GambleAware, an independent responsible gambling charity in the UK, have announced a partnership with Citizens Advice.
The two-year partnership, worth $1.5 million, will see GambleAware provide training to frontline debt advisors at Citizens Advice. The training will enable Citizens Advice to provide better help to those suffering from gambling problems.
GambleAware announced in a press release that it will train Citizens Advice staff across nine regions in England and Wales.
The new partnership comes as a result of a successful six-year pilot program. The pilot program took place in Newport, where the Citizens Advice branch was given the skills to identify those suffering from gambling harm and redirect them to specialist services.
GA Education Director Jane Rigbye outlined the goals for the partnership, including the establishment of regional hubs. The hubs will house staff dedicated to providing gambling harm training to frontline advisors. As well as training Citizens Advice staff, they plan to roll out the program in other professions like healthcare.
Rigbye released a statement on the matter:
“The debt advice workforce has an enormous role to play in supporting and reducing the likelihood of people experiencing gambling-related harms, as do many professions who come into contact with the general public on a daily basis. Encouraging and enabling staff in all public-facing settings to be aware of the possibility that the presenting problems could be related to gambling is key in helping to tackle this issue.”
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive for Citizens Advice, said that gambling can have ‘life-changing effects’ and her organization will now work to help people ‘to deal with the practical problems that come out of this’ such as increased debts and relationship breakdowns.
“We are pleased to be partnering with GambleAware to develop services across England and Wales. These will help our staff make a real difference to people struggling with gambling.”