GAMEBLAST returns to assist more disability gaming

An intrepid group of disabled gamers are embarking upon a 24-hour game-a-thon at the William Merritt Centre in Leeds next month.

An intrepid group of disabled gamers are embarking upon a 24-hour game-a-thon at the William Merritt Centre in Leeds next month with the aim of raising money to help others with disabilities to access the world of gaming. 

Gameblast16, is the second annual event of its kind and follows on from last year’s successful marathon which had a whole host of supporters attend during the event, including local MP Rachel Reeves. Again, the self-styled WMC Gamers (William Merritt Centre Gamers) are hoping that this year’s event will attract even more special guests to cheer them on as they attempt to raise £1000 for Special Effect, a charity that helps people with disabilities to use and enjoy computer games.  

All contenders will be using a wide variety of equipment such as foot switches, eye-gaze and head switches to assist them to operate the game controllers as they battle against each other in a virtual world throughout the day and night.   

Colin McDonnell, co-founder of WMC Gamers, said: “After the success of last year’s first event when we raised money for Special Effect, I went on a mission to ensure that our group grew and now, we meet regularly and do a variety of different activities as well as gaming. It is important that all people with disabilities get the opportunity to take part in gaming if they want to and by raising money through Gameblast16 we hope to help these people do that.”    

Nathan Popple, co-founder of WMC Gamers and Editor of AccessibleLeeds, said:   “This year’s event is going to be bigger and better than last year’s, we have more gamers on our team and we are going all out to blast that £1000 fundraising target. Come along and cheer us on.”    

Nathan Sumpner, co-founder of WMC Gamers, said:   “We set up WMC gamers to raise money for Special Effects; to me the group means I am able to play games with my friends.”  

Maxine Pickard, co-founder of WMC Gamers, said:   “Since the last GameBlast the William Merritt Centre and WMC Gamers decided to try and keep the group going and meet up during school/college holidays for accessible gaming sessions, this allows them to be part of a group that demonstrates that gaming is possible regardless of disability.  

These sessions are now really popular and have been very valuable to the group from a social aspect, having the chance to meet and play with likeminded people at an accessible venue is extremely important.”    

To donate please go to:

The 24-hour Game-a-Thon will take place on Friday 26th Feb at 1pm and finishes Saturday 27th Feb at 1pm.

The venue is: William Merritt Disabled Living Centre. Green Hill Road, Leeds LS12 3QE

The event is raising money for charity Special Effect for more information about their work, please visit