Youth workers and young people are benefiting from the new programme
Last week, GamCare reported an increase in calls to the helpline. However, there’s reassuring news that the Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme is meeting all of its targets, according to the latest figures.
Founded in 2020 by members of the Betting & Gaming Council, the programme is being overseen by GamCare and YGAM. The aim is to safeguard and educate four million young people by 2024, with two million already having taken part by the halfway point.
Directing resources where they’re needed
GamCare and YGAM are both charitable organisations operating under the umbrella of the BGC. Between them they are overseeing the Youth Outreach Programme, making sure that resources are directed to the right place, at the right time.
Both charities have a powerful understanding of the type of training and support that’s required to keep young people safe from gambling harm. They operate outside the gambling industry, so can work independently, using their knowledge and experience to drive the programme forwards.
Training teachers and youth workers
The BGC's drive to protect young people involves training professionals who are already working with young people. So far, over 24,000 people have received training, almost half of whom are teachers. Along with youth workers, they are now delivering the programme to young people in schools, colleges and youth groups.
These newly trained professionals haven’t just provided two million young people with evidence-based materials and educational resources. They’ve also managed to reach 48,000 young people through gambling harm awareness workshops.
GamCare also provides dedicated support to any young people who have concerns about gambling, whether that relates to themselves or to someone they know.
Training that's having a positive impact
Now that the training programme has reached the midway point, YGAM has been collating the responses of professionals who’ve undergone training, to determine the following results:
- 99% are confident they can how spot signs of harm caused by gambling.
- 97% feel confident talking to young people about gambling.
- 97% feel they can support young people and direct them to appropriate services.
- 97% feel they have a better understanding of issues surrounding gambling harm, and how it affects young people.
But it’s not just teachers, youth workers and young people themselves who are benefiting from the education programme. Specialist training is available to anyone who looks after children, and that includes parents and families as well as carers.
“A fantastic resource that should be widely available to any and all young people who need it,” says a parent
Parents and social workers have been heaping praise on the initiative, suggesting that there are still more young people in need of the support and intervention that’s available. And with two more years still to run, the programme is set to inform and educate another two million school-age children.
Both GamCare and YGAM are determined to achieve their objectives of supporting and safeguarding millions of young people. The goal is to ensure that every young person receives an educational session on gambling and preventing gambling harm.
As the educational programme shows, this is best achieved through a presentation of the facts about gambling, accompanied by advice on developing digital resilience and critical thinking skills.