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Youth gambling charity YGAM wins four national awards

THE Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) team are celebrating after receiving national recognition for their education programmes on gaming and gambling harm.

YGAM is a national charity with a social purpose to inform, educate, safeguard, and build digital resilience amongst young and vulnerable people, helping them to make informed decisions and understand the potential risks and consequences around gambling and gaming. This is achieved through evidence-led, evaluated and assured education programmes and resources for teachers, youth workers, and professionals whose role enables them to deliver sessions directly to children and young people.

During an evening of two virtual award ceremonies in March, the charity picked up wins across four categories. YGAM started the evening by winning the PSHE Education Award at the Children & Young People Now Awards (hosted by the voice of Strictly Come Dancing, Alan Dedicoat). The PSHE Education Award honours organisations that ‘provide outstanding resources to educators for PSHE education, delivering materials and lesson plans that align cohesively with current national curriculum requirements.’ YGAM were up against some highly commended finalists including Aik Saath, MCR Pathways, Ormiston Academies Trust and Peer Productions.

The specific praise for YGAM relates to its City & Guilds Assured training and resources provided to teachers and youth workers through the Young Peoples Gambling Harm Prevention Programme.  The four-year national programme is being delivered in partnership with GamCare and supported by members of the Betting and Gaming Council.

The evening got even better for YGAM when they scooped three more awards at the Digital Impact Awards. Alongside their design agency Me&You, they picked up Silver Awards for ‘Best Communications during Covid-19’ and ‘Best use of Digital for Education’ followed by a Bronze Award for ‘Best use of Digital for a Charity’.  These awards were in recognition of the substantial digital transformation of the YGAM resources which has enabled the team to continue to deliver their programmes during successive lockdowns.

Reflecting on a memorable evening for the charity, YGAM Head of the National Programme Linda Scollins Smith said: “Our dedicated Education Team are absolutely delighted to receive this award in recognition of our PSHE Resources. We, as qualified teachers, wanted to ensure our resources were practical and easy to use for teaching staff and enjoyable for children and young people whilst addressing difficult topics such as mental health and addiction. As part of the Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme, we have been able to roll out these resources to teachers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. We receive consistently positive feedback from teachers and PSHE leads who say our purposeful resources allow them to address these topics meaningfully with the children they work with.”

Amy Evans, YGAM’s Education Manager for Yorkshire & Humber said: “We are so honoured to receive this award and hope that it gives us a platform to reach even more young people. It’s fantastic to get this acknowledgement and such a wonderful reward for the hard work that the team have put into our Education Programme. I hope we can continue to work with youth facing professionals to inform, educate and safeguard our young people on such important topics.”

The awards come just six years after YGAM founders Anne and Keith Evans set up with the charity with Chief Executive Lee Willows.

Both YGAM and GamCare have surpassed the first-year targets for their joint Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme, despite significant challenges imposed by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Figures released by YGAM show that the education charity trained 2,906 practitioners in 2020 (up from its original target of 2,592). With this free training, those practitioners have reached an impressive 184,700 young people to provide vital educational sessions on the harms associated with gambling and gaming (up from a target of 170,300).

Any school or organisation that works with young or vulnerable people can receive free training from the charity. To learn more, visit www.ygam.org

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