National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms
Development of a Workplace Charter to reduce gambling harms in the workplace, through gambling education, support and referrals to treatment (Union Learning Fund, Unite, Beacon Counselling Trust, ARA)
We have a a lot of interest from several organisations about the Workplace Charter with a range of organisations, employers, Local Authorities and Health bodies declaring an interest. These organisations include: Blackburn and Darwen, Carlisle Council, Sellafield, Oldham Council, Stockport Council, Copeland Borough Council, Liverpool City Region, Knowsley Council and Health and Wellbeing Board Collaborative, Medway Council and more recently North Lincolnshire Council. The project is also about to complete the development of a Kitemark to support the charter to recognise those organisations that pledge to commit to addressing gambling related harms in their workplaces and communities. The charter pledges have also been translated into Welsh for use with our partners located in Wales.
Beacon Counselling Trust with its partner Unite the Union were very pleased to have conducted an online Fringe event on Tuesday 14th September with both the TUC and Unite both signing the Workplace Charter to Reduce Gambling Harms and in doing so pledging to support over 5 million members. This continues the Workplace Charter work to engage employees and organisations in supporting their workforce concerning gambling related harms. This event includes the launch of two resources that BCT have supported and aided in the development of.
The first concerns an online Harmful Gambling e-Note, which takes around 15-20 minutes to complete and acts as an awareness raising resource.
The second resource is the TUC Harmful Gambling Toolkit. The toolkit references that the one-day Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) certificated course for union reps around tackling gambling-related harms is now provided by Beacon Counselling Trust and ARA. These materials build on the continued workplace agenda and raise the profile of the benefits of employers and organisations signing up to the charter.
This is a collaboration between Unite the Union, the Beacon Counselling Trust and ARA, that provides a framework for action to help employers and trade unions build good practise in health and work-related activities, with the specific target of reducing gambling related harms within the work place.
Through adopting a minimum set of standards, the Charter provides practical, evidence-based ways in which employers and trade unions can support and promote the health and wellbeing of their workers experiencing (or at risk of experiencing) gambling related harms.
At the heart of the programme is the newly developed RSPH First Aid (Level 2 Ofqual award) in supporting individuals affected by, or at risk of being affected by gambling related harm, called BET YOU CAN HELP (BYCH).
This new qualification, evaluated by GREO (now incorporating the DON’T BET YOUR LIFE ON IT TOOL KIT ) provides candidates with an understanding of the nature and the impact of the concepts of harmful gambling and gambling related harm and enables them to identify and to signpost affected individuals to sources of reliable information, advice, guidance and support through services delivered via the NGTS.
In the first nine months of the programme the BYCH programme has trained over 500 individuals, with commitments from over 80 employers, with more than 100,000 employees now under the cover of the Charter. Major employers like Wigan Council and Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Trust were amongst the first organisations to sign up and we have other major organisations such as the TUC in the process of sign off.
The collaborative working of the programme between Unite, BCT,ARA, the Royal Society of Public Health, along with PGS and the DBYLOI tool kit and GREO, is an excellent example of the partnership working developed through the National Strategy for Reducing Gambling Harms, that will support many thousands of individuals in the work place over the years to come.
The Workplace Charter project was commissioned in mid-2020 and has achieved significant progress in its first 6 months, with over 60 employers covering over 10,000 workers covered by the Harmful Gambling Workplace Charter. Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust signed up to the Harmful Gambling Workplace Charter on the 25th November. The trust provides health and wellbeing services for a population of around 1.8 million people and employs over 6,300 members of staff. The Royal Society of Public Health and BCT have confirmed a partnership agreement to develop the first Ofqual accredited Level 2 qualification in supporting those affected by gambling harms. BCT has agreed a research evaluation partnership with Gambling Research Exchange Ontario, Canada.