Students Raise Over £1000 in Aid of Gaming Charity SpecialEffect with a 24 Hour Gameathon

Staffordshire University London recently hosted a 24-hour gaming marathon, masterminded by student, Jack Phillips.

Staffordshire University London recently hosted an exhilarating 24-hour gaming marathon, masterminded by Jack Phillips, a BSc Computer Games Design with Animation student. This event in aid of the charity SpecialEffect, united gamers of all skill levels from across the London campus in support of a noble cause.

SpecialEffect is a dedicated organisation committed to enriching the lives of individuals facing physical challenges through the innovative integration of technology. Their mission is to enable everyone to experience the joy of gaming and promote global inclusivity. Utilising a range of technology, from customised controllers to cutting-edge eye-tracking sensors, SpecialEffect empowers individuals to play to their fullest potential.

Jack shared his inspiration for the event, "Having previously participated in similar gameathons, I recognised their potential to alleviate stress for students’ post-deadlines. I wanted to create an opportunity for enjoyment while contributing to a meaningful cause."

Drawing from his past experiences, Jack meticulously planned the event despite facing challenges. "I had organised similar events during my time in college, albeit with the guidance of teachers. Planning this one independently was challenging, but ultimately rewarding," he shared. Organising dates and getting ready for the event, which involved setting up streaming equipment, was a significant undertaking. It required extensive coordination and the contributions of various student support services, including the Technical Team which comprised of Ivan Phillips and Olasunkanmi 'Matthew' Alokye, along with assistance from the Student Union members Joseph Knight and Connor Clarke.

Jack took to social media platforms including the student-led profiles such as, StaffsLDN_News to spread the word about the event and also set up a fundraiser on JustGiving. With the active support of Staffordshire University London, who contributed to promoting the event through their official social media channels, the gameathon garnered widespread backing from students, faculty, and the broader gaming community.

Christopher Headleand, Head of Department for Games Development at Staffordshire University said, “We are exceptionally proud of Jack, and the initiative he has led. It’s been a great showcase of the civic commitment of our students, along with the exceptional community leadership they demonstrated. It is great to see our collective passion for games, leveraged towards raising money for SpecialEffect. By rallying our community together, Jack has demonstrated one of the ways that gaming can transcend entertainment and be a powerful tool for effecting positive change in the world.”

The pinnacle of the marathon came with the collective achievement of raising over £1,175 for SpecialEffect. Jack reflecting on this significant milestone, described it as an exhilarating moment, “Knowing that I had raised over £1000 for a charitable organisation like SpecialEffect felt incredible, I never thought I would raise this much money. I am so thankful to everybody that helped reach the donation amount!”.

Expressing his aspirations for the impact of the fundraiser, Jack articulated his belief that this contribution would enable SpecialEffect to continue their invaluable work, empowering individuals with disabilities to pursue their passions and experience the joy of gaming. Mark Saville, Communications Lead at Special Effect stated, “We’re blown away by the total that Jack, and his supporters raised. Gaming for 24 hours straight is no easy ride, and we’re immensely grateful to him for taking on the challenge. We don’t charge for any of our services, so every penny is vital, and the money that he’s raised is a fantastic sum - we appreciate the support so much!”

Looking to the future, Jack expressed eagerness for organising similar initiatives with even more meticulous planning. Whether supporting SpecialEffect or another deserving cause, he remained committed to making a positive impact through gaming.

The 24-hour gameathon at Staffordshire University London serves as a testament to the unifying power of gaming and its ability to effect tangible change in the lives of others. Through Jack's initiative and the collective efforts of participants, the event exemplified the spirit of compassion and camaraderie, leaving a lasting impact on all involved.


Find out more about how you can support SpecialEffect.
You can watch the streamed broadcast to see how the students got on here via Twitch.


A male student posing for a photograph.
Knowing that I had raised over £1000 for a charitable organisation like SpecialEffect felt incredible, I never thought I would raise this much money. I am so thankful to everybody that helped reach the donation amount!

Jack Phillips, BSc Computer Games Design with Animation

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