Children’s Charity Gaming Marathon Hits Landmark £100K
Wednesday, October 26th, 2016
on behalf of Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity
Sick Kids Save Point is organised by avid gamer Tom Freeman on behalf of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation – which supports the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh – and encourages as many rivalry teams of gamers and families as possible to get involved annually.
Now, this year’s charity drive has surpassed its target and fundraised £11,000, enabling the initiative to successfully smash the £100K mark in just seven years.
Sam Downie, aged 10, is one of the keen gamers who took part in Save Point this year. He suffers from a rare congenital condition called Caudal Regression Syndrome, in which there is abnormal foetal development of the lower spine, and has endured numerous operations at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
As a result, he is limited to non-contact activities due to the risk of permanent paralysis that could be caused by a fall or twist.
Sam said: “I’ve been doing lots of swimming recently – the only sport I’m able to get involved with – but I really miss being part of a team game.
“So when I realised I could raise money for SKFF through Save Point, I jumped at the chance to take part, as the team at the ‘Sick Kids’ is a huge support to me and I wanted to give something back.
Sam continued, “I even got my friends involved – including one from Philadelphia – as part of a tag team to help me reach my fundraising target.
“We had a lot of fun with the gaming marathon and I’ll definitely be taking part again next year.”
The fundraiser is not just for Xbox experts. Participants can take part on a console, computer, mobile phone, on social media or by playing old fashioned board games, and can do so as part of a team with family and/or friends or alone from the comfort of their own living room.
Organiser Tom Freeman, a long-term supporter of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation (SKFF), said: “The whole thing started in 2009. My daughter was just a baby and I wasn’t getting much sleep anyway, so the idea of playing games for 24 hours seemed like a novel fundraising idea for a vital local charity.
“I had no idea it would snowball into an annual event which has seen hundreds of people take part from around the world, and I am so overwhelmed and proud that it has now raised an incredible £100K.
“The hospital is a centre of excellence and any time I’ve visited I’ve been amazed by how hard the staff work, not just making children better but also treating the children as children – listening to what they want, reassuring them and supporting them and their parents through a tough time. It’s been amazing to see gamers from far and wide mobilise to support them.”
Pippa Johnston, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at SKFF, said: “We were absolutely thrilled to see people of all ages and abilities come together to take part in this fantastic and fun event and raise so much money for a very worthy cause.
“This is a really exciting time for Edinburgh, with the much loved ‘Sick Kids’ hospital moving to a new home. Indeed, by the time the new hospital opens its doors to children and young people, SKFF will have contributed some £3 million worth of art and therapeutic design enhancements.
“Once the hospital opens, SKFF will continue our vital work to ensure that children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness, they have a positive experience of hospital and their families continue to be supported and comforted.”
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