We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our incredible community of streamers, and as part of our Stream Team Spotlighted Streamer interviews we’ve talked with incredible long-time supporter and SpecialEffect ambassador, PartWelsh!
Hey Adam, thank you for coming to speak with us and sharing some of your expansive charity fundraising knowledge with the community! Please, introduce yourself.
I’m Freeman! I stream over on Twitch where me and the wonderful Emus, along with help from our friends, have helped to raise over £110,000 for SpecialEffect these past few years.
I’m an accidental content creator, streaming in my spare time. I work in the video games industry full time as a Community Manager and so everything about our stream is dedicated towards raising money for SpecialEffect, from subs, bits, pub quizzes, sports days, ScuffQuesting, and basking in the glory of RoboCop, my seven-year-old Bengal Cat.
Robocop is truly a shining star, as is your stream community! Tell us, how long have you been a content creator, and how did you get started?
I started streaming back in 2019, initially just to get used to talking and trying to play video games at the same time! With my work, I was asked to do some presenting gigs and livestreams for the company, and I quickly realised that whilst I can talk for the nation, and separately play a video game to a presentable enough standard, I certainly can’t do these two things at once! So, I started streaming from home to try and help to get me comfortable with all the different distractions.
Within a very short span of time, I quickly realised that being good at video games was neither important, or even remotely in my wheelhouse, and that my comfort zone was when I was allowing myself to relax into it, and to appreciate the vibes of space with those who were showing up to hang out.
The stream has since evolved to a point where we’re live in some capacity every single day. During the pandemic I started streaming during my lunch breaks, and LUNCH was born. It’s currently on episode 812, where an hour of the day gets filled with total nonsense and helps to reset us all for the afternoon. The rest of the time that the stream is live is largely spent playing multiplayer games with friends, folks from the community, and my brother Lee who has helped to create some of the bigger events that we do on the channel such as our video gaming themed Pub Quiz.
That’s fantastic, and we always look forward to LUNCH! So, what is some of your favourite content to make online, and why?
All my favourite moments live in the streams where we’re learning about the things that we didn’t know were things or sharing in the oddity of life and our experiences.
The biggest clock face in the world measures 141 feet across, and sits atop the world’s fourth tallest building – the Makkah Clock Royal Tower.
You can have a vacuum powered laundry jet installed in your home, and have your socks magically whisked away to the washing machine.
Most wind turbines only spin clockwise.
Arguably the best discovery we ever made together was when one of the Emus identified that I’m actually colour blind and have been for most of my life without ever realising it. I have a form of deuteranopic vision which means that I can’t easily distinguish between certain shades of red, and green, with blues becoming equally muddy. Learning this was only possible because we were all sharing in the experience of playing a game, but folks were able to call out that I was struggling to spot a pattern that was highlighted with a red glowing effect, helping me to discover basic accessibility options in games that help to compensate.
That’s so heartwarming, and just goes to show why accessibility is so important! You’ve mentioned games a lot, which are some of your favourites?
I have the most fun playing multiplayer games with my friends, whether that’s an FPS like Battlefield, a racing game like F1, or sailing the seas for adventure in Sea of Thieves. I love to share in the experience, and even though most multiplayer games centralise around a competitive element, I play them for the social component, and get a lot out of playing a role that helps someone else get to number one!
When the friends list is looking more offline than online, I’m always drawn to games that are all about powering the lightbulb. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Outer Wilds, and Half-Life: Alyx are amongst some of my favourite gaming experiences ever. I love the feeling you get from figuring out how to use that thing you just picked up, and how that thing you were doing earlier can be applied to the puzzle you’re trying to solve now.
Agreed, some of the best games ever listed there! What we’ve not discussed much is SpecialEffect, so how did you hear of us and why did you choose to support our work?
I was fortunate to have SpecialEffect visit my workplace many years ago and hear from the team about the work that they do, and all about the people who benefit from the support that SpecialEffect can provide.
It helped me to reflect on my own relationship with video games, and how I stay connected with my friends and family through playing games and have throughout my whole life. I was Tails to my brother’s Sonic growing up, sat on the floor of the house we grew up in. I was making friends on the other side of the world playing online Star Trek games before I left school. I was playing Halo 3 and Gears of War with my brother whilst I was at university, and then playing Destiny with him and his friends when I moved to Ireland. I played Battlefield with people from all over the world when I moved to Sweden, and when the pandemic hit, we all played together when we couldn’t be together anymore.
The stories that SpecialEffect are able to share from those they’ve been able to support all end with that same realisation of just how important it is that everyone gets to play. People are suddenly able to play with their brothers, instead of just sitting on the sidelines and watching, and folks can stay connected with their friends in online games.
My life is better because I play video games, and I’ll forever be a supporter of those who work in the interest of helping to make games more accessible to more people, and I’m proud to serve as an Ambassador for SpecialEffect.
Perfectly said, and we’re so thankful to have you as an ambassador for us. What are some of your top tips for someone wanting to run a stream in support of charity?
Don’t overthink it! Pick the cause you want to support, give yourself the room and space that you need to decide on the way in which you want to support it, set up an easy way to help people to donate, and just go for it.
It’s so easy to lose yourself in the pitfalls of wanting to come up with crazy goals, to create something unique or different to what other people have done before, and then become intimidated by the success other people may have had in their own fundraising efforts.
You help to make an enormous difference with any amount of money that you can raise, but beyond that, simply helping to spread the word about charitable causes like SpecialEffect opens up untold avenues for the charity to both provide support to more people, and to receive support from others in the future.
Thank you so much for your time, Freeman! Where can people find you online to say hi?