Posted by Chiara 19 days ago in Fast Forward

The Gambling Education Hub: introducing the new team (part 1 of 4)

In August 2018 Fast Forward was awarded £750,000 funding by GambleAware to further develop our existing Gambling Education Hub, a programme which has been promoting youth gambling education and prevention across Scotland since 2016.

The mission of the Hub is to make it possible for every young person in Scotland to have access to gambling education and prevention opportunities. The project uses a harm reduction approach and provides tailored support to practitioners working with young people and families in the following 5 sectors:

  • informal education sector
  • youth employability sector
  • formal education/secondary schools sector
  • further and higher education sector
  • parents and carers sector.

Fast Forward has brought in 3 new project officers to support the delivery of the Gambling Education Hub, each with a set of unique skills and experiences. The Project Officers are now working alongside Chiara, Project Manager, and the team will welcome an admin support officer in the New Year.

Warren will be leading the delivery of the project in the formal education/secondary schools sector and the further and higher education sector.

He has shared some of his exciting plans for the project.

“I am delighted to be a part of such a positive and forward thinking project. Problem Gambling is a hidden addiction that is, in many ways, behind other risk-taking behaviours (smoking, alcohol, substance abuse etc) in terms of government policy and social awareness.

The 2017 Scottish Health Survey reported the highest ever rates of problem gambling among 16-24 year olds. The development of technology and new gambling opportunities (ie social media sites) are both significant factors in this increase. As a result, young people in schools, colleges and universities are particularly vulnerable to gambling related harm. These young people need information on gambling and how to avoid gambling-related harm.

With my background in education and training, I hope to build awareness of the links between gambling and other risk-taking behaviours among young people and ensure teachers and student support services are equipped to deal with gambling-related issues.

My role within the formal education sector will be to increase awareness, knowledge and confidence regarding gambling education and prevention in Scottish secondary schools. We will be offering schools an exciting opportunity to watch a professionally written peer theatre piece addressing youth gambling, “Flutter”. Performances will be given to whole year groups and will be followed by a facilitated, ‘forum theatre’ style workshop. In addition, I will be delivering free CPD sessions for school teachers to develop their ability to recognise the signs of problem gambling, the risks and the protective factors that can shield young people from harm.

In regards to the further and higher education sector, I am currently working with Gamble Aware and colleges and universities in Aberdeen to promote the #GambleAwareAberdeen social media campaign. This campaign received the backing of local MSP, Kevin Stewart. Following the campaign, I will be providing continued support to the student support services in Aberdeen while reaching out to other colleges and universities around Scotland.

If you currently work in a secondary school, college or university and would like some more information, please get in touch via email or by phone 0131 554 4300.”