•https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en -> Site from the UN with a lot of options for volunteering from home
•https://www.catchafire.org/-> volunteer search tool is exclusively for online volunteer projects.
•https://www.si.edu/volunteer/DigitalVolunteers-> Take on important assignments to expand access to the Smithsonian’s massive collections and participate in a variety of research programs
•https://translatorswithoutborders.org/volunteer/-> For those fluent in more than one language, check out this nonprofit that combines language skills with humanitarian aid.
•https://www.zooniverse.org/-> Zooniverse is a platform for people-powered research that literally wouldn’t be possible (or practical) without the help of online volunteers. Spend as much or as little time as you’d like identifying endangered animals, classifying galaxy systems, or transcribing Shakespearean manuscripts.
•http://www.gutenberg.org/help/new_website.html–> Founded in 1971, this may just be the virtual volunteering effort that started it all. The goal is to create the largest digital library, and so far they’ve amassed 59,000 free eBooks. Volunteer by donating eligible materials, transcribing books into a digital form, or proofreading others’ work.
•https://www.bemyeyes.com/ -> Download the app and help bring sight to blind and low-vision people. Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.
•https://www.ted.com/participate/translate -> An online community of volunteers who subtitle TED Talks and enable the inspiring ideas in them to crisscross languages and borders.
•https://www.storiitime.com/ -> Set up a free remote storytime video call with your child and a senior. Volunteer to be a senior reader. (only available in US, Canada & UK).
•https://www.careervillage.org/-> A global platform where students can ask questions and professionals can answer them.
•https://helpwithcovid.com/-> A group of tech volunteers have created a tech-specific virtual volunteer opportunities.
As ever don’t feel bad if you can’t give back right now, you be you, and it’s Ok to not be ok.
Here is the short version! Since lock down
Ran every planned game night
Ran nearly 60 extra free events
Increased the free lending library 33 to 120 titles (£2500 of titles from A to Z)
Delivered / lent our 100th games, around 1/3 of the collection is on loan at most times!
Raised £1000 for charity
Ran summer secret Santa / gift exchange
Commission more merchandise to raise money to keep our events free.
Create two charity Emoji quizzes
Created numerous guides and articles
Appeared on the radio 3 times
Formed a new RPG group.
Ran 12 different RPG systems.
What an interesting six months it has been, we were just getting ready to go to Airecon, the last big convention to be held almost anywhere. We’d just rushed to remake our life size Tsuro, after auctioning off our first version for £120 for charity.
We had a roller banner and had a graphic designer help us bring out signage up to scratch. Ready for a year of visiting conventions and showing off our giant games as well as running events ourselves.
We had just started the engine to try and get prizes for our May charity day. last year we had £2000 in prizes, entertained 120 people and raised £2245
We could have easily shut our doors when the lockdown happened. We didn’t, we had a charity event in two week. Despite all of us still working full time we ending up learning and experimenting, buying and borrowing kit (Did you try and buy a web cam in March and April!)
We found ways to run our games online, found online games like Jackbox, found browser games. Wrote user guides and articles, shared good new stories and lots of amazing free resources put out by companies. We ran every single event we planned. We ran our May event albeit a lot smaller.
We’ve raised over £1000 since lock down.
That alone is amazing, loads of clubs and societies have just shut their doors, we did more! We added more weekly events, escape rooms and unlock games, Role play sessions, video game nights and custom codename session involving such puns as codegames, codebrains, Codegame of thrones and codedames.
The extra sessions are made up of games nights, charity events, computer and video game session and RPG one shots. They don’t include the atleast 5 active RPG campaigns 3 of which started during lock down, most of them meet weekly online.
We ran an amazing Secret Santa and commissioned a celebratory tankard with profits going to cover club costs (so we can keep our events free)
We ran two emoji (Film and Board games quizzes to raise money for Mind and to provide some fun.
We formed a sister division to manage the new Role play section. We’ve played Dungeons and Dragons 5e, Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 4e, Alien, Masks, Zombie World, Mothership, Hostile, Savage Worlds Explorer edition, Cthulhu, Fiasco, Dungeon Crawl Classic.
We’ve taken players from their very first Role play game to running their own sessions, coaching and supporting them all of the way. Atleast three weekly campaigns have started too.
Despite being the face of HB, I am shy and very introverted, I’ve appeared on the local radio 3 times (first ever radio appearance) explaining the value of gaming and community especially during lock down.
For me personally I’ve run online board games for the first time, ran online RPGs, ran online games for strangers and joined strangers in online games. I’m proud of my self and am loving my new found skills and confidence.
This also came with learning various new systems including Roll20, discord, Foundry, OBS Studio and more.
Thats not all! We took our fledgling free game library from 30 titles in March to 120 in August. Thanks to grants, publisher donations and personal donations we 120 games covering the full alphabet and with something for every from light family games like My First Carcasonne to award winning titles like Wingspan.
We’ve been delivering games into families into isolation and lockdown, providing even more free fun and letter them try before the buy.
we have delivered / lent over 100 games (since November), around 1/3 of the collection is on loan at most times!
I’ve also migrated and revamped the main website to massively lower costs and created a brand new website for games library.
It has been a hard six months for everyone. The team and I have worked hard to provide free entertainment and social outlets. I know our games nights are the highlights of more than one persons weeks, that is a huge honour and responsibility.
Keep on being awesome to each other all.
Finally if you’ve struggled during the last six month but you are still here struggling on, that is winning too, don’t feel bad or any pressure to do lots of things if you aren’t in a place to be able to
We are going to stay online for a bit longer, we will meet in person when we can delivery a great games night safely.
We are aiming to continue games nights weekly and atleast 2 RPG nights a month
We will aim to continue online sessions as they are accessible and inclusive in ways in-person events aren’t.
Our aim is weekly games night so we are adding an extra games night on Thursday! We are continuing our theme of qwirky codenames, this time Codegame of thrones.
We’ve have also 6 rpgs in recruitment! Masks, ZombieWorld, Alien, Hypertellurians, Shortlived Shenanigans and a homebrew fantasy game.
We have other guides on how to play online games here
We are hosting an extra online games night on Thursday. This is part of our plans to try and run a game night a week and atleast two RPGs a month.
It’s such an odd world at the moment, and it really helps to know others have got your back. We haven’t stopped gaming the whole way through the apocalypse, staying connected and supporting each other is always important, but especially now.
Since March we have run at least 60 public events virtually, with many other games being organised through our online platforms. This is up from 13 planned and we haven’t cancelled a single scheduled event.
We are proud of the reputation we’ve gained as a warm friendly club and hopefully we’ll never need a code of conduct, as we haven’t yet! Just remember to have keep having fun, being kind to each other and being an awesome bunch of goblins.
A few other cool facts!
We’ve raised £995 Herefordshire Mind (£7500 in Four years)
Our game library has grown from 33 to 120.
We’ve run our first Emoji Quiz and A summer secret Santa with some amazing gifts!
Started 3 new RPGs campaigns and played the following systems Fiasco, Hostile, Savage World, Dungeons World, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, Mothership, Dungeon Crawl (Cyber), Alien, Cthulhu
Various additional side board game and video groups have formed thanks to the friendships we’ve helped create.
Thank you all to my Committee, regulars and new gaming friends, we can’t do it without you.
For a bit of fun and part of our extra events, we’ve been running custom puntastic versions of codenames. You are welcome to use our grids. Some of these are a bit more niche so we welcome players and spymasters to google some of the things. Maybe you’ll learn something. I learned a lot making Codedames.
Next up is Codebrains on the 14th
Pre lock down. We met officially twice a month, with most months there being an RPG one shot or a charity game day.
Since lock down we are meeting around 5 times more, we have haven’t cancelled a single event. We are running more events, more variety and other a wider range of days and times.
It hasn’t been easy moving to online but we’ve done and we like to think our game days have still been great. From my point of view our community has grown stronger and still been the wonderful positive place it has always been.
We aiming to run an event a week, including keeping a few online regular events once things go back to normal.
We are hoping to run one or two RPG one shots a month, from different Story tellers and different systems.
Please use our spaces to arrange your own games!
We’ve lots of guides on our website to help you get started and we welcome more content.
Thank you so much for all of your support. All of our events are still free, and we aim for them to be accessible, inclusive and fun.