Independent gambling charity has today announced that it will be making an investment to the tune of £2.5 million for the expansion of its Gambling Education Hubs across countries in the UK; England and Wales, following a successful pilot in Scotland.
The funding will help prevent gambling-related harms at Gamble Aware’s Gambling Education Hubs, particularly in young people, through education and intervention at an early stage.
According to reports, and following the pilot that took place in Scotland, 92% of practitioners were able to feel confident in identifying gambling-related harms signs, compared with 35% before they received training.
Additionally, the funding will assist with making people more aware about gambling-related harms, such as addiction, and the hubs in Scotland resulted in some eight out of ten young people recognising and being aware of gambling consequences, 84% of which said they felt confident about knowing where to find support if required.
By engaging with people in the community at a local level, GambleAware states that it is investing at a ‘critical’ period in order to reach potential vulnerable persons and support those who need help, thus filling the void that sometimes the government cannot.
Furthermore, research from the charity suggested that more than 90% of young people had been exposed to adverts relating to gambling, with around six adverts viewed on average in the UK. In turn, this resulted in a crack-down on companies and the way in which they market their products that may appeal to young people in the region.
The funding, following in the foot-steps of what has been put in place in Scotland, will help educate thousands of professionals and volunteers working with young people to not only improve the knowledge, but also raise awareness so that people are more aware and feel confident about seeking support.
Reportedly, this investment grant will be delivered to GamCare following a tendering process and in partnership with additional organisations, including YGAM, ARA, Aquarius, Beacon, Breakeven and Neca.
Anna Hemmings of GamCare explained more about the funding and what it will bring across England:
We are delighted to be receiving this grant to deliver gambling education hubs across England. We work in collaboration with a number of organisations who bring unparalleled experience of working with young people around these issues, including; Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), Addiction Recovery Agency (ARA), Aquarius, Beacon, Breakeven and Neca, to deliver Education Hubs across England.
Both GamCare and our partners passionately believe that information on the risks associated with gambling and gaming should be a key part of young people’s education, gaining parity with other risky behaviours such as drugs and alcohol.
We are looking forward to building on the successes of our work with young people, their parents and professionals in a new programme aimed at increasing visibility of both local and national education and support, and to working with GambleAware and our partners towards our shared aspiration of reducing gambling-related harms for young people.
Zoë Osmond of Gamble Aware also commented on the investment:
At a time when young people are increasingly exposed to gambling, the delivery of local focused programs for gambling education and prevention of harms has never been more important.
We hope to see the positive short-term impacts from the Scottish Education Hub’s activities replicated in our newly commissioned English and Welsh Education Hubs, and we are excited to have awarded this grant to these two highly experienced organisations.
As the lead commissioner working to prevent gambling harms, GambleAware is committed to working with local organisations and stakeholders to fund and establish tailored, best-practice prevention programmes.
With young people in the UK now growing up being widely exposed to gambling marketing and advertising, these projects represent a meaningful step towards delivering a society where all children and young people are protected from the risks of gambling related harms.