In the United Kingdom, the GambleAware independent responsible gambling charity has announced the signing of a two-year and £1.5 million ($1.9 million) partnership that is to see it provide training to frontline debt advisors at Citizens Advice.

Partnership for England and Wales:

The London-headquartered organization serves as a commissioning and grant-making body and it revealed via an official Monday press release (pdf) that the deal will see it give Citizens Advice staff across nine regions in England and Wales the tools to better identify and support those who may be suffering from gambling related harm.

Arrangement follows Newport pilot:

GambleAware declared that the arrangement follows the completion of a six-year pilot program it ran in partnership with the Newport branch of Citizens Advice and is to moreover see its trainers give the charitable bureau’s counselors the skills to more effectively redirect those at risk to specialist help.

Duo to run regional training hubs:

Jane Rigbye, Education Director for GambleAware, stated that the alliance is to also see the pair establish regional hubs throughout the nation complete with staff set to be dedicated to providing training to frontline advisors in other professions such as healthcare.

Rigbye’s statement read…

“The debt advice workforce has an enormous role to play in supporting and reducing the likelihood of people experiencing gambling-related harms, as do many professions who come into contact with the general public on a daily basis. Encouraging and enabling staff in all public-facing settings to be aware of the possibility that the presenting problems could be related to gambling is key in helping to tackle this issue.”

Advice to deal with ‘practical problems’:

For her part, Gillian Guy, Chief Executive for Citizens Advice, proclaimed that gambling can have ‘life-changing effects’ and her organization will now work to help people ‘to deal with the practical problems that come out of this’ such as increased debts and relationship breakdowns.

Guy’s statement read…

“We are pleased to be partnering with GambleAware to develop services across England and Wales. These will help our staff make a real difference to people struggling with gambling.”