English Gambling Education Hub debuts to combat harms

The GambleAware commissioned English Gambling Education Hub marks its debut this week, targeting early intervention and prevention regarding gambling harms.

This represents a collaboration of seven organisations across England, with national partners GamCare and Ygam joined by local group’s Aquarius, ARA, Beacon Counselling Trust, NECA and Breakeven. In addition, the programme also works alongside the Scottish and Welsh Gambling Education Hubs.

The portal, which is aiming to enhance the capabilities of youth, family services and formal education services, will supply evidence-based information, support, and education to those working with children and young people.

Anna Hargrave, Chief Commissioning and Strategy Officer at GambleAware, commented: “Gambling harm is a serious public health issue which can affect anyone – including children and young people. 

“Early intervention and prevention programmes, such as these education hubs are vital to keeping people safe from gambling harm. Young people are increasingly exposed to gambling through the wider environment, so it is important that practitioners, educators and youth workers have awareness and understanding of the issue and harms that can result from gambling.”

As part of the EGEH, which is looking to foster a virtual community of professionals who work with or have a duty of care towards children and young people, schools can apply for a ‘Gambling Education Quality Mark’.

This YGAM accreditation comes in recognition of a school’s commitment to gambling harm prevention through education and consists of them meeting set criterion. The EGEH portal outlines application requirements, how to achieve the mark, and what schools will receive as a result.

“The English Gambling Education Hub is uniquely placed to understand the true scale of gambling harm emerging across England and how it will vary in each location and for each community,” explained Shirley Tomkins, Programme Manager at GamCare. 

“We know professionals need clear, consistent, and non-judgemental information to effectively support young people, who are increasingly encouraged to engage in gambling or gambling-like behaviour online.

“We are continuing to listen to young people and elevating their voices through our events and our engagement with relevant stakeholders across the UK.

“With the government currently looking at the future of gambling support, it’s important we do not lose sight of the vital role that education will play in protecting the next generation from gambling harms.”

Furthermore, a ‘Quality Assurance Support Package’ has also been developed by YGAM, which for those that deliver, or plan to, training around gambling harms and would like support to gain accreditation

Kyle Riding, Head of Programmes at Ygam, said: “Education plays a vital role in preventing gambling harms. As online gambling is now part of the statutory RSE curriculum in schools, it is vital that youth organisations have a convenient place to access consistent information and informed resources to help them to effectively safeguard their children and young people.

“This collaborative programme is not only an effective way to centralise support for those who need it, but also a great opportunity to build a network of people who all share the same goal to raise awareness and reduce the impact of gambling harms on children and young people across England.”

The EGEH is also hosting a film competition which invites organisations working with children and young people to create a film that raises awareness of gambling harms. Entries are open to 11 to 25-year-olds from all educational settings, formal and informal. The winner will have their film professionally developed and shared in schools across England.