Ygam and GamCare to lead educational initiative across England

Ygam and GamCare to lead educational initiative across England

Ygam and GamCare have launched an English nationwide intervention and harm prevention portal alongside several regional organisations as part of a GambleAware-commissioned project.

The English Gambling Education Hub (EGEH) portal is a collaborative effort between the duo and five other organisations – Aquarius, ARA, Beacon Counselling Trust and Breakeven.

Its remit goes beyond England’s borders, however, as EGEH will also work in collaboration with the Scottish and Welsh Gambling Education Hubs. As a GambleAware-backed endeavour, this falls in line with that body’s newly adopted regional approach.

Anna Hargrave, Chief Commissioning and Strategy Officer at GambleAware, said: “Gambling harm is a serious public health issue which can affect anyone – including children and young people. Early intervention and prevention programmes, such as these education hubs are vital to keeping people safe from gambling harm. 

“Young people are increasingly exposed to gambling through the wider environment, so it is important that practitioners, educators and youth workers have awareness and understanding of the issue and harms that can result from gambling.”

The key objective of the EGEH is to enhance the capabilities of Youth Services, Family Services, Formal Education and other services across England, with a focus on early intervention and gambling harm prevention among children and young people, by creating a ‘virtual community of professionals’.

Schools can also participate by applying for a ‘Gambling Education Quality Mark’, provided by YGAM, which recognises institutions’ commitment to gambling harm prevention through education.

On a broader scale, organisations can leverage Ygam’s Quality Assurance Support Package (QASP), which offers harm prevention training – either directly to children and young people or to professionals working alongside these groups.

Kyle Riding, Head of Programmes at Ygam, said: “Education plays a vital role in preventing gambling harms. As online gambling is now part of the statutory RSE curriculum in schools, it is vital that youth organisations have a convenient place to access consistent information and informed resources to help them to effectively safeguard their children and young people.

“This collaborative programme is not only an effective way to centralise support for those who need it, but also a great opportunity to build a network of people who all share the same goal to raise awareness and reduce the impact of gambling harms on children and young people across England.”

Lastly, the EGEH will also host a film contest open to 11-25 year olds from both formal and informal education settings, with the winning production shown across various English schools.

Shirley Tomkins, Programme Manager at GamCare, said: “The English Gambling Education Hub is uniquely placed to understand the true scale of gambling harm emerging across England and how it will vary in each location and for each community. 

“We know professionals need clear, consistent, and non-judgemental information to effectively support young people, who are increasingly encouraged to engage in gambling or gambling-like behaviour online.

“We are continuing to listen to young people and elevating their voices through our events and our engagement with relevant stakeholders across the UK. With the Government currently looking at the future of gambling support, it’s important we do not lose sight of the vital role that education will play in protecting the next generation from gambling harms.”

The GambleAware-commissioned project comes shortly after the DCMS announced its plans for the implementation of a research, education and treatment (RET) levy, which would see operators make a mandatory yearly contribution to support these efforts.

However, the government’s proposals will see the NHS take the lead role for commissioning projects, unseating GambleAware. Consultations are now underway, however, so the end result could prove different.

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