YGAM has partnered with TalkGEN CIC and Red Card Gambling Support Project CIC and launched a pioneering new education programme in Greater London and the Home Counties to raise awareness and address the issue of gambling harm disproportionately affecting young people from ethnic minority populations.
The “Preventing Gambling Harms in Diverse Communities” programme will deliver free specialist workshops to young people from ethnic minority populations aged 14–24, as well as free training to community and faith leaders. The programme content centres on an understanding of socio-cultural and religious contexts on shame and stigma relating to gambling harms.
“In general, young people today are increasingly growing up with finger-tip access and exposure to gambling products and advertisements online. 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 harms from their gambling or a family member’s gambling, but sadly feel unable to access help and support,” Kishan Patel, 5th Year Medical Student at Imperial College and CEO at TalkGEN CIC, said.
“We are pleased to be working with YGAM and TalkGEN on this project, as I believe we share the same goals and vision. 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,” Tony Kelly, former professional footballer and current CEO of Red Card Gambling Support Project CIC, said.
“We’re proud to be part of this purposeful collaboration with lived experience and diversity at its heart. 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. Over the two-year pilot, YGAM will aim to train 323 practitioners, who will in turn reach 18,050 young people in their care. With the talent, specialist insight and commitment from all partner organisations, 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,” Lee Willows, CEO of YGAM, said.