The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has teamed up with the Metropolitan Police Service to train its Youth Engagement Team about how to identify and prevent gambling and gaming related harm among young people.
The training initiative forms a part of the Police Service’s Youth Strategy, Engagement & Schools programme which focuses on establishing links between the police, schools and young people.
Rebecca Mark, the Head of Education Delivery (South) for YGAM, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Met Police once again. Since delivering several face-to-face training sessions for their Youth Engagement, Safer Schools and Cadets teams last year, we have taken our training online.
“During the training session we will share our fantastic bank of resources and activities. These have been developed to be age appropriate and facilitate purposeful conversations regarding the potential risks of gaming and gambling with the young people the Met work with across London.
“We look forward to a lasting and productive relationship with the police officers who are in the ideal position to deliver our educational and harm prevention sessions alongside teachers and youth workers.”
More than 50 officers from the MET took part in the YGAM training session, which used evidence-led and evaluated materials to complement the youth engagement work that takes place across London Borough.
Through completing the training specially trained officers will be able to speak to pupils about a range of issues, including gambling and gaming-related harm, to promote the safety of young people, their families and communities.
PS Paul Connolly from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Youth Strategy, Engagement & Schools programme said: “This training is part of an ongoing relationship between YGAM and the MET, building on training which was delivered earlier this year.
“This training is very well received by our police officers, enhancing their youth base roles working within primary, secondary schools and PRUs across London. The training provides us with the tools to help us to better understand the wider issues and consequences surrounding gambling and gaming amongst young people.
“Our officers gain access to high-quality resources, such as innovative activities and lesson plans for our officers to share with teachers, youth workers or even deliver for themselves with the aim of educating and safeguarding young people. Additionally, the workshop is accredited which enables our officers to receive formal recognition upon competition and further demonstrates the value of this training.”
The partnership follows the publication of research carried out by the UK Gambling Commission, which revealed that 37% of 11-16 year olds in England and Scotland have gambled in the last 12 months.
Additionally, YGAM has recently accelerated the digital transformation of its content to provide 90-minute online workshops to any organisation that works with young or vulnerable people.
These workshops include information on the signs of harm to look out for and where to find specialist support. YGAM is working in partnership with GamCare to deliver the ‘Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme’ supported by members of the Betting & Gaming Council.