Fast Forward: the Youth Problem Gambling Initiative
At the heart of the work of Fast Forward is substance misuse education and prevention, and since April 2014 we have also included the issue of youth problem gambling at the core of our work.
Initially, the Youth Problem Gambling Initiative was a pilot project run in Edinburgh and the Lothians, aiming to prevent the onset of ‘at-risk’ gambling behaviour among young people.
As part of this pilot project, between April 2014 and December 2015, Fast Forward delivered an awareness-raising programme in 15 local high schools, engaging more than 600 S3, S4 and S5 pupils. Each group of students was involved in 2 or 3 workshops, which allowed them to:
- understand how gambling works, and how chance and the law of averages affect one’s likelihood of winning
- explore misconceptions that people commonly have about gambling
- explore what problem gambling is, its consequences and its links to other risk-taking behaviours
- discuss how advertising might influence attitudes towards gambling
- identify ways to stay safe and reduce the harm of gambling, and become aware of sources of support
In addition to the work in schools, the Youth Problem Gambling Initiative also delivered CPD sessions to existing service providers. This made it possible to make more information available and provide an extra level of support for young people in the Lothians area who were at risk of experiencing gambling-related problems. In total, Fast Forward trained 140 practitioners from about 40 different organisations. Each training event focused on strengthening services’ capacity to prevent the onset of at-risk gambling among young people as well as to increase early detection and interventions.
In autumn 2015 Fast Forward was awarded 2-year funding by the Responsible Gambling Trust, which expanded the project to a national level in January 2016.
Throughout this year, Fast Forward is going to deliver across Scotland free face-to-face trainings and CPD sessions on the topic of youth problem gambling, for youth workers, teachers and other practitioners who work with young people in the third sector, informal learning sectors, leisure and local authorities.
Training participants will receive a copy of the Youth Problem Gambling toolkit. This is a new manual, created to provide practitioners with information and resources they can use in their work when addressing the topic of youth problem gambling with young people. As this toolkit is still a draft version, currently distributed only to those attending the Youth Problem Gambling Training, Fast Forward will collect feedback and recommendations for further improvements. These will shape the final version of the toolkit, which will be launched in 2017.
Are you interested in attending FREE Youth Problem Gambling Training? The training calendar is now available on our Eventbrite pages
Or click on these links to training dates in your area:
Edinburgh & the Lothians: April 15th
Lanarkshire & nearby areas: April 19th
Dundee City, Angus, Perth: April 21st
Glasgow City & nearby areas: May 12th
Stirling & nearby areas: May 17th
If you would like to find out more, or have any questions please feel free to email Chiara, the Project Officer, at email@example.com