The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has today launched its new Student Hub website (www.students.ygam.org), a unique resource developed by students for students to raise awareness of gaming and gambling-related harm.
As students return to university this month, the launch of this new digital platform aims to help prevent students from experiencing harm by providing them with expert information and support. Research published by YGAM in 2019 showed that 264,000 students are at some risk of gambling-related harm in the UK with around 88,000 already defined as problem gamblers.
The new Student Hub website features advice for students on how to make the most of their life at university while avoiding the risks of gaming and gambling-related harm. The website includes interactive elements along with lived experience case studies to further highlight the concerning issue of gambling and gaming addiction on university campuses.
Mike Wojcik, CEO of Queen Mary University of London Students’ Union and Chair of Trustees for YGAM said: “YGAM has developed an accessible, interactive resource with excellent content. It’s a superb digital platform which delivers what the charity was set up to do: inform, educate and safeguard young and potentially vulnerable young people.”
There is concern that this year poses a particular risk for students, with research indicating that the COVID-19 pandemic may be associated with higher levels of stress, depression, and feelings of isolation within the 18-24 age group. According to YGAM’s research, these conditions are associated with increased gambling and problem gaming behaviour among university students.
The new Student Hub resource is a key component of YGAM’s response to this situation. The website builds on YGAM’s existing student engagement programme, which recruits students on a part-time basis to deliver awareness campaigns on campus.
Pete Woodward, Head of Delivery for University and Student Engagement at YGAM, said: “Student life has changed dramatically this year, and we knew YGAM had to respond accordingly. Our Student Hub is the first of its kind: a resource created for and with students, ensuring they get the information and education to make informed choices. We will be gathering insights from this online portal and sharing what we find with our partners at other universities and students’ unions. Together, we can work towards a higher education environment free from gaming and gambling related harm.”