GamCare and YGAM will be working together to provide a new national gambling education and support programme for young people aged 11-19 across the UK.
The initiative will equip a generation of young people to better understand the risks associated with gambling and engage with gambling products and environments in an informed way.
The programme is part of a package of BGC Safer Gambling Commitments announced in November 2019. It will involve direct provision of education to 120,000 young people, in addition to the training of over 100,000 professionals who deliver education to young people – including teachers, youth workers, community mental health practitioners, police and community sports trusts.
GamCare and YGAM have set out the following shared aspirations for gambling education in the UK:
- All 11-19-year-olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive at least one session of gambling awareness education during their secondary/further education (provision in Scotland is delivered through Fast Forward)
- All teachers, youth workers and other professionals working with young people should have access to information about the risks of gambling, how to identify gambling related harm in young people and where help can be sought.
- All parents and families should have access to information about young people’s gambling, how to keep young people safe, and where they can be referred for help and support.
- All young people (aged 18 and under) who are ‘at risk’ of or have developed a problem with gambling, or are affected by the gambling of someone close to them (e.g. a parent), should have access to age-appropriate treatment
The evidence-led, evaluated, and accredited education programmes extend beyond the individuals they reach directly by equipping people with the skills and confidence to talk to others about gambling harms and identify harmful behaviour in those close to them.
Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare, says:
“GamCare have been working with young people and youth facing professionals to deliver gambling education for many years. What we see in the classroom tends to be polarised views on gambling, and a lack of clear understanding about its potential risks. We are delighted to be working with YGAM and extending this much needed programme. We believe that gambling education should have parity with education around other risky behaviours and the extension of this programme will help us take a significant step towards achieving that aim.”
Lee Willows, founder and CEO of YGAM, says:
“Building upon our five-year track record of training professionals who have influence over young people’s learning, we are delighted to be working with GamCare, the Betting & Gaming Council and their members and our various external evaluation partners to scale our geographical reach to deliver this ambitious programme. Raising awareness and harm-prevention education is an important component to reduce gambling-related harms. By training professionals who have influence over young people’s learning, we will equip these professionals with the skills, knowledge and confidence to not only deliver the programme but also highlight the age-appropriate support available from GamCare.”
The education programme will be supported by a range of high-quality materials developed in accordance with PSHE Association, City and Guilds and Pearson quality standards.
To ensure the programme is delivered throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, resources will be further enriched by quality video and digital content reflective of the spaces in which young people consume information.
Those identified as being impacted by gambling-related harm through the programme will be able to receive seamless access to help and support from the GamCare team and via our youth facing website: www.BigDeal.org.uk
The Betting and Gaming Council is providing funds for the programme to the Charities Aid Foundation, which will disperse the funds to GamCare and YGAM in accordance with the grant. The programme will be overseen by an independent evaluator who will report regularly on progress against key target objectives.