The Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme has exceeded its first-year targets.
Responsible gambling charities GamCare and YGAM have passed the first-year targets for the Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme.
The Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme is a joint initiative supported by the Betting and Gaming Council, with the aim of providing training and support to young people in all regions of England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as collaborating with other organisations supporting young people across Scotland.
Initiative exceeds targets
According to YGAM’s data, the charity trained 2,906 practitioners in 2020 which was above its initial target of 2,592. These practitioners went on to provide educational sessions to 184,700 young people, passing the set goal of 170,300.
At the same time, GamCare taught 4,185 professionals who work with young people and delivered educational workshops to 3,947 young people. According to the announcement, with just over two months left of their first year of delivery, GamCare has already exceeded training targets by almost 3,000 people to date.
GamCare has also set up the first national young people’s support service which offers information, advice and support tailored specifically to the needs of young people impacted by their own gambling or that of a loved one.
YGAM Founder and Chief Executive Lee Willows said: “I am extremely proud of the enormous success we have already seen from the programme. As 2020 unfolded, we saw the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as an invitation to develop YGAM’s digital capacity in all areas of our work.
“Although this was done as a response to the crisis, the effect has been significantly advantageous for our education programme. Now that the delivery is entirely digital, we have removed enormous barriers which may have prevented some individuals and organisations from taking part. The result is a truly national programme, which is set to continue its fantastic growth in the following years.”
Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive of GamCare, said: “Both GamCare and YGAM believe passionately that education on the risks associated with gambling and gaming is an essential part of tackling harms for young people and increasing their digital resilience overall.
“I am particularly proud of the team considering the circumstances in which this has been achieved. The pandemic has proved a huge challenge, yet our teams have continued to deliver great engagement with professionals and young people. We’ve also developed a dedicated support service tailored to the needs of young people.”
The Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme
The Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme is a four-year-long national programme, the largest of its kind, and is developed by YGAM and GamCare. The initiative aims to deliver evidence-led education, training and support to young people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as collaborating with other organisations supporting young people across Scotland.
Due to the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, both charities ramped up the digital transformation of their resources to allow for them to deliver their workshops online throughout successive lockdowns. These resources are available to anyone that works with young people, including teachers and youth workers
Linda Scollins-Smith, Head of the National Education Programme for YGAM, added: “We are delighted with the progress over the last year. Our success is testament to the excellent team – most of whom began during lockdown – and the relationships we have with our partner schools and organisations.
“We were able to adapt quickly to move our offer online, ensuring we provide teachers and professionals with the tools to inform, educate and safeguard young people in relation to gaming and gambling and the potential risks.”
By 2024, YGAM and GamCare aim to work with a minimum of 13,492 practitioners and partner organisations,to make sure every young person aged 11-19 has at least one session of gambling awareness education.