GambleAware recommissions Fast Forward for Scottish Gambling Education Hub

Fast Forward has overseen the facility since its launch in 2018, working with young people and the adults in their lives to raise awareness of gambling harms, as well as ensuring staff at the site are confident in their ability to offer harm reduction advice and signpost those who need it to advice and support.

To date, the Hub has trained staff from more than 550 different organisations across all 32 local authorities in Scotland including schools, colleges, universities, youth work and family services. 

Funded by GambleAware, the Hub will continue to work on ensuring children, young people and families in Scotland have access to gambling education and prevention opportunities and resources.

GambleAware said it will also make a number of improvements to the program structure so that partners, practitioners and policymakers remain engaged with the issue. 

This will include offering a more tailored approach to gambling prevention and education training for professionals and practitioners, as well as widening the existing training and resources, and increasing the availability of gambling harm awareness and support tools.

The Hub will also continue to facilitate and broaden the scope of activities in partnership with the Scottish Gambling Education Network (SGEN), including the launch of a new national conference in 2022.

“Fast Forward has demonstrated its value as a key partner to prevent gambling harm among young people in Scotland,” GambleAware prevention director Dr Jane Rigbye said. “Given the success of the work already carried out, continuity is vital. 

“The Scottish Education Hub has engaged with young people, parents, the community and youth workers in an impactful and creative way to deliver unique projects over the years.  

“We are delighted to support them further in their prevention and education work and look forward to publishing the independent evaluation of the project for their work in 2022.” 

Fast Forward chief executive Allie Cherry-Byrnes added: “Fast Forward’s work supports young people to make informed choices regarding risk-taking behaviours, towards positive life-long health  outcomes. 

“Gambling has become normalised in our communities, with many young people affected by their own gambling, or by the gambling of a parent, carer, or family member. 

“The renewed funding from GambleAware means that the Scottish Gambling Education Hub will continue to work with young people, parents and educators to raise awareness of gambling harms and ensure support is accessible if they need it.”

The announcement comes after GambleAware in September set out plans to establish a network of new Gambling Education Hubs across England and Wales, committing £2.5m (€2.9m/$3.4m) to the project. The facilities will be based on the existing Scottish Gambling Education Hub.

GambleAware last week also revealed that it had awarded a £250,000 grant to a team of researchers to help build evidence of the lived experiences of women in relation to gambling and gambling-related harm.

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