A British streamer has raised thousands for a charity trying to save an endangered species of gorilla.
College student Tom Spoors (17) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, live-streamed the Level-5 videogame franchise Inazuma Eleven for eight hours on Saturday May 15.
His charity broadcast of the football RPG series was shown to 3000 viewers on his YouTube channel TXM - Tom Spoors.
He raised over £1730 ($2397 USD) for the Cross River Gorilla Project, which is a charity working with an organisation in Cameroon that helps protect one of the world’s most endangered species.
Tom, who has almost 900 subscribers and over 60,000 video views, played the Nintendo DS series for eight uninterrupted hours, while educating his fans about the animal which risks extinction.
“Inazuma Eleven is like football crossed with Pokémon. I’ve been playing it since I started my YouTube channel during lockdown,” Tom said.
“The fact we’ve managed to raise so much money playing a game, that some people called a ‘dead series’, for a charity that very little people know about, is absolutely amazing.
“One of the big goals I’ve set myself in life is to raise thousands for charity overall.
“So, the second I realised I had some kind of platform online, and people were donating to me on Twitch, my first immediate thought was how can I make this benefit genuine problems. So I came up with this idea for the Inazuma Eleven charity stream.
“I wanted to help a charity that was based near to where I live, and it is great the charity I chose to raise awareness for - the Cross River Gorilla Project - has a global impact as well.
“A massive thank you to everyone who has donated, and to the Cross River Gorilla Project for letting me raise money for them through the livestream.”
As the conservation charity based in Newcastle, UK employs no one, with no expenses and everyone working voluntarily, all monies raised will go directly to supporting the endangered species.
The Cross River Gorillas, named after a nearby river, live in the cloud forest of Cameroon’s Lebialem Highlands and across the border in Nigeria. It is thought there may be as little as 300 of them left.
Unfortunately, Cameroon’s rapidly growing population has led to land in the habitat of the Cross River Gorilla being used and the forest getting smaller and smaller.
The Cross River Gorilla Project Director John Daniels PhD (76) is delighted with the fundraising success from the streamer.
“The presence of the gorilla in this rain forest is a unique selling point for local forest communities and a potential for ecotourism. CRGP wants to save the gorillas as well as support the communities,” John said.
“We are currently trying to get the community rangers back into place, following the current Anglophone Crisis, a conflict in Cameroon that has largely been unreported in the Western World.
“If we do not put the rangers back in, there is a danger the gorillas will be hunted and disappear forever.
“However, if you put the rangers in with the proper support, trail cameras and the right kind of radios to do their job, we can help protect the Cross River Gorilla.
“We are so pleased that Tom has done this for us, and we hope we can show you directly where your money will go, to supporting the rangers, the people of the forest, and the gorillas of the Lebialem Highlands.”
Any donations to the charity will also go to supporting women and their children’s education; the Cross River Gorilla Project believes there is no conservation without community support.
Following the success of this Inazuma Eleven charity stream, Tom hopes to do more charity streams in the future.
Despite the end of the livestream, you can still donate to Tom’s JustGiving page for the Cross River Gorilla Project here.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Inazuma Eleven: Great Road of Heroes was delayed until 2023.
It is currently slated for release on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, along with iOS and Android.
The Cross River Gorilla Project was founded in 2013 by John Daniels PhD. The usually raise around £6,000-£12,000 a year. They have previously held fundraising events at the Newcastle Natural History Museum . For more information on the Cross River Gorilla Project, please head to their website.
Both Tom and John are available for interviews, but videos of full pre-recorded interviews are also available in the link below.
Please contact Alexander Greensmith firstname.lastname@example.org 07765 958 727 for further information and media liaison.