My name is Gary and I am one of the founders who started the Nottingham Board and Wargames Club with Matt Anderson, then I moved forward with HobbySpotz and Now LeadBelt Arena. I have been in the industry on and off for over 3 decades and have a good understanding of the spaces, business and trends within Tabletop gaming and gaming in general. So with my wife, Helen, and others from our little collective over at HobbySpotz, we started to look at gaming and the space as somewhere to help others be themselves.

"HobbySpotz is both a physical FLG store, is a games space where gamers and Industry types can pop down and book space to make use of the venues and facilities. And part of the local gaming community HobbySpotz is an Sub Group of the Carpe Ludum Umbrella Organisation (Not the Zombie one!!) #HobbySpotz #ProjectTHISNG #CarpeLudum #nottingham #notts #CQNG #Flagstore #NottinghamGaming #NottinghamTabletopGaming"

For me, as one of the founders of The Nottingham, Games Club, HobbySpotz and now LeadBelt Gaming, my personal experience as a parent of children who are neural divergent, on the autism spectrum, and with ADHD, has played a significant role in shaping the store’s focus on inclusivity and diversity. As someone who understands the unique needs of this community, my wife Helen has made it our mission to create a safe and welcoming space where individuals can be themselves and enjoy the hobby we all love.

Gary Powell

Through my experience as a parent and now a grandparent, I’ve come to understand the importance of providing a space where individuals on the spectrum and those with ADHD or part of the LGTBQ+ community can feel comfortable and accepted. I have also come to realize that traditional gaming spaces can be overwhelming and overstimulating for some individuals and that a more inclusive approach is needed to make the hobby accessible to everyone.

Through our experiences as parents and now grandparents, we’ve come to understand the importance of providing a space where individuals on the spectrum and those with ADHD

– Gary & Helen Powell

Where members of the LGTBQ+ community can feel comfortable and accepted.

– Gary Powell

With this in mind, both myself and Helen have worked hard to create a space that caters to the needs of individuals. we have introduced created events that are quieter gaming sessions and other activities that allow individuals to participate at our own pace and in our own way. We have also made sure that the store’s staff are trained to understand the needs of this community, and that we are equipped to provide support and guidance when needed. As well as create a business that caters to our needs. By doing so, HobbySpotz has and does provide a safe and welcoming space for individuals with neurological differences but has also helped to promote inclusivity and acceptance in the broader community. This ethos has come across to LeadBelt Gaming Arena

Leadbelt Gaming Arena is the latest addition to the gaming community, and it's a place where the love for the hobby takes center stage. The arena is a culmination of years of hard work and dedication by the founders of the Nottingham Board and Wargames Club, those that came on over the years and those staff just employed who have been at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of what is possible within the hobby. The arena represents a new opportunity for gamers of all levels and interests to come together and enjoy the hobby they love.
The Leadbelt Gaming Arena is a much larger venue than its predecessor, HobbySpotz. It boasts more gaming tables, a larger space, and a wider range of gaming café options. The arena has been designed with the aim of providing a comfortable and welcoming environment for all gamers, regardless of their experience level or interests.
The arena is divided into several sections, each catering to different aspects of the hobby. The main gaming area is equipped with a variety of gaming tables, suitable for miniature gaming, card gaming, and role-playing. The tables are well-maintained and equipped with all the necessary gaming accessories, providing a comfortable and enjoyable gaming experience.
The retail section is well-stocked with a wide range of products and accessories for miniature, card, and roleplaying games. This section is a one-stop-shop for all your gaming needs, including miniatures, paints, dice, and other accessories. The retail section is also a great place to pick up a new game or two and get some inspiration for your next gaming session.
The Leadbelt Gaming Arena also includes a community section, where gamers can come together and share their love for the hobby. The community section includes a playtesting area, where independent game designers and small publishers can test and provide feedback on their prototypes. This playtesting program has helped to shape the final product and bring new and innovative games to the market.
The arena also includes a role-playing gaming space, where gamers can come together and immerse themselves in their favorite worlds. The role-playing space is equipped with all the necessary props and accessories, providing a fully-immersive gaming experience.
The Leadbelt Gaming Arena also provides the perfect opportunity for conventions and mini-conventions

My own and Helen’s experiences with our children have taught us that individuals with more complex needs often struggle with social interaction and may have difficulty finding activities that interest them. As such, we set out to create a space where individuals with these conditions could come together to share their hobbies and connect with others who share similar interests. By offering a wide range of hobby-related products and services, as well as organizing events and workshops, HobbySpotz has become a hub for individuals on the whole spectrum, and I hope so will LeadBelt Gaming Arena.

But HobbySpotz is more than just a store. It is a community that values inclusivity, acceptance, and understanding. Myself and Helen have worked hard to ensure that our staff are knowledgeable about the needs of our customers and that everyone who visits the store feels welcome and valued. Helen has also worked and liaised with local organisations and support groups to offer resources and assistance to individuals and families in the community.

Another important aspect of HobbySpotz’s success has been our emphasis on education advocacy and more importantly engagement. We have worked tirelessly, and Helen has been very active in raising awareness about the needs of individuals with neurological differences and advocating for policies and programs that promote inclusivity and acceptance

Card Gaming, board gaming

In addition to offering a diverse range of products and services, LeadBelt Gaming Arena has more space and so will also host a variety of events and workshops that are specifically more tailored for individuals on the various spectrums. These events provide a safe and welcoming space for participants to engage in our hobbies and connect with others who share similar interests. we also provide opportunities for individuals to learn new skills and develop new friendships, which can be invaluable for individuals who may struggle with social interaction.

And it’s also about my chance to get more gaming in, I love to play games and honestly, want to see what’s out there.

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