The Leeds United Foundation is working with national charity the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) to educate and safeguard young people in the region from gaming and gambling-related harm.  

The Education Team at the club’s official charity aim to help teach and inform young people, teachers and parents about the risks associated with gaming and gambling harms, to safeguard the next generation of football and sports fans.

To kick off their ambitious new plans, the Leeds United Foundation have partnered with YGAM to undergo training tailored specifically at protecting young people and giving education practitioners the knowledge they need to identify issues and to help young people recognise harmful behaviour.

In partnership with GamCare, YGAM are delivering the ‘Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme’ supported by members of the Betting & Gaming Council. YGAM are providing free accredited workshops and resources to anyone who works with or cares for young people to raise awareness of the risks of potential gaming and gambling related harms.

Amy Bussey, YGAMs’ Education Manager for Yorkshire and Humber, has been delivering expert training for the Leeds United Foundation coaches. She said: “Gambling is often described as the hidden addiction and education is essential in preventing harm. People do not realise the correlation between gambling and other risky behaviours. It is vital that we raise awareness of gambling to try and bring it to the forefront and open those positive conversations.”

She went on to praise the task undertaken by the Foundation, saying: “Sports foundations like Leeds United’s have a very positive, strong influence on young people, and they also have a huge influence within the local community.

“If we can get sports involved in prevention and education, we can work with young people before harm occurs. It has been a pleasure working with their really engaging team members, who have strong links to education. They are already making moves to cover gambling harm with young people and clearly have a passion for educating and safeguarding young people.”

Nigel Thewlis, Head of Secondary Education at the Leeds United Foundation, added: “The workshop provided by Amy from YGAM was very informative and educational and we can’t thank them enough for their support. I was astonished at some of the statistics mentioned and particularly the information relating to the gaming industry.

“I would highly recommend this training to any schools, community groups or others who work with young minds. I am pleased that the Foundation now has the knowledge to help deal with these issues and support young people and their families in our local community.”

Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, YGAM will be looking to support the Foundation with schools-based delivery of their training and will be delivering their resources alongside coaches at the Leeds United Foundation to reach as many local schools as possible.

Any schools, organisations or individuals in the Yorkshire & Humber area who are keen to take part in these free training workshops are encouraged to contact Amy on 07377 737285 or by emailing amybussey@ygam.org