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Leading Charities GamCare and YGAM Reveal How They Are Marking Safer Gambling Week 2021

Two leading national charities have announced how they intend to mark Safer Gambling Week 2021, as preparations gear up for this year’s event.

GamCare and YGAM – who deliver the Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme to schools across the UK – have a range of initiatives lined up for this year’s campaign, which runs from November 1-7.

The annual event, which runs across the UK and Ireland, sees the regulated betting and gaming industry come together to raise awareness of how to gamble more safely and the tools that are available to help customers stay in control.

It will once again see the Betting and Gaming Council, the Bingo Association and bacta - the amusement machine trade association – coming together in a renewed drive to champion higher standards.

Throughout the week, GamCare will be contributing to a number of events, including the Safer Gambling Forum, which will feature more about the charity’s youth and women’s programme along with the latest updates from their TalkBanStop campaign. There will also be TalkBanStop webinars led by Ipsos Mori, while their Women’s Programme will be taking part in BetKnowMore’s Women’s roundtable discussion.

 Alongside their partners Betknowmore, YGAM will be delivering their Safer Gambling Training to a range of industry leaders and gambling operators throughout the campaign week. The charity will also be contributing to numerous blogs, events and delivering their education programmes to teachers, youth workers, parents, faith and community leaders and health professionals.

Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive of GamCare, said: “At GamCare our helpline team works around the clock to support those experiencing gambling related harms.  We know how difficult it can be to reach out for the first time and we need people to know that we are here and how we can help.  Everything we do is informed by the experiences of those who reach out to us.  We are taking part in a series of events throughout Safer Gambling Week which allow us to place their stories at the heart of conversations about the risks around gambling, whilst raising awareness of our helpline and the range of support options that are available.”

 Kev Clelland, Director of Strategy at YGAM said:  “The Safer Gambling Week campaign provides organisations like YGAM and Gamcare with a unique opportunity to reach millions of people through a variety of platforms. There are some fantastic support networks and resources, many established and informed by people with lived experience, to help all ages better understand the risks and the wider impact that gambling harms can have on someone’s mental health, lifestyle and relationships. A collaborative approach is the most effective way to reduce gambling-related harm so it is more important than ever that all stakeholders connected to the sector work together to support initiatives that raise awareness of the potential risks and signpost to the support that is available. Last year, our charity received more enquiries than ever during this campaign week and we’re hoping the profile of this year’s event can help us achieve our social purpose by reaching more communities. We passionately believe that evidence-led education that is age-appropriate has a key role to play in preventing gambling harms.”

Safer Gambling Week 2021 will see all partners and supporters working together to raise awareness of safer gambling, the tools that are available and where and how to access free support where appropriate.

The annual campaign, which began in 2017, provides a consistent voice to raise awareness of safer gambling, highlighting support and the tools that are available throughout the year.

Safer Gambling Week is a cross-industry initiative to promote safer gambling in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Safer Gambling Week aims to stimulate conversation about safer gambling – for those who gamble themselves, as well as their family and friends.

The key objectives of Safer Gambling Week are to raise awareness of:

•        how to gamble more safely, and the tools that are available to help people do this

•        sources of more advice and support if people are concerned about gambling

More than 100,000 staff across UK and Ireland will take part in Safer Gambling Week, helping to drive a national conversation.

Last year’s event was a huge success, despite the pandemic causing the closure of betting shops, casinos, bingo clubs and amusement arcades across the UK.

The number of social media impressions – where someone saw a post related to Safer Gambling Week 2020 – hit 19 million during the week, an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year. And the number of sessions on the Safer Gambling Week website during last year’s campaign was 18 per cent higher than the year before.

Meanwhile, operators also reported an increase in the number of customers using safer gambling tools such as setting deposit limits and self-exclusion – proof of the real cut-through Safer Gambling Week has among the general population.

Organisations seeking information on Safer Gambling Week 2021, or how to become a registered supporter, should visit the Safer Gambling Week web site (www.safergamblingweek.org) or the Safer Gambling UK web site (www.safergamblinguk.org). The websites are key information points for Safer Gambling resources and information and for Safer Gambling Week 2020. 

Safer Gambling Week 2021 social media channels are also live: @SGWeek21 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #SGWeek21.