Merkur agrees additional support for YGAM’s Mindful initiative

Merkur Group UK has agreed to support the latest stage of Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust’s Mindful Resilience Programme. 

Currently a pilot initiative, the Mindful Resilience Programme is designed to support health care workers in gaining access to training on gambling and gaming harm in people under 25-years of age. 

The vision for the initiative, following the pilot, is to roll-out the programme more widely after extensive evaluation.

“We are delighted to be able to play a small part in helping to fund an initiative that directs resources into helping to address such an important part of the safer gambling narrative,” explained Sascha Blodau, General Manager, Merkur UK. 

“Our 360 programme, which we launched in September 2020 is dedicated to ensuring that all of our 2,500 UK staff understand what we mean by safer gambling and equipping our consumer-facing colleagues with the information and practical skills required to turn a philosophy into a deliverable.”

Designed by psychologists and informed by academics, health professionals, and individuals with lived experience, Mindful Resilience has been endorsed by the Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Dr Rosena Alin-Khan MP, who labelled the initiative as “pioneering”. 

The initiative’s aim is to ensure that risks surrounding gaming and gambling harm are identified and given increased priority by training health care professionals who are able to engage with young people and encourage them to get the help they might need. 

Blodau added: “We have a strong working relationship with YGAM not least through the City and Guilds assured training of our 250 venue managers which they delivered. As a business we feel strongly that Safer Gambling goes beyond just the connection that we have with our customers. Our view is that it should be a commitment that gambling entertainment businesses have with society at large. 

“This training connects with the hearts and minds of health professionals, who have a powerful role to play in protecting young people and the vulnerable. We are delighted to play a small part in helping deliver this pilot programme.”

Ian Shanahan, YGAM’s Director Of Business Development and Fundraising, expressed his delight at Merkur’s support.

He stated: “We’re delighted to receive this fantastic support and commitment from Merkur for the Mindful Resilience Programme. It is a crucially important programme in our portfolio and one that is attracting interest from the health sector. 

“This support will help us continue to grow the initiative to increase its reach, profile and impact.”