GamCare has released a new report a year after the introduction of the Leeds Community Gambling Service (LCGS), which monitors the work and success of the service.
GamCare operates with the NHS Northern Gambling Service and NECA, securing direct funding from GambleAware and assisted by Leeds City Council, creating the LCGS.
The program will help recognise, screen, and assist those impacted by problem gambling, providing gamblers and family members with personalised recovery interventions and practical support.
Over 150 customers were involved with LCGS services during 2020, while a further 30 collaborations were secured with local services to meet 265 professionals.
During the ongoing national lockdown and beyond, GamCare’s team has adapted to minimising covid disturbances to provide assistance online and via telephone with services remaining accessible.
GamCare CEO Anna Hemmings commented: “A wide range of needs arise from gambling related harms, which can impact on health and wellbeing and often creates a sense of isolation for those affected.
“The range of services we provide can significantly improve quality of life and reduce the adverse impacts of gambling. For those affected by disordered gambling, our treatment services can offer valuable support and we’d encourage people to get in touch as early as possible, not to let problems build up and get to crisis point.
“GamCare is delighted to work in partnership with the NHS and NECA to deliver these services so that we can collectively have greater impact and reduce the harms caused through gambling.”
More than 600 local residents have benefited from training and briefing sessions on identifying and mitigating gambling-related harms, and the programme has provided consumers with an average waiting period of less than 48 hours with crucial assistance and care.
Hemmings added: “During the midst of another national lockdown, factors such as financial distress, isolation and boredom, and the ready availability of online gambling, present a concerning context for people at risk of gambling problems. We want everyone with even the slightest worry about gambling to know that free, confidential and non-judgemental help is still available both locally and nationally.
“Gambling has the potential to be harmful, and not talking about it can make it worse. The National Gambling Helpline offers 24-hour support over the phone and online, and the Leeds Community Gambling Service can offer tailored support to local communities in need. The team also offers a wide range of free training and outreach for local organisations supporting vulnerable people at such a difficult time.”