Hi I’m Dee, founder of WewanaPlay. Some call me boss, some call me a colleague and I’m sure there are a few other names I hope continue to be said where I can’t hear them!
I began the journey of WewanaPlay some three years ago. I saw an interesting event where you hack together a solution to a problem in just one weekend, so I jotted down some ideas, narrowed it down to WewanaPlay and pitched it naively thinking we’d have it built in one weekend. Three years later and we are still working on it but damn is it getting good now. It’s been a long hard journey with a lot of people helping us out and now we are finally in a position where we can give some of that love back.
I firmly believe that companies have a duty to do good. Yes, we all have to eat and have money to enjoy life but we should always strive to be a force for good in the world too. The whole ethos of Wewana is to bring people together for fun activities so just by existing we hope to do good, but we as individuals need to also play our part.
I’ve always been inspired by companies such as Tata who not only do well financially but make a real differences to the communities around them. Tata aim to make the lives better for all those around their factories. They rebuild road, improve transport and make a genuine effort to increase standards of living.
Virgin are another great example of a company that loves giving back. Last year WewanaPlay helped the Local Children’s Hospital by volunteering to help their team at the Great Birmingham Run alongside our 24 Hour Charity Live-stream. None of that would have happened without the inspiration from a friend of mine from Virgin. Constantly seeing her social media streams filled with community activities inspired me and when I reached out she helped create the opportunities for us to be apart of something good. We made no money at all from any of these events but we have become richer in terms of fulfilment and giving back. They have been amazing experiences and so powerful that Virgin allows it’s staff 2 free days a year to get involved with charity work (of course given by the fact they run Virgin Money Giving it’s make perfect sense for them but it’s still massively inspiring).
I want to base our ‘Giving Back Program’ on these great examples. Starting of course with giving people associated with WewanaPlay the opportunity to make our local community better. Hopefully bringing people together who have never done it before so that they can feel how great it is to make a positive difference in someone else’s life.
So when I was invited to speak to local school children with a specific focus on inspiring them to be creative and entrepreneurial even at a school age, I jumped. Imagine inspiring the next Zuckerberg or Karen Brady or someone who could make a real positive impact on a large scale. Even inspiring someone to work a little harder on their dream would be a great result and help lift the image of certain part of WewanaPlay’s base city.
The school is extremely new and even though it’s in a challenging area, the teachers have worked very hard at making sure the school has received an ‘Outstanding’ government rating. Something many thought was a really tough challenge.
It was so inspiring to hear that some of the students business creativity. I met a young lady who was baking cookies at home and then selling them within the school and making at least £20 a week! There was another student I met who was making hundreds of pounds videoing events for family friends. It was incredible! There were also a lot of student who had no idea how to start a business but had incredible ideas. I tried to help these guys understand how to approach their ideas, how to now over think it and how to just get started.
It was a really rewarding experience and make me realise just how creative this younger generation can be. They just need to be given the right guidance, inspiration and opportunities, then we will marvel at what wonders they create.
I was also extremely proud that being in gaming helped attract the attention of students who perhaps otherwise are hard to engage. I firmly believe gaming is a cause for good and with evidence suggesting that collaborative gaming actually helps increase social intelligence I have no doubt it will play an increasingly important part in the future too. I believe gamers will start to become a major source of inspiration for many and I hope WewanaPlay can be there side by side with gamers to help make this transition to do more good in the world.
We will be regularly attending events to do good, so if you want to take part as part of our community members be sure to get in touch as we’d love to hear from you and make sure you follow our social channels for more information on upcoming events.