Andy Payne, 49, Founder of GamesAid and Trustee gives up the time to talk about the difficulty of establishing a charity and how his prodigious work and good will lead to him being awarded an OBE in December for his work in the games industry.
“Ideas are easy; execution of an idea is hard,”
GamesAid is a UK-based charity that provides for children and young people which acts as a broker for small to medium sized charities. There are no running costs; Andy calls it an “everyman charity” where everybody has the chance to join in.
“Comic Relief was a great model for our charity, “
The foundation of the charity is similar to Comic Relief; “a mechanism to provide for children and young people.” Although a small charity in comparison to Comic Relief, it has made a huge impact for the games industry raising £174,000 last year, being shared out amongst six charities that received a total of £29,000 each.
“All charities do good work, we facilitate for small charities with great causes.”
One of the charities GamesAid helps is the Willow Foundation, set up by ex-Professional Goalkeeper Bob Wilson. After Bob lost his daughter Anna Wilson aged 31 to cancer, Bob created the charity with the idea to give people a unique and unforgettable day with their loved ones before they die.
“This is a cause we felt passionately about.” Andy is enthusiastic about charities with great motives that make a difference, which is why GamesAid set up a way to filter out larger charities.
“You are not eligible for GamesAid if you raise more than £5,000,000 a year.”
GamesAid has created a system which is tactful and is formed by a Chairman and Trustees, who operate on a fixed term basis. “There is new blood coming through all the time,” The Trustees only last three years giving the opportunity for others to come forward and participate in any way they can.
“The difficult part was establishing the charity, you have the idea in your head and your friends understand it but others don’t get it so quickly.”
It has taken some time for the charity to become well established, “It’s hard for people to take it all in”. Andy talks about an evening where more than 60-70 senior members came to watch the charities collect the money raised by GamesAid that year: “It’s funny sitting in the background and watching everything unfold in front of you, it’s not about that ego bullshit.” After the event Andy had friends come up to him asking if he knew anything about the charity, as he laughs, “I’ve been telling you about this for ages!”
“I’m quite proud of being the only person ever to be expelled twice from school and receive an OBE, it’s a great achievement”
In December 2011, Andy was awarded an OBE for his excellent work in the games industry, an achievement which is testament to his hard work. This conscious effort led to a successful career in the computer games industry allowing him both the resources and contacts to set up GamesAid, whose mission implores giving something back on behalf of the industry.