YGAM has entered a new alliance with Red Card and TalkGen, focused around safeguarding young people from ethnic minority backgrounds from gambling related harm.
In collaboration with Clearview Research, the ‘Preventing Gambling Harms in Diverse Communities’ educational initiative aims to deliver workshops to young people aged 14-24 from ethnic minority groups in Greater London and the Home Counties, as well as offer free training to community and religious leaders.
Lee Willows, CEO of YGAM, outlined that the two-year pilot will utilise the ‘talent, specialist insight and commitment’ of all partner organisations to train 323 practitioners, who in turn will reach 18,050 young people ‘talent, specialist insight and commitment.
“We’re proud to be part of this purposeful collaboration with lived experience and diversity at its heart,” Willows commented. “The project builds on the recommendations from the Clearview Research; ‘Gambling: The young BAME perspective’, commissioned by GambleAware in 2019.
“YGAM will take the lead on the training of community and faith leaders who once trained will deliver the programme to young people.”
Willows added: “I am confident that collectively we’ll deliver some helpful perspectives on how to engage with minority communities, contributing to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.”
All three partner organisations were established by individuals with lived experience of gambling addiction, and who will channel this experience into the workshops and initiatives to better educate young people from ethnic minority backgrounds on gambling harm reduction.
“We are pleased to be working with YGAM and TalkGEN on this project, as I believe we share the same goals and vision,” remarked Tony Kelly, CEO of Red Card Gambling Support Project CIC and a former professional footballer.
“This initiative is very much needed as gambling addiction within these hard-to-reach communities is something that is still a taboo subject so it is important we break down that barrier of stigma.
“I hope to use my professional football career and my story to engage our young target audience on this topic. Coming from a Caribbean background myself, I hope many young people from the community will hear my voice as one they can listen and relate to.”
TalkGen and Red Card will use YGAM and Clearview Research’s content co-creation sessions for insights to collaboratively maximise synergies and combine resources to create educational material addressing young people.
This content will include culturally-specific gambling-harm awareness short films covering different areas in the Black British and Asian communities, as well as the provision of self-help information and age-appropriate signposting material.
“In general, young people today are increasingly growing up with finger-tip access and exposure to gambling products and advertisements online,” said Kishan Patel, CEO of TalkGen CIC and a fifth year Medical Student at Imperial College London.
“Despite this, the vast majority are not aware of the sudden or insidious but potentially devastating effects of gambling harm. It’s just not talked about enough, especially in schools or GP surgeries, where it is desperately needed.
“The situation we have now is one where young people are vulnerable to harm from their gambling or a family member’s gambling, but sadly feel unable to access help and support.”
The announcement follows findings published in 2020 by YouGov, demonstrating that one in two adults from ethnic minority communities in the UK gambled in the last 12 months, and around one in four suffered ‘significant gambling-related harm’.
Additionally, research conducted by Clearview in 2019 found that 90% of the young BAME demographic agreed that gambling is viewed differently within their own cultures than within white British cultures, and 95% could not identify how they could access help for problem gambling.
YGAM has recently received substantial recognition for its educational initiatives, claiming the PSHE Education Award, Silver Awards for ‘Best Communications during COVID-19’, the ‘Best use of Digital for Education’ title and the Bronze Award for ‘Best use of Digital for a Charity’.
The awards were largely the result of the charity surpassing its educational targets for 2020, training 2,906 practitioners throughout the year in cooperation with GamCare and with the support of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).