Contributing to the UK’s National Responsible Gambling Strategy

Contributing to the UK’s National Responsible Gambling Strategy

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) has just published its annual assessment of how much progress has been made delivering year two of the three-year National Responsible Gambling Strategy. The assessment showing progress can be viewed by clicking here.

As new recent members of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Advisory Board, myself and Ayub Khan, Trustee from YGAM were invited to the recent Advisory Board meeting in February to discuss progress of the strategy alongside many of our colleagues from the industry, the regulator and other interested groups. YGAM’s attendance at the Advisory Board was followed up in April with a one-to-one meeting with Sir Christopher Kelly, Chair of RSGB; myself and Rachel Jones, Chair of YGAM.

In the latest assessment of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy it was pleasing to read that YGAM’s work with various operators has been formally recognised. Our collaborative work with the industry was cited several times in the report particularly around Priority Action Six: Piloting Interventions where our work to developing, piloting and independently evaluating a customised qualification around customer service, risk management and the identification of problem gamblers was mentioned. In addition, our collaborative work around Priority Action Eight: Education to Minimise Harm received several mentions. As a new charity, but with big ambitions and focused solely on education, training and delivering social value, we were delighted that our collaborative approach is being recognised. Our thanks goes to members of the RSGB and Gambling Commission.

Readers of my regular blogs will have almost been on the journey with me over the past four years when YGAM was established. Fortunately, our charity continues to flourish, with the hard work and dedication of many people.

As the Chief Executive, I continue to listen, learn and take advice, however something else is now happening. More than at any other time in our evolution I feel the weight of responsibility as YGAM continues to develop its reputation for being an emerging leader in the field of preventative education and industry training. Our brand is becoming more recognised; the demand for YGAM’s services are increasing; the quality, education rigor and impact of our programme is strengthening with experience and through various evaluations and because of our collaborative and partnership approach, the YGAM team continues to grow. In the past month, we have welcomed five new team members which include a Director of Employer-Led Apprenticeships; an Education Manager for the North of England; an Education Manager for the Midlands; a Digital Marketing Manager; an Administrator and a Secretary to serve the Board. These new posts will principally bolster our ability to meet the increased demand of our services and expand our geographical reach and social impact. These posts will also enable YGAM to make a larger impact with our contribution to the National Responsible Gambling Strategy as well as delivering outcomes for our beneficiaries, the people we serve.

Our approach to working with the gambling industry is one of purposeful, positive and impactful engagement. Of course, like every charity, YGAM absolutely needs income, but by taking the approach we do, such as incorporating employee volunteering or looking at ways to off-set some of our core costs then we achieve an even greater buy in from the industry. It’s really encouraging that many in the industry are willing to help and support us in our mission.

It’s an exciting time in our journey as a charity right now as our team are working hard to achieve another significant quality-assurance milestone in June 2018, which if achieved will further elevate YGAM’s position as an emerging leader in this space. Added to this we are now preparing our 2017/18 Annual Review showing our progress over the last twelve months together with our year-end accounts to June 2018. This document will formally be published, as well as our new three-year strategy at a Parliamentary Reception which we are planning to hold in the autumn 2018. Our commitment to work collaboratively with the industry and principle stakeholders to contribute to the National Responsible Gambling Strategy with clear impact will also be celebrated at the Parliamentary Reception.