GambleAware has invested £2.5 million to expand The Gambling Education Hub Service (GEHS) across England and Wales, helping gambling harm charities provide education tools to spot the signs of problem gambling.
It comes after a successful pilot scheme in Scotland titled ‘The Hubs’, which resulted in 92% of practitioners saying they felt confident in spotting the key signs of gambling-related harms. This is in direct contrast to the 35% success rate before the training scheme.
Consequently, the £2.5m has been granted to safer gambling charity GamCare, alongside education partners YGAM and the Adferiad Recovery to expand GEHS programmes.
“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,” commented Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware.
“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.”
The expansion of GEHS will be led by GamCare, which aims to build on the success of the Scottish pilot that delivered gambling education to almost 3,000 professionals and volunteers working with young people, parents and carers.
Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare, added: “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.”
“We are delighted to be receiving this grant to deliver gambling education hubs across England. We work in collaboration with a number of organisations that bring unparalleled experience in 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.”
Underpinning GambleAware’s investment in GEHS is the desire to expand the initiative’s reach across all communities to maximise engagement at a local level.
The expansion of GEHS support was deemed critical, as British youth “are increasingly exposed to easily accessible gambling through the growth of online gaming and social media.”
Leon Marsh, Director of Hospital & Residential Services at Adferiad Recovery, concluded: “We look forward to working with GambleAware on this great initiative to help reduce gambling-related harm caused to young people and to provide comprehensive training, education and resources to key stakeholders to reduce the risks associated with gambling addiction.
“We were delighted to hear that we had been selected to be the providers of Wales’s Gambling Education Hub and are looking forward to replicating the success of the project currently being undertaken in Scotland.”