19 Jan Tackling Gambling Harms Head-On
At the beginning of 2023, Coram’s Fields stepped up to lead another aspect of youth work, thanks to the life-changing grant from Gamble Aware and their community resilience scheme. By the end of the year, our youth programme team found itself at the forefront of a transformative project aimed at building awareness of gambling harms and vulnerabilities among young people. This initiative not only identifies the signs of such vulnerability but also takes a proactive approach to prevent irresponsible gambling through financial literacy and employability support.
Let’s delve into the impactful work being done at our Youth Centre and the promising outcomes achieved in the past 12 months.
- Understanding Vulnerability: The project began with a comprehensive exploration of how vulnerability manifests in young people, aligning it with other challenges such as youth violence, homelessness, familial difficulties, and substance abuse. This initial research laid the foundation for more targeted and effective interventions. Our one-to-one work with young people has resulted in insightful conversations, which have led to addressing a range of vulnerabilities, including substance abuse, financial insecurities, and criminal activity.
- Workshop Collaboration with Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust ( YGAM): Coram’s Fields joined forces with YGAM to enhance our understanding and responsiveness to signs of gambling harms. A timely workshop coincided with an influx of young people attending our Youth Centre activities and lead to optimisation of internal referral processes and sharpening observations of such signs.
- Preventative Measures and Financial Literacy: The focus on preventative work involved building knowledge around financial literacy and creating deterrents from irresponsible gambling. Success in this area was particularly notable as it integrated seamlessly with our employability support, leading to positive outcomes for identified young people. Twelve at-risk young people have received regular support, laying the groundwork for further outreach and activities.
Challenges and Adjustments
Recognising the difficulty for young people to seek help and acknowledge gambling harms as an issue allowed our team to adjust outreach plans accordingly. Currently, our team is present in the following ‘hot’ gambling spots to build relationships and interest young people in coming to our Youth Centre, where more targeted work can take place.
The funding has been a lifeline for our youth team, as young people’s attendance levels have nearly doubled in the past 12 months. The grant contributed to our ability to timely and protectively address the needs of the most at-risk individuals.
We are extremely excited to continue working with the Gamble Aware Foundation for another 12 months in 2024, continuing to establish ourselves as a local expert on Gambling Harms within the youth sector of Camden, bringing experience and a deeper understanding of gambling harms into the youth work.
Evans Omondi, Youth Programme Manager, shares, ‘We are not just addressing gambling harms; we’re empowering young people with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate life’s challenges. Our commitment to continuous improvement, collaboration with external partners, and the proactive approach to vulnerability make this project extremely valuable for the youth in Camden. We are very excited and grateful to Gamble Aware for their continuous support into the second year of the work, which we believe will profoundly impact the lives of even more local young people.‘”