Leeds & West Yorkshire

Gamer Hbomberguy hands funding row charity Donkey Kong boost

Hbomberguy Image copyright Hbomberguy
Image caption Hbomberguy said, in his YouTube video, he wanted to support the charity after comedy writer Graham Linehan's opposition to Mermaid's Big Lottery grant application

Funds raised by a gamer for a transgender charity that is embroiled in a funding row will be "transformational", bosses have said.

YouTuber Hbomberguy made £265,000 by playing Nintendo 64's Donkey Kong live online after a proposed lottery grant for Mermaids was put under review.

Father Ted sitcom writer Graham Linehan had called for opposition to the grant on parenting website Mumsnet.

The charity said donations would help expand services and support youngsters.

Susie Green, the CEO of the Leeds-based charity, said a total of £270,000 had been generated.

She said £5,000 was raised separately as a result of the 58-hour live gaming event, which was streamed online and had attracted high-profiled guest appearances including US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

"We're just stunned. It was completely out of the blue," she said.

"It's a massive boost for the kids."

Image caption Comedy writer Graham Linehan described the charity's expansion plans as "terrifying"

Ms Green said the charity, which supports teenagers and children with gender identity issues, was yet to decide on how the funds would be used.

But she suggested some of the money would go towards increasing the number of local support groups it runs across the country and recruiting three additional staff members.

"I don't think we've ever seen this amount of support for us on social media. It was magical," she said.

"Seeing cash being donated like this was transformational for us.

"We're still getting our heads round this money."

Image copyright Twitch
Image caption Hbomberguy played Nintendo 64's Donkey Kong for more than two days

She said the charity were unaware about the fundraiser until after the marathon gaming event had started on Friday.

Hbomberguy, whose real name is Harris Brewis, explained in his video he had never beaten Donkey Kong 64 as a child and pledged to take on the hurdle.

In the video, he said he "chose to support Mermaids" because people had been "woefully misinformed" about "the media discussion surrounding this issue".

He added: "I'd like to do my bit to help support the people who do the hard work of contributing to people's thinking on an important issue."

Image copyright Hbomberguy
Image caption Linehan claimed Mermaids was pursuing an "extreme ideological agenda"

He announced his challenge after Linehan criticised Mermaids and described the charity's expansion plans as "terrifying".

Ms Green said lottery funding would allow the charity to increase the number of their local support groups from eight to 53.

In a statement, Big Lottery said a review was ongoing after it "received a range of correspondence in relation to a proposed grant to Mermaids, expressing both concern and support regarding this organisation".