Leading charities YGAM (The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust) and GamCare have risen to the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic by accelerating the digital transformation of their education resources and using virtual classrooms to raise awareness of gambling related harms.
The two organisations, which were selected by the Betting and Gaming Council to deliver its £10 million funded national education programme, have succeeded in delivering over 20 classes reaching out to 350 individuals since April.
Explaining the challenges, Kev Clelland, Operations Director at YGAM, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed both personal and work life. The charity sector in particular has faced profound challenges impacting both funding and how organisations are able to reach the people they have the responsibility to support.
“During lockdown the YGAM Practitioner Workshops have been presented as a blended digital offering which is proving hugely popular with both teachers and other professionals. Our education team has trained over 300 practitioners online, significantly more than the number we had planned to train face-to-face. Such has been the success that YGAM is now building up to deliver a minimum of five blended digital Practitioner Workshops a week.”
He continued: “We have added to our education team during lockdown and also written a raft of new resources, including full schemes from year 3 to year 11 as well as youth work specific materials. We have also formed groups to look at how we best approach our work in Wales and Northern Ireland.”
YGAM has also launched its new ‘Parent Hub’ website dedicated to providing an abundance of important resources and activities to support families and help build digital resilience. Through the summer, the ‘Parent Hub’ will be developed further courtesy of additional video content, podcasts, and social media campaigns. With university courses expected to be facilitated online in some form for the remainder of 2020, YGAM is focused on adapting its student resources ready for the upcoming first semester.
GamCare workshops for young people and CPD accredited training sessions for professionals have been moved online, with the result that attendance has doubled from April to May with new eLearning modules in development. A brand-new delivery team has been on-boarded in order to scale up the programme both online and face-to-face when it is safe to do so.
Downloadable factsheets are available for parents and teachers who would like to introduce the topic to young people via www.bigdeal.org.uk, GamCare’s dedicated website for young people, parents and teachers, and a new working group has been convened to ensure that the team can continue to reach young people despite reduced contact and social distancing, including via YouTube.