of our fundraisers is something we are inspired by.”
To get involved with GamesAid, click here.