GambleAware to link with Citizens Advice in £1.5 million new partnership
GambleAware has announced a new two-year £1.5 million partnership with Citizens Advice to help debt advisers better understand, prevent or reduce gambling-related harm.
Delivered across nine regions in England and Wales, the project will provide training to front-line debt advisers and give staff the tools to identify and support people who may be suffering from gambling-related harm, as well as directing those at risk to the specialist help available.
The project will establish regional hubs with dedicated support staff, and will enable staff to deliver training to other front-line workers in other professions who come across people suffering from gambling-related harm, such as local authority staff, youth practitioners and healthcare workers.
The funding commitment comes after a successful six-year pilot project GambleAware ran with Newport Citizens Advice to deliver the Gambling Support Service.
Dr Jane Rigbye, director of education at GambleAware, said: "The debt advice workforce has an enormous role to play in supporting and reducing the likelihood of people experiencing gambling-related harm, as do many professions who come into contact with the general public on a daily basis.
"Encouraging and enabling staff in all public-facing settings to be aware of the possibility that the presenting problems could be related to gambling is key in helping to tackle this issue."
She added: "I'm particularly delighted we will continue to work with Katie Fry to lead this programme, and with her team at Newport Citizens Advice’s Gambling Support Service as we roll out the programme at far greater scale.”
Fry herself said: “We know those we help with gambling often experience significant mental health problems. In two years we’ve trained more than 2,000 advisers and volunteers to recognise gambling issues and help people to overcome them. I’m delighted the success of our project can now grow beyond South Wales.”
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, added: “Gambling can have life-changing effects, not just on the individual but also their families and friends. People seek our help to deal with the practical problems that come out of this – including increased debt and relationship breakdown.
“We are pleased to be partnering with GambleAware to develop services across England and Wales. These will help our staff make a real difference to people struggling with gambling.”
If you are concerned about your gambling and are worried you may have a problem, click here to find advice on how you can receive help