Case study: How Ypeople are tackling gambling harms

July 15, 2021

The Scottish Gambling Education Hub supports Scottish third sector organisations that work with young people and families to include gambling education and prevention in their work. Here, Laura Sharpe from Ypeople shares how she developed gambling education inputs in her own organisation following her training with the Hub.

About Ypeople

Ypeople is a Third Sector Organisation that helps people make positive changes in their lives across Scotland. We understand that we all have unique journeys through life. We respect this and we adapt what we do to meet people’s needs, whatever they might be. At Ypeople, we put the experiences of those we support first. We listen and work alongside those with lived experience because learning from those with first-hand experience is the best way to deliver the most effective strategies.

Our approach and delivery of services have been consciously designed to take account of the emotional needs of those we support, and promotes psychological safety for staff. All staff are trauma-informed practitioners and work within Psychologically Informed Environments. All aspects of our services, from physical environments to our recruitment and evaluation processes, are based upon the importance of our relationships with those we support.

Staff are supported to develop an understanding of the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of the people we support, to enhance how we build and maintain these relationships. We recognise where people are affected by trauma, as well as their unique strengths and values. Our people are trained to understand trauma, adverse childhood experiences and how these can impact on the ways in which the people we support experience their world and relationships.

How Ypeople developed gambling education inputs

Our approach builds on the knowledge and skills that staff and the people we support already hold and encourages a more reflective way of working. To this end, adopting a trauma-informed approach to justice and intersectional areas was a priority. Problematic gambling has arisen as an issue for the people we support across our services, with staff members requesting training and support within this area.

As the Learning and Development Lead for the organisation, I had to identify a way to provide this consistently across our services. I had previously attended Fast Forward’s Gambling Education training, and as such, I used the knowledge and activities contained within this to develop bespoke training internally utilising the knowledge, skills and supporting materials that I gained from attending.

We developed the course to provide awareness of gambling disorder amongst the people we support, and help identify signs/symptoms that could indicate gambling disorder and the impact that harmful gambling has.

We also wanted to ensure we had practical guidance on how best to manage a situation involving someone who is experiencing a gambling disorder, to allow staff to identify and signpost to the appropriate help and specialist support available for someone with a gambling disorder or others affected.

The training incorporates up to date statistics, information and videos accessed from Fast Forward’s website, ensuring content was current and relevant. Activities such as quizzes and the Empathy map have been received well by staff. With pre-training knowledge levels averaging 48% and post-training levels averaging 95%, the materials have clearly been beneficial, of use and impactful.

What Ypeople’s training participants say

‘At Gambling awareness training, we covered a lot of information about current statistics and awareness of ‘problem gambling’ and how this can be a silent and life changing experience for young people and adults who have difficulty managing this habit. We also discussed how other circumstances in life such as poverty, mental health, family history, financial unemployment, and normalisation in the sense that society recognises gambling broadly and it’s advertised in such a way that is positively endorsed with little knowledge of responsible gambling.’

‘I found this training brought together many separate elements in people’s lives that can easily be intertwined with other factors in someone’s life, and I believed this session to be very educational and interesting.’

‘Found it really interesting and beneficial – I have friends that have gambling issues, so this will help to support me to support them.’