With Christmas approaching, here’s a little look at a charity that could benefit from you upgrading your consoles and games.
Over the last 12-18 months I’ve been lucky enough to receive a number of games and consoles including an Amiga 600, an Atari 2600, an original Game Boy complete with 6 or 7 games and 3 bag fulls of PS2 games to name but a few and I got all of these for nothing, nada, zip.
As a collector, this is obviously great, but I have to confess to not only not having the space for all of these, I don’t even have the time to play one let alone many of these games or consoles. This is obviously a real shame as games were designed to be played, not to just look good on a shelf.
Add to the fact that nowadays whilst there is still a demand for physical products, a lot of people prefer to have a digital library of games and as such the games on their shelves become less important. Some people choose to keep them for nostalgia, some choose to go to CEX or places like that and get figurative peanuts for their once treasured games, but there is another option.
Get Well Gamers is a registered Scottish charity that aim to bring video games and other electronic entertainment to children’s hospitals, hospices and other facilities for the benefit of entertainment and pain relief.
Started in 2014 by James Stewart and his now wife Steph, GWG UK has been bringing in games and consoles aplenty and getting them to over 75 hospitals all over the country and are even looking to branch out further afield already.
I’ve been volunteering for GWG for the last couple of months and in that short space of time I’ve seen just how much passion the other volunteers have and how much of an impact their work has. This year alone has seen 112 consoles and 2601 games donated. That’s no small amount of donations and the amount of children that benefit from that is so much bigger.
I visited the Evelina Children’s Hospital in Westminster recently to try and sort their Xbox Ones out and while I was there the play specialists told me just how important having those consoles working was. It’s not just the children that are in there that benefit, but also their brothers and sisters who get to visit them and play games like they would if they were at home. While I was disappointed I couldn’t get the consoles working I still left feeling proud that I was volunteering for a charity like this and I’m definitely not alone.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook a few months ago asking “Where’s the best place to get rid of old games and things?” and the usual suggestions came up – CEX, Music Magpie or a charity shop, but when I told him about GWG he donated to them and very soon after became a volunteer as well.
So there you have it, a quick snapshot of the big work a small charity from Scotland is doing for sick children the country over. I hope that when you open your new PS4 games or you finally upgrade to an Xbox One this Christmas (or any time for that matter) that you’ll stop to take a moment to think “would these old things help bring some entertainment to someone stuck in hospital?” because I guarantee you the answer will be ‘yes’, every time.
For more information on Get Well Gamers visit their website getwellgamers.org.uk