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What is GamesAid and why does it deserves your support?

Submitted by on Tuesday, 8 November 2011One Comment

Just in case you somehow missed our constant broadcasting, our editor-in-chief DolphGB is tackling the UK’s toughest 10k obstacle course, despite being inactive for several years. His run is this Saturday and we’re trying to raise as much money as possible for PS3 Attitude’s chosen charity, GamesAid.

We mention GamesAid regularly, but it’s been a while since we last explained what GamesAid does and why the charity deserves your money.

GamesAid is the main UK games industry charity. It distributes funds to a diverse range of charities, and it is a means of giving something back on behalf of the industry.

Monies are raised through a number of routes, including, but not limited to:

  • Industry activities, such as social or sporting events
  • Individual and corporate donations and memberships
  • Game packs / titles (if appropriate)

Supported charities  are chosen through vote by GamesAid members and they tend to be small-to-medium sized, rather than the better-funded larger ones.

The supported charities this year are Action for KidsJigsaw4uLifelites,Volunteer Centre Sutton: MAPSSpecialEffect and The Willow Foundation. Each charity will receive a donation of £29,000. which represents a 74% increase in donations year on year.

By supporting #Dolph10K, you not only stand a chance of winning an excellent prize, you also get to help these very worthy causes. Read about what they do and their responses to being selected as this year’s supported charities.

Action for Kids funds vital and life-changing equipment for disabled children all around the country. Lyn Prodger from Action for Kids said: “Thanks for voting for Action for Kids. Everyone here is thrilled to receive the support of GamesAid once again. We feel privileged to work with such a dynamic and committed group of people and send sincere thanks to the Trustees, Ambassadors and members for all the time and effort they put in to raising funds for smaller charities. This extremely generous donation will have a life-changing impact on disabled children and young people – we can’t wait to tell them and their families the news.”

Jigsaw4u exists to support children and young people through loss and trauma by working directly with them and empowering them to participate in decision-making about their own lives and the development of policy and practice locally, regionally and nationally. Pam Byfield, Head of Service for Jigsaw4u, added: “Jigsaw4u exists to work with children and young people as they experience loss and trauma and it means so much for Jigsaw4u to become a GamesAid Charitable Partner. This fantastic grant means we can work with more children affected by the death of a parent and we can support them and their family afterwards as well, as they try and rebuild their lives.”

Lifelites is an innovative and award winning charity using specialist technologies to brighten the lives of terminally ill and disabled children in children’s hospices. “Lifelites is delighted to be named as one of this year’s GamesAid charities,“ said Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, “This money will go towards the work we do providing the latest accessible technologies for the 7,000 disabled and terminally ill children who stay, play and learn in all 44 children’s hospice in the UK. For many of them, this means that for the first time ever they will be able to play games with their brothers and sisters and have some form of control over at least one aspect of their lives.”

Special Effect is a charity dedicated to helping ALL young people with disabilities to enjoy computer games by adapting, developing and modifying cutting edge technology. Dr Mick Donegan Founder and Director, SpecialEffect, said “SpecialEffect is the only UK charity dedicated to ensuring that everyone, no matter how severe their disability, can share the camaraderie, challenges and sheer joy that comes from playing computer games. The charity is facing rising demand for our face to face support and technical expertise that is transforming the lives of people with disabilities who wish to play games, from young disabled soldiers through to those recovering from a traumatic injury or illness at home or in hospital. GamesAid‘s generous financial support coupled with the enthusiasm of the members for our work is a real boost to everyone involved in the charity.”

Volunteer Centre Sutton: MAPS is a mentoring and peer support service for some of societies most vulnerable and marginalised children and young people from ages 5-19yrs. Adam Knuckey Chief Officer of Volunteer Centre Sutton:MAPS said: “GamesAid is a simply wonderful Charity. Having won the award previously, MAPS were even more hopeful of being voted in by members this time, having witnessed firsthand their commitment to seeing radical and transformative support for vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people. We will be using the award to offer specialist mentoring, targeting children in schools who are most likely to find themselves isolated, or those who struggle academically due to challenges that are outside of their control.”

The Willow Foundation is the only charity of its kind providing special days for seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds throughout the UK. Bob Wilson, co-founder of the Willow Foundation, added: “Without the generous donations from organisations such as GamesAid the Willow Foundation would not be able to meet the needs of the seriously ill 16-40 year-olds living with life-threatening illness it exists to serve. Thanks to GamesAid we will be able to make a positive impact on the lives of 20 more young men facing the challenges of coping with serious illness by providing life-enhancing special day experiences which will help to give them something positive to look forward to at what is such a difficult time for them and their families.”

GamesAid provides essential funding for these outstanding causes, and it also shows the industry in a fantastic light. Whenever someone questions the maturity of our favourite pastime, we often point them towards GamesAid, because we think it is great example of how the industry can be used as a force of good.

We are proud to support GamesAid, and we hope you can share our pride by supporting #Dolph10k. Please follow this link and donate a small amount of money. We’re not asking for much, just the same amount you would happily spend on lunch or a pint or two in the pub.

Don’t forget that if you donate £5 you automatically enter our prize draw, putting you in with a chance of winning a prize or two from a list of over 20. That made your eyes lighten up, didn’t it?