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On a sunny Thursday in half term we visited the fabulous Power of Gaming project in Maldon.

Power of Gaming is run by Jay Gaffney who used to own a computer shop in Maldon.

Jay realised the benefits playing computer games can have on young people. Everything from improving logical thinking, hand eye coordination, problem solving, maths and creativity through to building confidence and self-esteem.

So, using his own knowledge, equipment and skills, Jay founded Power of Gaming which offers gaming sessions to young people in the Maldon District and gives them the opportunity to try a range of gaming activities and the latest consoles and games. With the latest games costing up to £70, the project makes gaming accessible to those who otherwise couldn’t afford to play.

Over the two week holiday, Power of Gaming offered ten, five-hour gaming sessions to eligible secondary school aged pupils. The project was funded and supported by Maldon and District CVS, Active Essex and the VVU. It also ran a family fun day so anyone could pop along and have a play.

The project was based in Maldon Town Hall and various consoles and equipment including a VR headset and a dance mat were arranged around the room so young people could try out a huge range of games. Not only did the project have firm favourites such as Minecraft but there were old retro favourites and the newest releases – definitely something for everyone!

All those in attendance received a hot, teatime meal at the end of the session – lasagne when we visited – yum!

We spoke to Cameron and his mum who regularly attend the project. Cameron’s mum spoke about how expensive everything is and how it’s hard to find the money for holiday activities yet Power of Gaming taps into what the children enjoy, keeping them happy and occupied during the holidays.

The project also provides for those young people who may not be overly confident socially or interested in outdoor activities, allowing young people to interact at their own pace over a common interest.  We watched the young people play games together and share their knowledge of how the games worked, laughing and chatting. The community coming together through the Power of Gaming.