The small business community in Caerphilly, Welsh ICE has raised £2,232 for homeless charity Llamau by holding a 121-hour, live-streamed gameathon.
As part of the national End Youth Homelessness Gaming for Good Festival, fundraisers were challenged to play games in a bid to raise money for local youth homelessness charities. The target set by the Festival was £121 per person – the amount of money it takes to equip a young person with the essentials they need to make a new house a home.
Selecting Llamau as their charity, the ICE team decided to take the challenge a step further, and game consecutively for 121 hours, with each host live-streaming to the community.
The week of events included three 24-hour single person game sessions, a full-day relay of individuals giving up a few hours of their time and passing the baton, a successful world-record Super Mario speed run challenge and a final 24-hour Dungeons & Dragons campaign. In total 17 people took part in the event which was live-streamed over the video-game streaming service Twitch.
ICE’s Huw Williams, who helped organise the event said that it surpassed the team’s expectations: “We set an initial fundraising target of £605, which we felt would challenge us but also be achievable – but we were blown away with the response, and ended up raising more than three times that.
“Obviously, gaming for long periods of time isn’t the same as running a marathon or climbing a mountain – although after 24 hours I could have done with an energy bar – but games really have the ability to capture a community’s attention. We streamed live on Twitch, and so many of our sessions were interactive, with viewers setting challenges and donating – you just don’t get that involvement with a lot of other fundraising activities.
“We’re really proud of everyone who took part and are incredibly grateful to those who donated. We know that the issue of homelessnes doesn’t get solved through a few gaming sessions, but the difference the vital funds make to individuals is enormous. Everyone is facing a tough time at the moment, which is why it’s so important that charities such as Llamau and their UK counterparts are supported – so that they can continue to make a positive difference to people’s lives.”
Llamau’s mission is to eradicate homelessness for young people and women. Established 30-years ago, the charity has supported over 67,000 young people, women and their children who were either homeless or facing homelessness.
Natasha Gue, Fundraising Events Officer at Llamau said: “We cannot thank Welsh ICE enough for their involvement in Gaming for Good. This was the first year we have run this event, with the pandemic forcing us into a virtual world of fundraising and we were blown away by the creativity, generosity and passion shown by everyone who took part.
“Watching all of the streams was definitely a perk of my job during the festival, with Huw being challenged to wear a basket on his head being a particular personal highlight. The £2,232 raised by the Welsh ICE team will make such a difference to young people and women here in Wales experiencing the unimaginable, whilst also contributing to the overall total of over £27,000 raised! The event was such a success that we are planning on running it again next year and are looking forward to seeing all of the creative challenges companies and individuals come up with to help make a world without homelessness a reality- and Welsh ICE have certainly set the bar high!”
Welsh ICE is a social enterprise and invests half of its profits back into social causes and the community. The ICE team have dedicated volunteer days, where they can work to support a local charity or good cause.