YGAM and GamCare have surpassed the first year goals for the Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme for famous responsible gambling charities.
The collaborative project has been implemented in all regions of England and Wales, funded by the Betting and Gaming Council, and has extended education and support programs in Northern Ireland for young people, although both organisations work closely with Scottish agencies.
Professionals trained by the charity
YGAM’s data reveals that 2,906 professionals were trained by the charity in 2020, well above its initial goal of 2,592. In exchange, these practitioners supported 184,700 young people with educational sessions, surpassing the set target of 170,300.
In the meantime, GamCare has surpassed its training goals by almost 3,000, educating 4,185 practitioners working with young people as well as supplying 3,947 young people with educational workshops.
National support service
In addition, the organisation has set up a national support service for young people around the clock, providing information, advice and personalised support to young people who are dealing with gambling addiction or who have close friends and relatives experiencing similar issues.
Education on gambling risks
Anna Hemmings, GamCare’s Chief Executive, said: “Both GamCare and YGAM believe passionately that education on the risks associated with gambling and gaming is an essential part of tackling harms for young people and increasing their digital resilience overall.
“I am particularly proud of the team considering the circumstances in which this has been achieved. The pandemic has proved a huge challenge, yet our teams have continued to deliver great engagement with professionals and young people. We’ve also developed a dedicated support service tailored to the needs of young people.
“For any young person worried about gambling, the service is free, flexible and confidential, and will ensure that each young person receives the most appropriate support for them. We’ve had overwhelming support from those we’ve trained.”
Delivery of work shops
As a part of the digital transformation of the services of both charities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the workshops were delivered.
As part of a blended educational bundle, GamCare has also developed an e-learning platform, while the newly introduced ‘Parent Hub’ of YGAM offers free tools, information and activities to families to protect children from gambling and betting-related harm.
Lee Willows, Chief Executive and Founder of YGAM said: “I am extremely proud of the enormous success we have already seen from the programme.
“As 2020 unfolded, we saw the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as an invitation to develop YGAM’s digital capacity in all areas of our work. Although this was done as a response to the crisis, the effect has been significantly advantageous for our education programme.
“The programme is reaching more communities in more regions and this fantastic progress will continue in the following years.
“Now that the delivery is entirely digital, we have removed enormous barriers which may have prevented some individuals and organisations from taking part. The programme is reaching more communities in more regions and this fantastic progress will continue in the following years.”
Linda Scollins-Smith, Head of the National Education Programme for YGAM, added: “We are delighted with the progress over the last year. Our success is testament to the excellent team – most of whom began during lockdown – and the relationships we have with our partner schools and organisations.
“We were able to adapt quickly to move our offer online, ensuring we provide teachers and professionals with the tools to inform, educate and safeguard young people in relation to gaming and gambling and the potential risks.
“We’ve had overwhelming support from those we’ve trained and we will be working together to ensure children and young people have the support and information needed.”
The charities plan to collaborate by 2024 with at least 13,2492 professionals and affiliate organisations.