Our social purpose is to inform, educate, safeguard young people against gaming and gambling harms. Our vision and strategy are guided by and contribute to the Gambling Commission’s National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Related Harms.
Lee Willows founded the charity with Keith and Anne Evans following their devastating personal experiences of gambling-related harm. After suffering for around 25 years with a gambling addiction, Anne’s son Alan died by suicide in 2010 at the age of 40. Anne has worked tirelessly since to help raise awareness and educate others, so that in her words ‘no mother has to experience the pain she did’.
Lee battled a severe gambling addiction during in his 30’s where eventually lost everything and planned to take his own life. He transformed his life and decided to use his negative experience to make a positive difference. Both Lee and Anne had successful careers in education and therefore decided to combine their skills to establish YGAM.
Since YGAM’s inception we have focused on independent evaluation and securing external accreditations for our work. There is robust evidence to demonstrate that our programmes are impactful in supporting our social purpose. As an organisation, we continue to invest a substantial amount of time and resources into our evaluations and impact reporting.
Our initial Theory of Change as a charity was developed by an evaluation team from Ernst & Young; this was developed further in 2020 with scrutiny and support from the evaluation team from NCVO CES where the impact on children and young people were also included.
YGAM employs a full-time Head of Quality Assurance who has established a Quality Management System across the charity to ensure consistent and impactful delivery.
Through our portfolio of education programmes, we provide free training and resources for teachers, youth workers, practitioners, universities, faith leaders and health professionals. All of our resources, training and education programmes have been independently scrutinised, challenged, evaluated and quality marked by a wide range of organisations. A critical part of all these evaluations is being able to demonstrate clear independence and an evidenced-based approach.