Annual Report 2015/2016

Public benefit, policy & products

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Public Benefit

Understanding the Potential Harm

Official survey data shows that children and young adults have the highest rates of problem gambling in Great Britain. In 2015, 1.8% of children between the ages of 11 and 15 years were classified as 'problem' or 'at risk' gamblers.

Such statistics do not really tell the story of the harm that these people and those around them may be experiencing. Problem gambling amongst children is associated with poor performance at school, truancy, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety and in some cases suicide ideation.

Given the vulnerability of young people and evidence that early exposure to gambling can be a predictor of future harm, this is an important – but poorly understood - public health issue.

Estimates vary in relation to the societal costs of youth problem gambling, but to those experiencing harm (and families, friends and other affected parties), the impact can be significant.

At YGAM, we believe that education to raise awareness of the risks of gambling has a part to play – alongside regulatory controls - taking an effective approach to harm minimization. This view is supported by research from a range of international jurisdictions.

Ours is a three-pronged approach.

  1. Research – to enhance understanding of the issue and to inform effective intervention.
  2. Education – to make children and young people more aware of the risks of gambling; and to raise awareness and understanding of the issue amongst those who work with children (e.g. teachers and youth workers).
  3. Awareness raising – to raise the profile of youth gambling as a public health issue.

This approach has been used successfully in helping to protect young people in other public health areas, such as alcohol consumption, drug abuse and sexual health.

Young Gamblers Education Trust | Challenge Booklets

Our Relationship With The Gambling Industry

YGAM does not seek to influence the way that gambling is regulated in Great Britain; we believe that is a function of the regulator, the UK Gambling Commission. As an official charity, registered with the UK Charity Commission, YGAM relies on voluntary funding in order to fulfil its social purpose.

We actively seek funding from parties who share our concerns and our ambitions, including charitable trusts & foundations, the gambling industry and private individuals. YGAM also secures income from the selling of delegate places on our education workshops, which are marketed principally to the education, health and third sectors, Local Authorities and Central Government.

YGAM's programmes contribute to the policy debate

In June 2016, the Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) published the Children and Young People's gambling review by Professor Gill Valentine. This review confirmed there is relatively little public information about, or awareness of, the potential risks associated with underage gambling in relation to other risk-taking behaviours such as alcohol or drug use. The review called for greater emphasis on raising teachers' awareness of gambling in teacher education training and the establishment of prevention programmes.

In April 2016, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) published the UK's new National Responsible Gambling Strategy 2016 – 2019. A Priority Action within this strategy of relevance to the work of YGAM is Priority Action 8: Education to prevent gambling related harm. This action calls for better understanding of the steps that could be taken though education to minimise the risk of gambling-related harm.

Young Gamblers Education Trust | Workshop

"To our knowledge, it is not part of the standard school curriculum to advise children of the dangers of gambling, unlike the situation with regard to tobacco, drugs, alcohol and irresponsible sex. This is significant both because evidence suggests that adolescents have a higher incidence of problem gamblers than adults, and that, in general, the younger a person starts gambling the more likely he is to become a problem gambler."

Gambling Review Report,
2001

"Too little is still known about the potential role of education in preventing or mitigating gamblingrelated harm, particularly in relation to children and young persons for whom damaging life-time patterns of behaviour can become established."

Responsible Gambling Strategy Board,
2016

"Educational institutions have the potential to strongly influence the health of our youth and represent an ideal setting in which to implement health promotion and problem gambling prevention strategies."

Derevensky et al,
2004

"Age initiation is low for gambling and the issues should be addressed in health education programmes at or before the start of secondary school."

Forrest & McHale,
2012

Spotlight YGAM's Train the Trainer Courses

Train the Trainer One-day Workshop

YGAM delivers accredited training and provides licenses to colleagues to enable them to deliver the YGAM gambling-related harm prevention programme.

The one-day workshop includes:

  • Background information on youth gambling in the UK to increase subject knowledge.
  • Introduction and familiarisation with the accredited YGAM curriculum.
  • Reviewing existing, and creating tailored, lesson plans or schemes of work for each organisation that can be taken away and used immediately.
  • Practical tips on delivering the YGAM programme as part of PSHE in the curriculum.
  • Reviewing of adopted baseline testing and measuring young people's progression.
  • Reviewing of the extensive resource material available on the YGAM Cloud.
  • Understanding the ASDAN certification available to young people who participate in the programme.

Why chose to train with YGAM?

YGAM delivers the UK's first accredited & quality assured gambling awareness education programme. Our educational resources have been developed hand-in-glove with the PSHE Association and have been awarded their quality-mark. To strengthen our resources further, they have also been accredited and quality-assured by ASDAN, the Ofqual-approved awarding body.

All the YGAM resources have been created by teachers, youth workers, young people, gambling industry leaders, health professionals and former gambling addicts. Ultimately the YGAM programme has been designed to build digital resilience among young people and raise awareness of the potential mental health and financial impacts of problem gambling & social gaming.

Facilitation will be provided by the YGAM Director of Education, Adrian Sladdin, a former teacher, who has worked in education throughout his entire career and YGAM Chief Executive, Lee Willows, a former gambling addict, who has also worked in education and youth development for over 25 years.

What next?

After attending a one-day train the trainer workshop, each organisation will be given access to resources to be used with young people. Each organisation who delivers 10 hours of sessions with young people around gambling/social gaming education have the opportuinity to become an official YGAM certified practitioner.

Spotlight YGAM's Peer Education Projects

What are the benefits of Peer Education?

Peer education has proven to be a highly effective engagement model for supporting vulnerable young people; it often changes young people's attitudes, thinking and behaviour. It is for this reason that we would adopt such a model, to run alongside our formal engagement model. This would allow YGAM, through the training of those who have influence over young people's behaviours, to raise awareness of the potential risks around gambling in an appropriate and professional manner.

Additionally, facilitating two slightly different models alows YGAM the opportuinity to evaluate their respective impact and effectiveness. This will contribute to research that will help YGAM to adapt and strengthen those models, which are most effective in engaging young people in this specialist area. It may be, as is often the case, that our two models suit the intended audience perfectly and that we are able to demonstrate and show that such an approach is needed.

Who Qualifies for YGAM's Peer Education Projects?

Given the age range of practitioners whom YGAM are seeking to work with and the professional nature in which we intend to deliver the programme, we are looking to recruit second or third year psychology (or similar) students. Psychology students need experience of working with practitioners who support NEET young people and experience of professional work within the sector. YGAM needs to have confidence in the calibre of our Peer Mentors, assurance that they are supported by their host university, to know that Peer Mentors are age appropriate and assurance of their professional undertaking.

Delivery Models for Peer Education Projects

There are three proposed components to our delivery model (listed in order of importance):

  1. The YGAM Chief Executive & Director of Education will deliver Train the Trainer workshops to practitioners who support NEET young people. These workshops will be broadly similar to our formal workshops with teachers; slightly adapted for an older age range (16 yrs plus). The Peer Mentor will lead on the task of filling each scheduled workshop and will provide assistance in teaching. The YGAM Chief Executive & Director of Education will attend all workshops and we envisage that the Peer Mentor will take more of a leadership role in delivery of workshops over a period of several months.
  2. The Peer Mentor, supported by the YGAM Chief Executive, will attend a number of local community and university mental health and well-being events. Stands at those events will aim to recruit practitioners who support NEET young people. Other YGAM awareness-raising events can also be organised with the university student union. Each Peer Mentor will be asked to produce an annual calendar of events that they would like to attend, which will be shared with the YGAM Board to ensure, in part, that they are relevant to our target audience.
  3. The Peer Mentor, supported by the YGAM Chief Executive, local partner organisations and the University Student Union, will establish an informal, monthly support group for students who may be experiencing gambling-relating harm. The support group will be facilitated by our partner organisation, with a signposting service for students to enrol with them. The group will be supported by the Peer Mentor, but leadership will be provided by our partner.

The YGAM Peer Mentors will be employed by YGAM in part-time role (up to five hours per week) and be paid the Living Wage. The University at which the students are studying must be fully on board to support the programme and the students' participation.