A local hospice is calling on ‘esport’ enthusiasts to get gaming this March, to help raise vital funds for the charity.

‘Raise Your Game’ – a campaign that’s been created by Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice – is asking game fanatics to plug in and pledge their support for the charity, turning their hobby into support for people who are living with life-limiting illness.

Taking place from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 March, people can take on a number of different challenges such as a game-a-thon, playing games in fancy dress, or asking their online community to submit fun forfeits whilst they play.  

For those who prefer their games to be offline instead of online, the Hospice is also encouraging people to take on much-loved traditional board games, such as Monopoly and Cluedo, by hosting tournaments with friends and family.

Adam Hurren from Halesowen has been playing video games for over 15 years. The 30-year-old will be taking on Raise Your Game as a way of saying thank you to the Hospice, for the care and support its doctors and nurses provided to his grandad, Michael, in 2017.  

He said: “Birmingham St Mary’s will always have a special place in my heart. The doctors and nurses were just incredible – they made every moment as comfortable and enjoyable as they could for my grandad and our family.

“As someone who loves playing video games, the best thing about Raise Your Game is that I can fundraise for the Hospice whilst doing something I love. Playing games for 24 hours straight won’t be easy but knowing that the money I raise could help more families to receive crucial support like mine did, at a time when you really need it, will definitely help me through it.”

Raise Your Game is the first time that Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has tapped into the ever-growing gaming market. All funds raised from the campaign will help provide care and support to people and their loved ones who are living with life-limiting illness. 

Charlotte Dowling, community fundraising manager at Birmingham St Mary’s, said: “We’re really excited to launch Raise Your Game as for a lot of people, it will allow them to do something they really enjoy whilst raising vital funds for the Hospice. Taking part in the campaign couldn’t be easier – all you need to do is sign up, select your console, choose your challenge and then get gaming.

“Here at Birmingham St Mary’s, we do all we can to help people to live well with their illness, right up to the end of life, as well as support families, carers and loved ones too. As all of our services are free of charge, we rely on campaigns like Raise Your Game to raise vital funds so that we can continue to provide our care to everyone who needs it.”

It costs £8 million to run the Hospice each year, over 60 per cent of which must come from voluntary donations. Just £100 raised in sponsorship could help a family to recover after the death of loved one.

The campaign is also being supported by Selly Oak’s newest gaming and esports centre, House of Gamers. The state-of-the-art facility is offering gamers a chance to take part in a three-hour game-a-thon for just £9 instead of £21. Participants will also get a free Hospice goody bag.

This year, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice will be celebrating 40 years of care across Birmingham and Sandwell. When the Hospice first opened in 1979, it could care for 25 people on any given day. Four decades later and the Hospice is supporting over 400 people every day, providing care in people’s homes, in the community, at its Day Hospice facility and at the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit.

To find out more about Raise Your Game or to sign up, visit here

To read more about Adam's 24-hour game-a-thon and why he's pledging his support for the Hospice, read his story here.