A year on from launching the Leeds Community Gambling Service (LCGS), GamCare has published a new report which tracks the work and progress the service has carried out.
The LCGS is formed by GamCare working alongside the NHS Northern Gambling Service and NECA, securing direct funding by GambleAware and supported by Leeds City Council.
The service helps identify, screen, and support those affected by problem gambling, providing tailored treatment interventions and practical support for gamblers and family members.
During 2020, over 150 clients have engaged with LCGS’ services, while a further 30 partnerships have been secured with local services to reach 265 professionals.
Mitigating covid disruptions, GamCare’s team have adapted to providing support online and via telephone with services remaining open during the current national lockdown and beyond.
Anna Hemmings, CEO at GamCare, commented: “A wide range of needs arise from gambling related harms, which can impact on health and wellbeing and often creates a sense of isolation for those affected.
“The range of services we provide can significantly improve quality of life and reduce the adverse impacts of gambling. For those affected by disordered gambling, our treatment services can offer valuable support and we’d encourage people to get in touch as early as possible, not to let problems build up and get to crisis point.
“GamCare is delighted to work in partnership with the NHS and NECA to deliver these services so that we can collectively have greater impact and reduce the harms caused through gambling.”
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.
Hemmings added: “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.”