Announcing a new long-term initiative, industry charity GambleAware has confirmed that it will work with Citizens Advice to ‘to help debt advisors better understand, prevent or reduce gambling-related harms’.
Updating the market, GambleAware governance has committed to a two-year £1.5 million partnership with Citizens Advice, the UK charity network which provides consumers with information and advice on money and legal concerns.
GambleAware will develop a training program for Citizens Advice debt advisors which will be delivered across nine regions in England and Wales.
The initial partnership will focus on the following principal directives:
- Training CA debt advisors to identify and support consumers who may suffer or be at risk of gambling-related harms.
- Direct vulnerable or at risk consumers to specialist help that is available.
- Improving the support structure available to UK gambling-related harm suffers by establishing new regional support hubs.
- Expanding training and resources to ‘frontline workers’ such as local authority staff, youth practitioners and healthcare workers who will likely be first to encounter gambling-related harm victims.
Announcing the Citizens Advice initiative Dr Jane Rigbye, Director of Education at GambleAware said:
“The debt advice workforce has an enormous role to play in supporting and reducing the likelihood of people experiencing gambling-related harms, as do many professions who come into contact with the general public on a daily basis.
Encouraging and enabling staff in all public-facing settings to be aware of the possibility that the presenting problems could be related to gambling is key in helping to tackle this issue.”
The funding commitment comes after a successful six-year pilot project GambleAware ran with Newport Citizens Advice to deliver the Gambling Support Service.
Backing the new program and its directives, Gillian Guy Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said: “Gambling can have life-changing effects, not just on the individual but also their families and friends. People seek our help to deal with the practical problems that come out of this – including increased debt and relationship breakdown.
“We are pleased to be partnering with GambleAware to develop services across England and Wales. These will help our staff make a real difference to people struggling with gambling.”