Student Life

Gaming: Live stream raises money to fight loneliness during lockdown.

By Harry Pettigrew

An aspiring video game streamer raised £137, during a 20 hour charity Twitch stream, to raise money for fighting loneliness.

Picture: Aarthy Balaganesh

Joe Kizmus, 20, who usually works at Llantwit Fardre Rugby club, decided to start streaming on Twitch while on furlough during the coronavirus pandemic.

The stream raised £137 for Operation Anti-loneliness and was watched by 341 people.

Operation Anti-loneliness is a streaming campaign set up by the British Red Cross to raise money for their work around loneliness.

Joe said: “A friend recommended that I do the livestream after he had seen adverts on social media. I thought if I raise a bit of money while doing what I love to do, it would be a laugh and I get to support a great cause.”

Throughout the 20 hour stream he had to complete a variety of different forfeits depending on how much money he raised. From cracking a raw egg on his head to completing the cinnamon challenge, he did all these as incentives to get people to donate.

He said: “Not gonna lie, smashing an egg on my head wasn’t exactly what I thought I’d be doing on a Saturday night but it was all for a good cause. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.”

Anyone can sign up to be apart of Operation Anti-loneliness as long as you are over the age of 13.

How does it work?

Step one: Set up a steaming page on Tiltify.

Step two: Add some rewards and forfeits to get people to donate.

Step three: Share your event with family, friends and your followers.

Step four: Live stream for 20 hours as either one long stream or in small bursts.

£50 could make sure that a volunteer team delivers a food parcel and other essential supplies to vulnerable people who are self-isolating.

£200 could make sure a volunteer team delivers a food parcel and other essential supplies to 10 vulnerable people who are self-isolating.

Alex Moffat, product development officer at The British Red Cross, started the campaign to help bring in new audiences to their work.

He said: “There’s so many people that have been affected by coronavirus in a way that’s kinda going under the radar, and it’s a really great way to engage gamers. Online gaming has been one of the main forms of communication in lockdown in order to maintain those social connections with their friends. That was the starting point on why we chose fighting loneliness as our main fundraising goal.”

At the time of writing this article the campaign has raised £186,763.66, with a goal of raising £200,000 by the time the fundraiser is over.

Alex said: “Streaming is an engaging way to interact with an audience, that engagement is what really drives people to donate. You’re live, anyone can see you play. Friends, family , etc. They can watch you take on that challenge, for example, the forfeits make the stream more interesting and allows you to interact, which you can see in real time. It’s a really powerful way to engage with people connected to our cause, which you can’t achieve with other outlets like TV in the same way.”

Operation Anti-loneliness is running from the 23 November 2020 to 31 March 2021.

If you are feeling lonely, worried or can’t access essential supplies you can call the British Red Cross’s free coronavirus support line 0808 196 3651. Free of charge and confidential.

Categories: Student Life

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