Annual Report 2016/2017
Opening reports & operational overview
Click here to download a pdf of our annual report
Over the course of the last year, YGAM has continued its progress. The team has worked hard very hard in delivering training on youth gambling-related harm – to teachers, community workers, police officers and university students. In turn, those we have engaged with have connections with children to promote awareness of the risks posed by gambling to health and happiness.
We have achieved a number of successes and we have learned some important lessons. We are acutely aware that activity is no guarantee of impact, and that while a number of global studies have highlighted the potential for youth education, the evidence of effectiveness (as with many aspects of harm minimisation) is limited. This year, we commenced an evaluation programme and are extremely grateful for the time, care and attention provided by Dr Margaret Carran of City, University of London for leading this study.
What is absolutely clear from our engagement with schools and other organisations responsible for the well-being of children is that there is a very clear need for the services that we provide. From what we have observed, there is mounting concern regarding the vulnerability of children and young adults to harm from gambling and other similar activities, such as ‘social gaming’.
The Board of Trustees will continue to seek to understand the influence of YGAM’s activities on gambling behaviour, following the protocol established by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board that assessments should be independent, credible, transparent and proportionate.
Gambling is an area which attracts a wide range of views concerning harm, criminality, fairness and morality. The present climate appears to be particularly contentious – there are no fewer than three official reviews being carried out in 2016 by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Competition and Markets Authority and the Information Commissioner’s Office. These factors can make it a challenging area for a charity to work within. At YGAM, we have received some criticism from gambling concern groups in relation to two key areas which warrant examination. The first of these is that we have not taken an active position within the public policy debate on gambling; and the second, that part of our funding requirements are met by direct contributions from the gambling industry.
The Board of Trustees has discussed both of these matters at length. On the question of whether YGAM should actively comment on gambling policy; we have decided that this is not an area where we believe our limited resources are best expended; nor do we believe that we necessarily have the expertise to opine on regulatory matters.
On the second question, it is one of our strategic aims (in the interests of sustainability) to develop a diversified funding base. We are grateful to all of our donors, none of whom exercises any influence over the nature of the charity’s activities. The board is satisfied that our funding programme does not present any actual conflicts of interest.
At the same time, we recognize that perception is important, particularly in an area as contested as gambling. For this reason, the Trustees have taken the decision to no longer include gambling industry representatives on our Board, therefore at the AGM in August 2017, Mr D Rough and Mr S Try stood down as trustees. On behalf of the rest of the board, I would like to thank them for the support and guidance that they have offered over the last two years.
On a personal note, I have been extremely proud to have been involved with YGAM during its first two years as a charity, a period in which we have progressed from a small group of concerned individuals to become a pioneer in the gambling harm prevention sphere. Towards the end of this year, I will also step down as Chairman in the knowledge that YGAM is moving forward in the right direction.
On behalf of all the Trustees, I would like to thank all those who have helped YGAM make a difference this year and especially the staff team.
Chief Executive's Report
I am incredibly proud to share with you the Annual Report and Accounts for YGAM for the financial year: 1st July 2016 – 30th June 2017. Minimising gambling or gaming-related harm among young people is a social purpose that everyone connected to YGAM shares. Working in strong collaboration with a large number of partners and stakeholders, we are ending 2016/17 in a strong position.
The YGAM financial year runs from 1st July 2016 to 30th June 2017 and during the year YGAM has secured £292,101 (£116,042 secured in 2015/16) income for the charity, which has enabled us to work with 348 organisations (60 organisations in 2015/16). With this investment, we were able to train staff working directly with young people at each organisation, with the primary focus on how to embed our preventative education programme directly into their work. In addition, we have launched three university peer education projects (one in 2015/16), employing four Psychology students in part-time jobs. We believe our reach for 2016/17 was approximately 28,648 young people, students, teachers and practitioners.
In 2016/17 YGAM were delighted to be awarded a three-year investment grant from the Rank Foundation and I am thrilled to be part of the Rank Social Leaders Programme, learning from other successful social entrepreneurs from within the social and third sectors. We have also been able to secure just under £91,000 of pro-bono advice and resources for YGAM in 2016/17 (£87,000 in 2015/16), which has enabled us to maximise our income in delivering YGAM’s social purpose.
We also renewed many of our corporate partnerships and secured new ones during 2016/17. These partnerships bring further investment in to YGAM and enable their employees to undertake pro-bono work on behalf of the charity. YGAM does not seek to influence the way that gambling is regulated in Great Britain, however we seek partnerships with organisations who share our social purpose.
We have been fortunate to be working with City, University of London where Dr Margaret Carran has started the first phase of her pro-bono, independent evaluation into the effectiveness of the YGAM preventative education programme, as mentioned in our work with organisations. Dr Carran, at the YGAM Symposium in September 2017, will deliver a presentation in which she will discuss the results of this phase of the evaluation. We have continued to work with the Ofqual approved awarding body Pearson, as we strive to achieve their Pearson Assured quality-mark and become an approved Pearson Customised Accreditation Centre.
YGAM has invested time, energy and resources in order to achieve various quality standards over the past two-years. It has been important for our Board of Trustees and staff team to benefit from the considerable insight that these professional educational organisations offer and this gives confidence to our stakeholders of the educational rigour of our resources and training. Towards the end of 2016/17, YGAM appointed, a part-time consultant as Head of Quality Assurance to underline our commitment to develop exemplary quality assured educational resources and drive quality and evidence of social impact within YGAM.
Looking forward to 2017/18 (i.e. 1st July 2017 – 30th June 2018), we intend to replicate our performance as outlined above by raising £400,000. We also intend to launch our trading subsidiary, YGAM Innovation Limited (where 100% of the profits are donated to the charity); expand our work in the North of England creating at least five new jobs; work with 600 organisations to embed our programme; partner with four further universities and commence phase two of our evaluation. We are seeking to reach up to 100,000 young people, students, teachers and practitioners in 2017/18.
To finish, none of this impact would be possible without the huge number of supporters who have taken YGAM to their heart. I am immensely proud to be working with you; colleagues from the education, mental health, gambling, gaming and third sectors and incredibly grateful to you all for your support, counsel and commitment to YGAM. Finally, our Board of Trustees, staff team, and volunteers are amazing and I applaud all your hard work and commitment.
What we have done
Incorporated a new trading arm
Worked towards the Pearson Assured quality standard
Worked with 348 educational organisations
Gained five new corporate partnerships
Evaluate the effectiveness of the YGAM programme
Reached 28,648 young people
Secured £91K of pro-bono / in kind support
Secured £291,101 of income
Strategic priorities for 2017/18
Secure £500K via YGAM Innovation
Achieve Investors in People accreditation
Work with up to 600 educational organisations
Gain five new corporate partnerships
Deliver six University Peer Education projects and create 12 jobs
Reach up to 100,000 young people
Secure £100K of pro-bono / in kind support
Secure £400k of income