YGAM supports Safeguarding Awareness Week 2020 in UK

A national charity that delivers expert training on gaming and gambling harms to teachers and youth workers across South Yorkshire in the UK is supporting the region’s annual Safeguarding Awareness Week, which is taking place virtually.

The Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has been working with communities across the UK since its creation in 2014, seeking to raise awareness and safeguard future generations from gaming and gambling-related harm. Ahead of South Yorkshire Safeguarding Awareness Week, referred to as SAW20, YGAM have been delivering training in the region to a range of organisations who work with young and vulnerable people.

Amy Bussey, YGAM’s Education Manager for the Yorkshire and Humber area, has been delivering training in the South Yorkshire region and is collaborating with local schools, authorities and organisations who can benefit from YGAM’s resources and expertise.

Ahead of SAW20 she said: “As somebody born and bred in Yorkshire, it’s been fantastic to help deliver these assured training sessions to local organisations. We have heard first-hand from education practitioners and local authorities about the vital need to safeguard children from gaming and gambling related harms, with parents and teachers alike concerned about the increase in screen time for young people. Having delivered training to a wide range of local organisations, and to have many more in the pipeline, shows just how much appetite there is for this training and for our evidence-led resources.”

Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council, said: “Over two thirds of young people participating in our Pupil Lifestyle Survey say they're taking part in activities related to gambling at least occasionally. For many this will be considered just a bit of fun, but we know that problem gaming and gambling causes harm to children, young people, and families. This training from YGAM supports our local Gambling Action Plan, by increasing awareness and understanding amongst frontline staff to protect children and young people from gaming and gambling related harm”

Another organisation to undergo the YGAM training was Hull City Council. Phillip Painter, Education and Safeguarding Officer at the authority, spoke about the benefits they have seen since undergoing the YGAM training: “Designated Safeguarding Leads in Hull have benefited greatly from accessing YGAM training and subsequent resources. Thought provoking, current, and engaging trainers who carefully illustrated the challenges faced in being drawn into harmful gaming and gambling behaviours. I would highly recommend this provider to anyone working within a safeguarding capacity with children and young people.”

Speaking about what YGAM has planned for the South Yorkshire area after SAW20, Amy Bussey said: “We’re very much looking forward to delivering training to Barnsley Council in December, as well as Doncaster College and we recently completed training with Barnsley College in October. I would encourage any teacher, youth worker or safeguarding lead who works with children in the South Yorkshire area, or further afield, to get in touch and start taking advantage of our free training and resources as soon as possible.”

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