UK gambling charity GamCare has announced the launch of a new toolkit aimed at financial institutions, gambling related businesses and debt advice agencies throughout the UK to offer additional support for customers who are experiencing gambling-related harm.
The toolkit will be available for free through the GamCare website, and will feature tailored materials dealing with banking, as well as debt advice. Speaking about the new technology, the CEO at GamCare, Anna Hemmings, said that it would empower front life staff:
“People struggling with gambling present in different ways and often opportunities are missed to provide the support they need. Ensuring that frontline staff are equipped to help and refer to appropriate support is a huge step in improving the outcomes these customers experience. This toolkit, with the support of businesses, charities and gambling operators themselves, is vital to putting those pathways in place.”
Among the tools are included details on core customer messaging, along with referral pathway guidelines that have been tailored to each sector, and further guidance on training staff to provide aid to customers who have been impacted by gambling harms. The toolkit provides advice on how to help users recognise, and support such customers, referring them to the relevant support services.
The CEO at Betknowmore, Frankie Graham, said that financial harms can have serious consequences for individuals who gamble along with those who have a financial connection with them. Mismanagement of finances can then lead to a host of problematic issues, ranging from being unable to manage daily functions, to the rise of mental health challenges. He added that these problems had to be addressed through cross-sector collaboration and expertise sharing and that his organisation was delighted to support the GamCare project.
The toolkit will represent the first time that representatives from a number of industries have come together with the aim of addressing gambling related financial harms in a joined-up way. And it is just one part of the charity’s ongoing key objective of raising awareness and wider knowledge of gambling harms and associated addictive behaviours within the work environment. Earlier this month, GamCare announced the opening up of a consultation to business HR teams looking for advice.
The Head of Financial Inclusion and Vulnerability at HSBC, Maxine Pritchard, said that this was a challenging time for manty customers and those who were struggling with gambling were particularly vulnerable. She said that the bank was proud to have collaborated on developing the toolkit and that it would form part of their training program, as well as being incorporated into the bank’s internal policies and procedures on gambling harm. She added that they had already put in place many measures to help those affected by gambling harm and that the toolkit was another positive step.