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Get Well Gamers UK: giving kids a power-up

There might still be just over a month to go until actual the day, but many gamers are already feeling as though it’s Christmas thanks to the arrival of a shiny new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X last week.

So what do you do with that old console which is now going unused? You could pass it on to a family member or friend if you know someone who’s looking to get into gaming over the festival period. There’s also the option to sell it online, although that takes some effort and you may not get the price you’re hoping for. Or you could simply decide to get rid of it, but you’ll have to take the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Recycling regulations into account to make sure it’s disposed of properly.

There’s a much better option I’d like to propose though: how about donating it to charity and doing something positive? Get Well Gamers UK is an organisation that collects both video games and consoles and puts them to good use. The items are taken to over 100 hospitals, hospices, and other healthcare settings across the country where they can help provide much-needed entertainment for young people during long stays or in circumstances in which recreational activities are beneficial.

Video games have been shown to be an effective pain management tool so it makes total sense for consoles to make an appearance in hospitals. A 2011 study entitled Electronic gaming as pain distraction found that participants experienced more enjoyment, less anxiety and a greater reduction in discomfort when they were given an active distraction through gaming. There is also some evidence from a 2014 study that children who play video games are happier and more sociable.

Although I haven’t been caught up in the new console hype, my stepson and other-half certainly have. Ethan has been saving his pocket-money for most of the year and has managed to secure himself an Xbox Series X for Christmas (with the help of gift money from relatives and Pete’s fast mouse-clicking). That means we now have an Xbox One going spare – so donating it to Get Well Gamers UK and giving kids in healthcare settings a power-up is a worthwhile thing to do.

Got a console or video games you’d like to give to them? Here’s what you need to do:

  • Reset the console to its factory settings
  • Make sure all hardware, accessories and video games are clean and in working order
  • Complete this online form to let the charity know what you’ll be sending to them
  • Pop everything into a suitable box, along with a note giving your name and email address
  • Take the box along to your local post office to arrange postage
  • Feel all warm and fuzzy inside

  • Get Well Gamers UK, charity, man, boy, hospital

    Simple! And there are other ways in which you can help if you don’t have anything to donate right now but would still like to show your support. If you live in the Glasgow area, why not consider becoming a volunteer and joining the Get Well Gamers UK vault team; and if you’re a streamer, you can find information on their website about how to raise money and awareness for the charity’s work through your stream. You can also give the Twitter account a follow to stay up-to-date on what’s happening.

    Another charity which believes in the positive power of gaming and one I’d like to give a quick shout-out to is SpecialEffect. Through modified hardware and eye-control software, they put fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games. Pete and I are once again taking part in their annual GameBlast marathon next February and you can find out what we’ve got planned for the event in a post coming up next week.

    Now go put those old consoles and video games to good use!

    Kim View All

    Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

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