When Chris Heywood, IT Asset Manager at Bolton based AO, heard that a nearby charity was looking for gaming equipment donations to revitalise its popular gaming club, he knew a way he could help and immediately turned to his colleagues for support.
Together, after searching through store rooms, they managed to find a vast amount of brand-new, unused equipment including numerous headsets, keyboards, gaming PCs and a laptop.
Knowing they’d be able to use the kit to its full potential, Chris contacted Bury charity, Bee Inclusive and arranged to drop off the donation at their doorstep the following week.
Bee Inclusive, located in the heart of Bury, is a not-for-profit community hub, that provides social opportunities for children and young people with SEND (Special educational needs and disabilities) up to the age of 25; and offer a safe space for parents and children.
Alongside this, they also run BURY2GETHER, a community interest company (CIC) managed by parents and carers who have a child with a special educational need or disability, who access Bury services. The BURY2GETHER parent/carer volunteers work hard to advocate for opportunities for young people in the area and were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2022.
AO’s donation means that volunteers from the charity can now begin to revive their much-loved gaming club which they hope will be popular as they now have the equipment and capacity to stream the children’s favourite games.
Emma Scott, Director at Bee Inclusive, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the donation from AO and for Chris’s hard work in sourcing the equipment. We are delighted to be equipped to revive our gaming clubs and give children with SEND in Bury the opportunity to use this technology to have fun and make connections whilst playing their favourite games, such as Minecraft, Roblox and Fortnite. We’re sure this will be a hit with everyone”.
AO’s IT Asset Manager, Chris Heywood, added: “Technology is revolutionary and has no borders as it can be tailored to everyone. It’s amazing to see how gaming tech can not only be used for enjoyment, but can also be used to help people communicate and develop in many different aspects of life. I’m delighted that I was able to help such a lovely charity that is so close to home. I really hope the children enjoy the new equipment, and I’ll be sure to pay a visit for a game of Fortnite soon!”