YGAM to Improve BAME Community Engagement

Leading gambling harms charity YGAM has announced that it will implement new measures to improve its engagement and services for BAME communities. It will follow recommendations made by Clearview Research, which recently completed an in-depth evaluation of YGAM. YGAM has also been awarded City & Guilds Assured status for the second year running.

A team meeting around a wooden table, with laptops.

Clearview Research’s recommendations will enable YGAM to improve its outreach and hone the resources it offers. ©Fauxels/Pexels

Following Clearview Recommendations

YGAM, the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust, has come to the end of a six-month evaluation, assessing how it could engage more effectively with minority communities. The evaluation was carried out with the help of Clearview Research, and built on last year’s report ‘Gambling: a young BAME perspective’.

Clearview Research’s evaluation was thorough and extensive, taking a close look at the charity, its products and the educational resources it offers. During its first phase, it reviewed YGAM’s website, staff, senior leadership, board of trustees and the charity’s social media channels. YGAM’s operations director, Kev Clelland has praised the collaboration. In a statement, Clelland wrote:

“It has been a pleasure to work closely with the talented team at CVR. We have been talking to CVR since October 2019 however we have seen this piece of work become more relevant and important than ever in recent months. We are proud of our progress however more work still needs to be done by this sector to safeguard every young person and we are committed to lead the way.”

The second phase saw Clearview Research work with a co-creation group of seven individuals from a BAME background, aged between 16 and 35. This part of the review was conducted with the aim of helping YGAM to develop materials and services that are culturally appropriate and meet the needs of people from BAME communities. Evidence was gathered over the course of three discussions held with the co-creation group.

Following its review, Clearview Research has presented YGAM with a number of recommendations. YGAM has already begun implementing some of these recommendations. Managing director and co-founder of Clearview Research, Kenny Imafidon, said that working with YGAM has been a positive experience. Speaking in a press release, Imafidon said:

“Our team have really enjoyed working closely with the YGAM team over the past six months. They have been open-minded to constructive feedback and have truly taken on board any uncomfortable truths we have shared with them during this process. What I am most pleased about it though, is that they have already begun implementing some of our recommendations too.”

YGAM is a UK charity that strives to help young and vulnerable people impacted by problem gambling. It does this by offering information and educational services, while seeking to build digital resilience in those it supports. The charity was founded in 2014 by Lee Willows and Anne and Keith Evans, all of whom have dealt with the impact of problem gambling first-hand.

Awarded City & Guilds Standard

This month has also seen YGAM awarded City & Guilds Assured status for the second year in a row. Last year it became one of the first organizations to be awarded this prestigious status. Now, YGAM has elected to collaborate exclusively with City & Guilds for all of their educational programs.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, YGAM has had to speed up the process of digitizing its resources. This has involved creating two blended-digital workshops to augment its practitioner workshops. Lee Willows, chief executive of YGAM said:

“Our team have very much enjoyed working with and learning from colleagues at City & Guilds. Listening to our customers they really value the City & Guilds Digital Credentials as well as electronic certification. We are looking forward to extending our portfolio of courses with City & Guilds as this year progresses.”

YGAM has built a reputation based on the high quality training and educational services it offers. This month saw trade union UNISON agree to a new partnership with the charity. The collaboration will see YGAM offer its expert training on gambling and gaming harms to UNISON members, of which there are more than 1.3 million. This will start with a small number of national sessions, leading on to regional training sessions.

YGAM will offer free accredited workshops to anyone who works with or cares for young people, with the aim of safeguarding young people form gambling harms. Those who take part will benefit from useful resources, such as lesson plans, activities and guidance on where to find advice and support. Teresa Donegan, head of learning and organising at UNISON, commented:

“We are really pleased to have developed this relationship with YGAM, their training and resources are really excellent and will be an invaluable resource to our members to support them in their work with young people across public services whether it be in youth, community or social services or in the further or higher education sector.”

These workshops come as part of the £10 million National Gambling Education Programme, supported by members of the Betting and Gaming Council and launched earlier this year. YGAM also recently launched its ‘Parent Hub’ website, offering resources and expert advice to support families in teaching their children a healthy online and offline balance.

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