Gaming convention at Hartlepool College raises £660 for Changing Futures

CHANGING FUTURES NORTH EAST continued its successful partnership with Hartlepool College of Further Education for the third consecutive year with the award-winning gaming event, GameCon.

GameCon has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2015, and won ‘North East Youth Project’ last year at the The PoSBOs (Positive Social Behaviour Order) awards. The 2017 installment of the event raised an amazing £662 for the Hartlepool charity, which has been the benefactor of GameCon for the past three years in recognition for its work with young people, and their families across the region.

Celebrating all things related to video games, GameCon brings together people of all ages to play a wide range of classic game releases from a variety of gaming consoles including PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo.

The event ran for three days from May 31 to June 2 in the conference centre of Hartlepool College, with activities including retro and current gaming stations, a local-area network (LAN) café for gamers to compete aganst each other and even an indoor drone racing circuit.

Jess Watson, community and volunteer organiser at Changing Futures North East, said: “The whole event has exceeded our expectations. We’re very grateful for all those at the college involved with GameCon, this has further strengthened our working relationship. It’s been really nice to see the students lead on the event.

“We’ve had such a large number of people attending the event come to our stall and express an interest in volunteering. Because of this, I’ve been able to have conversations with lots of students about the process of helping out with our services and what they need to do next.

“An event like GameCon really lets people learn about our services and what we do. It also makes them confident to approach us for help, especially if they see a member of our team ready to answer any questions that they may have.

A number of gaming competitions and tournaments were contested throughout the three days, as well as a live-streaming Twitch broadcast of the event by Twitch user Kakkakarrot94.

The event was attended by 365 people including a number of popular YouTube personalities inlcuding The Game Booth and The Kryl.


Healthy working relationship

Changing Futures North East has worked extensively with Hartlepool College to provide support and guidance for students and their families.

This working relationship has led to many students volunteering as mentors for the charity, providing an opportunity to develop their leadership and social skills.

Mark Lee, IAG Team Leader at Hartlepool College and GameCon Organiser, said: “The services of Changing Futures North East really stood out to our students because their mission is to help young people, which is a similar ethos shared by the Hartlepool College community.”

“Changing Futures North East has been amazing with their input for GameCon this year, their team attended our weekly meetings with college ambassadors which really gave our students an opportunity to find out more about their charity and sign up as potential volunteers.”

“The college has worked really hard with the charity to put together an event that brings together local businesses to promote strong positive messages about the Hartlepool community.”