The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has now announced the appointment of four student employees to continue its ongoing university engagement programme. 

The charity employs students in Living Wage part-time jobs to deliver awareness campaigns to fellow students within their university about the risks associated with gaming and gambling. The new salaried positions are Student Design Manager, Student User Experience Manager, Student Research Manager, and Student Journalism Manager.

These roles will focus their activities on campaigns targeting universities during the coming year. This includes the launch of the new Student Hub website: a central resource providing students with information and guidance to safeguard them from gaming and gambling-related harm while at university.

Pete Woodward, YGAM’s Head of Delivery for University and Student Engagement said: “It’s incredibly important for the team at YGAM to have students working with us. They understand the current context of life in higher-education and our organisation reaps the benefits every day of producing resources for students, by students.”

Katie Tarrant has been selected to become the new Student Journalism Manager. Previously the Editor-in-Chief of University of Warwick’s student newspaper, The Boar, Katie has already distinguished herself by heading the newspaper’s continued investigation into the well-known Warwick University Rape Chat story, scrutinising senior management and the university’s safeguarding of victims.

Katie said: “Having worked as a student journalist and with a local domestic abuse charity, YGAM’s purpose to inform, educate and safeguard young people from the potential risks of gaming and gambling-related harm resonated with me from the offset. Having seen first-hand the impact of factors like isolation and changing lifestyle on students’ gaming and gambling habits, I was excited to see YGAM’s plans for a new student hub that I truly believe will enact meaningful change by empowering young people to make informed decisions.”

Specifically, I’d like to investigate how universities can better support students with problem gaming and gambling through their mental health services and use YGAM’s recent research with over 2,000 students in higher education as a starting point.”

The new Student Research Manager will be Jon Sissons, who has recently finished a 4-year degree in Psychology at the University of Leeds and will be returning this year to study for a taught MSc in Psychology. Having worked on placement with the Specialist Addiction Services in Leeds during his studies, Jon’s interests lie in addiction, decision making and tackling inequalities in mental health.

Jon said: “I first heard about YGAM when I attended a talk by YGAM’s founders and patrons, Anne and Keith Evans, in 2018. Having heard about their work so far with young people and professionals I’m really pleased to be working with YGAM to help contribute to their new projects.”

Georgia Brennan-Scott is also in Leeds, studyingDigital Media, and will be YGAM’s new Student Design Manager.

Georgia said: “I think I was very protected from gambling as a kid and teenager, but at sixth form and university I was surprised how common it was. I had it in my mind that gambling wasn’t something most people did, but I started to see it everywhere. The first time I met someone with a gambling problem, it was at work and they were a few years older than me. He was placing snooker bets on his phone and obsessively checking the results on his phone at work. When I asked him about whether it was healthy, he quickly brushed it off with a joke. And that moment really stayed with me, as I realised it was more prevalent than I’d considered before.”

“I hadn’t heard of YGAM before hearing about this role, but I was immediately on board with the aims and mission statement of the organisation. I’m looking forward to working on design projects which aren’t trying to overwhelm students visually but, instead, communicate to them in a valuable way and direct them towards resources that can be helpful if they’re in a difficult situation.”

Finally, Noah Banks will be YGAM’s new Student User Experience Manager. Having previously studied in Sydney, Noah will be joining the team with strong digital marketing and customer engagement experience.

Noah said: “I heard about YGAM through Leeds University job link. Both the role and the organisation appeared to be a great fit for me so I applied straight away. It’s great to know that my place of work is having a real impact in the communities around us.”

As part of Freshers 2020, YGAM launched a new Student Hub website to provide students with bespoke university-based advice and support to safeguard against gaming and gambling-related whilst also ensuring their education doesn’t suffer. Visit www.students.ygam.org for more information.