The Hub reflects on a year of remote working

April 1, 2021

The Scottish Gambling Education Hub’s Support Officer Alexa Armstrong shares how the team adapted to life in lockdown.

Well, what a year it has been! It has now been over a year since Scotland entered lockdown. In light of this, we thought we would share with you what this last year has looked like for us, and how remote working is shaping our future. Due to the emergence and rapid spread of COVID-19, the Hub had to quickly change the way we deliver our gambling education training to ensure that we could still deliver our key messages.

Training: Going digital

Our last face-to-face training session was held on 16th March 2020. As no one knew how long restrictions on face-to-face meetings would take, we knew we had to develop an online version of our training to continue to help practitioners working with young people.

Our Project Officers worked tirelessly to create an interactive and engaging 2 hour session that could be delivered online. One of the great things about our in-person training sessions was the interaction, through games and discussions. We had to find a way to try and replicate that, and we found that Mentimeter was just the tool. On 29th April 2020, we delivered our first online gambling education training session and it has gone from strength to strength! Since April, we have:

  • Delivered 111 online training sessions
  • Reached 1070 practitioners
  • Reached over 500 organisations across Scotland

We also started delivering sessions directly to young people on youth employability programmes. We have learned from the participants what works (and what doesn’t!) when delivering online education. The sessions have proved to be popular, and we have:

  • Engaged directly with 165 young people
  • Held 18 online gambling education sessions

We are continuing to evolve our programme, based on feedback from participants and emerging evidence. The feedback from our training sessions has been positive, but we are always looking for new ways to develop our portfolio and reduce gambling harm.

Changes to the Team

Not only did the Hub have to adapt to a new way of working, we also had a change in personnel. Our Project Manager, Chiara Marin, left for pastures new, and she was replaced seamlessly by our very own Project Officer, Warren Hughes. This left a gap to fill. Tina Reuter was successfully appointed as our new Project Officer, and has fitted into the team effortlessly. We also welcomed back our Project Development Officer Christina Dineen from her maternity leave.

Looking Forward

So, what now? We look to be heading out of lockdown and hopefully for the last time. What does that mean for how the Hub operates? Our online training has been very well received. As such, we are looking to develop a hybrid approach to continue our online sessions as well as getting out and about and delivering sessions in person again.

As you can see, it has been an eventful year but we have used it as an opportunity to further develop all of our skills and promote gambling education across Scotland.

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