Local charities awarded funding to tackle gambling harms
Date published: 26 November 2021
Two local charities have been awarded funding to help those adversely affected by gambling.
Rochdale Connections Trust and the Rochdale AFC Community Trust have both been awarded funding from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority money as part of its Communities Addressing Gambling Harms programme to support place-based and community-led initiatives to tackle gambling harms across Greater Manchester.
Gambling can have adverse impacts on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and society. This can include loss of employment, debt, crime, breakdown of relationships and deterioration of physical and mental health.
Rochdale Connections Trust is taking referrals for its programme, Game Changer, which will run from 17 January.
Consisting of three elements, the programme will work with those with a gambling problem or addiction, provide a service for those living with a problem gambler, and provide an awareness-raising service. This last service will be aimed at young people and others who are susceptible to the marketing techniques of online gaming sites and bookmakers.
The programme will be led by a former gambler, who has lived experience of an acute gambling addiction, which he overcame 7 years ago. With a unique level of understanding of the issue, he now works to help others who are affected and to campaign for greater protections to be put in place for people.
Deputy CEO of Rochdale Connections Trust, Bev Place said: “Following the pandemic we have seen a huge increase in the number of people accessing services at RCT who have a problem with gambling.
“The ease of availability to access online bingo and bookmakers have compounded the problem and we are encountering more and more desperate people in desperate situations. This programme, led by a qualified counsellor with extensive lived experience, will provide a highly supportive service in a non-judgemental environment.
“We urge people to come forward, whether they or a loved one are affected, whilst this programme is funded and available.”
The funding awarded to Rochdale AFC Community Trust will help them work with vulnerable and at-risk communities in Rochdale to promote understanding and awareness of gambling harm through social media campaigns and school and community mental wellbeing and education programmes.
Charlotte Griffiths from Rochdale AFC Community Trust said: “We’re delighted to be part of the network delivering project to help those adversely affected by gambling. I think we’re in a unique position as a football club, with football and gambling so often being intertwined. We’re really excited to integrate gambling education into new and existing mental wellbeing projects to tackle the risk factors associated with it, alongside supporting those who are currently being affected.”
Communities Addressing Gambling Harms is part of the Greater Manchester Gambling Harm Reduction programme which seeks to prevent and reduce gambling related harms across the city-region.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “Gambling can have a very serious effect on people’s mental and physical health. I'm pleased to be able to use our funding to tackle some of the issues that come from gambling in our communities.
“Funding these projects means that people across Greater Manchester will gain a better understanding of the dangers of gambling as well as benefit from additional support made available in the city-region
This work is backed by the Gambling Commission as part of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms and funded by a regulatory settlement with an industry operator.
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