Below is a guest blog from the team responsible for the Prostate Cancer UK Board Gaming Day
Origins of the Board Game Day
I started tabletop gaming way back in high school, and it was not until college that I started being into other types of games. I attended a regular roleplaying group and occasionally played Magic the Gathering, Settlers of Catan or Robo Rally. As I've gotten older I have found myself drifting more towards board gaming, the main reason for this is because of time commitments and I find I prefer many players at the table rather than just a head to head game.
I found out about Prostate Cancer at work due to several customers telling me they had it and learning about how it affects not only the sufferer, but also the family around them. Prostate Cancer UK became our business' designated charity, but after a short time, all the charity donation tins were taken from our stores... I was gutted! I would put the cash from the tins in the bank once a month and they always had between £80-£100. I was left with no way to raise money for a cause I felt strongly for.
Bringing an Idea to Life
I quickly came up with the idea of merging my love of tabletop gaming with raising money for Prostate Cancer UK. My idea: a gaming day! The first year we ran the gaming day out of a decent sized building with some overhead costs and ended up raising £152. This was no where near what I wanted to achieve; so I made a decision to use everything I had at my disposal and work hard to push the limits of what I could do. This entailed lots of learning on how to engage with business' via email, how to generate a community and gaining people I trust as advisors/volunteers.
All of this is an evolving project and I love it! I work most days on building relationships with the current and potential supporters of our event. The economic climate is tough, yet people believe enough in me and the Prostate Cancer UK Board Game Day team to support us with prizes. Our raffle prize pool had 149 prizes last year and I am so gracious and amazed by each and every new donation. We've built the right community around our event and ensure we are positive, friendly and supportive in return.
Raising Money for Charity
One of the core principals of our event is for it to generate as much money as possible for Prostate Cancer UK, and we can do this by having zero overheads. We now have no costs at all and importantly no admin fees, which is a big change to the first year of the event! Lancaster House Hotel is kind enough to host us for free! It is an amazing gaming space, very well lit and has amazing food and drink at its fingertips. If that isn't for you, on the doorstep there is the University campus with other offerings.
Each year I try to add to the event to assist in drawing more supporters and game enthusiasts in. The feedback I receive is that the event is brilliant, and I should know as I work most of it! These last few years the team supporting us has grown and made it a lot easier to expand certain areas of the event. In addition to that, I've also made many great friendships with people from afar that I otherwise would never have met.
Over the years we have raised an amazing £4427, with last year alone being £1488 of that. The goal for this year is to achieve at least that, but with numbers swelling on social media I expect to raise just a little bit more.
This year we have added to our offering; there will be a party game zone with games donated by Big Potato and I have been given an Imperial Settlers event kit by Portal Games to use to run a tournament. The winner of the tournament will be awarded with one of their amazing mats and promo's for the game and this is all in addition to our kids' games from Haba and the general open gaming space.
The Important Stuff
All the excitement is happening on Sunday 19th August 2018! It will be at Lancaster House Hotel with the doors open from 9am until 10pm. It is FREE to enter and there will be a giant raffle on the day with tickets at £1 each.
Please head over to our Facebook page and give it a like. Let us know within the event if you will be joining us, we'd love to see you there!