GamCare scoops ‘Organisation of the Year’ gong at Howard League awards

GamCare has been named as ‘Organisation of the Year’ at the 2020 Howard League Community Awards, which honour successful schemes that reduce crime and transform lives for the better.

The annual awards are presented by the Howard League for Penal Reform, a national charity, also dubbed the “oldest penal reform charity in the world,” which works for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.

Designed to celebrate best practice in diversionary work and champion work in the community that challenges and changes people for the better, the awards recognise projects and organisations whose work and practice is delivered above and beyond normal service delivery.

Scooping the organisation of the year award, GamCare was honoured for the progress that the organisation has made in its work to help gamblers who have become caught up in the criminal justice system.

From a large number of nominations, more than 50 projects from across England, Wales and Scotland were shortlisted for this year’s awards, giving them the chance to promote their work on the national stage. 

Catryn Yousefi, programmes manager at the Howard League for Penal Reform, stated: “The Howard League Community Awards celebrate successful projects and pioneers who help people to turn away from conflict with the law and make everyone safer.

“The flood of entries from across the country reveals that many people are working with imagination and enthusiasm, often inventing new approaches that have important lessons for us all.

“Only the very best schemes in the UK are honoured each year and, once again, we were delighted to receive so many high-quality nominations.”

Earlier this week, GamCare reported that fewer gamblers are seeking support during lockdown, after releasing a report documenting the performance of its services during the period of heightened restrictions.

The National Gambling Helpline, operated by GamCare and available 24 hours a day over the phone or via one-to-one live chat, showed that despite lockdown exacerbating existing anxieties surrounding finances and isolation amongst gamblers, an ability to seek help was limited amid struggles for privacy.

These concerns also drove an increasing switch to live chat as opposed to phone calls, with this channel offering more discretion if families or housemates are in close proximity.