The Leeds Community Gambling Service (LCGS) is the first integrated service of its type in Great Britain, and is a partnership between GamCare, the NHS Northern Gambling Service and NECA, funded by GambleAware and supported by Leeds City Council.
The LCGS was launched in 2019, and works across Leeds and the surrounding area to identify, screen, and support people affected by gambling, whether gamblers or family and friends who have been impacted, providing tailored treatment interventions and practical support.
As part of this service, GamCare’s team works across the community to provide outreach, training, and brief interventions, including in HMP Leeds and in local health and social care settings. GamCare works closely with the NHS Northern Gambling Service to ensure that people who need higher intensity interventions are also referred swiftly straight to the most appropriate support.
The Leeds Community Gambling Service is collectively working to improve quality of life for those affected by gambling harms – improving mental and physical wellbeing as well as financial capability, and decreasing instances of relationship or family breakdown, with a positive impact on housing services and employment across the region.
While the impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the country, the team at LCGS has pivoted to provide a broad range of online and telephone support throughout the pandemic, and services remain open throughout the current national lockdown and beyond. More than 600 local people have benefited from training and briefing sessions on recognising and addressing gambling-related harms, and the service has provided essential support and treatment for clients with an average waiting time of less than 48 hours.
Anna Hemmings, CEO at GamCare, says: “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.”
Get in touch with Leeds Community Gambling Service now:
- Call 0113 388 6466
- Email us at [email protected]