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“To know what we do can help those who really need it – it’s touching.” Nintendo Gloucestershire’s Mark McAllister’s breakdown on charity work

This year marks the 10 year anniversary of local community-led club Gloucestershire Nintendo, ran by gaming enthusiast Mark McAllister.

The club hosts monthly gatherings at the Gloucester Guild Hall, and recently celebrated this anniversary last week, with this event playing out in the best way possible, in Mark’s eyes.

“Our event went well, it was nice to see a fair amount of new faces. We had around 30-35 people plus throughout the night. We did have a few technical issues but with a cinema screen you’re going to have some problems.” Mark said.

“We played a fair few games, such as Smash Bro’s, Mario Kart and some games on the [Nintendo] switch. We raised £150 for the Gloucester food bank. It pretty much went to plan.”

Two members after winning a Smash Bro’s match

A set-up like Mark’s has built upon the foundations of charity work and local funding, and for one with a longevity of 10 years, they are certainly reaping the rewards.

“Every month we have a raffle, and what we do with that is we do 50% for charity and 50% for us so that we can buy more prizes, and any money that we get goes back into the group.” Mark said.

“It’s not something essential, but it is nice to help the community, and doing this for 10 years, I’ve seen people from all walks of life and we want to support them.”

A couple of years ago we raised enough money for a Nintendo switch console and some games for the children’s ward at the Gloucester Royal Hospital, and just seeing the staff and getting their feedback from it – it was really touching.”

The team has grown since the beginning, as Mark began as the founding figure, but since has gained three other members. The next focus for Nintendo Gloucestershire is to increase the scope of interest – despite the challenge.

Pokémon set-up from the 10-year-anniversary event

“It’s not always easy trying to advertise these events – its quite niche. It’s also timings as well as we do evevnings on a Saturday, where people may want to come earlier, or people may be busy as it’s a Saturday night.” Mark said.

[On ways of promoting the group] “Word of mouth is very crucial. But the next step is to use social media. You get a post up [on Facebook groups] and there’s already 10 others and its fallen into the black hole of content. So, it’s trying to find a balance.”

Hopefully we can figure it out eventually, and hopefully soon.”

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