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ARA’s young people’s gambling service welcomes the launch of BigDeal GamCare’s young people’s website

12th October 2012

ARA are currently working with GamCare on a two year education pilot in colleges and youth organisations in Bristol. The project builds on ARA’s extensive experience of working with young people in other fields such as drug and alcohol education and treatment.

The Gambling Education programme has been designed to help young people understand the risks involved in and, for those already experiencing difficulty with gambling, it offers much needed support.

ARA have announced how they will use BigDeal.org.uk, GamCare’s newly launched young people’s website, to educate young people about gambling and provide information and guidance on where to get help.

Duncan Fleming, Young Peoples Project Officer, ARA said:

“Lots of young people told us they didn't know enough about gambling. When we asked them what would help this, they recommended a dedicated website with interactive media and the opportunity to learn and discuss with others though workshops. BigDeal is young people friendly and will be a great resource and source of further information for the teenagers I engage with at workshop sessions. By using the video clips in education workshops I will be able to help young people recognise the warnings signs of problem gambling.”

BigDeal.org.uk is designed for young people aged 12-18 and provides information about how gambling works, advice about risks and guidance on where to get help. It also provides a space for young people to share their own gambling related experiences.

Jane Rigbye, GamCare’s Head of Youth Services and Policy Development said:

"BigDeal is a fantastic resource for young people and teachers. We have recently launched our first community education programme for young people in Bristol, so we know what young people want to hear about and have built this into the design of BigDeal.org.uk. Our challenge now is to make sure that as many young people get to hear about it and take a look at the site."

BigDeal has received celebrity support from Hollyoaks star Ashley Taylor Dawson. Ashley, who plays Darren, wants to “help promote the message that for those who wish to gamble there are things you should do to keep it safe and BigDeal shows how to get help if things go wrong”.

Visit www.bigdeal.org.uk for more information.

Editor notes

1. GamCare is the national provider of education, advice, practical help, support and treatment for anyone affected by problem gambling. Founded in 1997, the GamCare HelpLine receives nearly 100 calls a day with more than 85% of clients rating the service as “very good” or “excellent”. In 2011/12 GamCare treated more than 2,700 clients. Around 90% of gamblers in treatment are assessed as problem gamblers; this reduces to around 30% at the end of treatment. GamCare’s return on investment is estimated at 7:1.

2. GamCare supports best practice within the gambling industry through training, GamCare Certification, consultation and training. GamCare Certification is an internationally recognised third party accreditation available for gaming, betting and lottery products across land-based, mobile gaming and internet platforms. GamCare training is face-to-face or via GamCare ExTra e-learning.

3. BigDeal is the brand name for the GamCare youth services campaign. BigDeal links to the GamCare website for immediate access to the full range of GamCare services including the GamCare HelpLine which is open from 8.00 a.m. to midnight every day on Freephone 0808 8020 133.

4. Hollyoaks is produced by Lime Pictures (formerly known as 'Mersey Television' prior to its takeover by All3Media) and is filmed mainly at studios in Childwall, Liverpool. The main transmission of the show currently broadcasts at 18:30 each weekday on Channel 4, with the launch of Channel 4+1 in 2007 allowing viewers to see the main broadcast replayed at 19.30. Ashley Taylor Dawson, plays Darren Osbourne. Darren is a long running character in the series who has problems with gambling and at one point lost the family business and the Hollyoaks public house ‘The Dog In The Pond’.

5. ARA, Addiction Recovery Agency, is a major provider of treatment and support services for people in Bristol and North Somerset affected by drugs, alcohol and problem gambling. ARA provides counselling for problem gamblers in partnership with GamCare and is developing a prevention, education and brief intervention service with local partners in South Wales with funding provided by the Responsible Gambling Trust. ARA currently provides a service to young people in schools and colleges in Bristol around the risks associated with drugs and alcohol and last year saw over 2400 young people.

Media Enquiries

Please contact Ruth Halahmy, Marketing and Fundraising Officer, GamCare by phone 020 7801 7028 or email [email protected].

Images available on request