The Leeds United Foundation has joined forces with the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust to further an aim of educating and safeguarding young people in the region from gaming and gambling-related harm.
As a result, the Foundation and national charity are to commence training tailored specifically at protecting young people, and giving education practitioners the knowledge they need to identify issues and to help young people recognise harmful behaviour.
As part of a national education programme, YGAM is currently providing free accredited workshops and resources to anyone who works with or cares for young people.
Amy Bussey, YGAMs’ education manager for Yorkshire and Humber, explained: “Gambling is often described as the hidden addiction and education is essential in preventing harm. People do not realise the correlation between gambling and other risky behaviours. It is vital that we raise awareness of gambling to try and bring it to the forefront and open those positive conversations.”
Before praising the task undertaken by the Foundation, adding: “Sports foundations like Leeds United’s have a very positive, strong influence on young people, and they also have a huge influence within the local community.
“If we can get sports involved in prevention and education, we can work with young people before harm occurs. It has been a pleasure working with their really engaging team members, who have strong links to education.
“They are already making moves to cover gambling harm with young people and clearly have a passion for educating and safeguarding young people.”
The education team at the club’s official charity aim to help teach and inform young people, teachers and parents about the risks associated with gaming and gambling harms, to safeguard the next generation of football and sports fans.
Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, YGAM will be looking to support the foundation with schools-based delivery of their training, and will be delivering their resources alongside coaches at the Leeds United Foundation to reach as many local schools as possible.
Nigel Thewlis, head of secondary education at the Leeds United Foundation, added: “The workshop provided by Amy from YGAM was very informative and educational and we can’t thank them enough for their support. I was astonished at some of the statistics mentioned and particularly the information relating to the gaming industry.
“I would highly recommend this training to any schools, community groups or others who work with young minds. I am pleased that the Foundation now has the knowledge to help deal with these issues and support young people and their families in our local community.”