GREATER Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has awarded £300,000 to 14 community projects across the city-region to help those adversely affected by gambling.
GMCA has awarded the money as part of its Communities Addressing Gambling Harms programme to support place-based and community-led initiatives to tackle gambling harms across Greater Manchester.
Gambling can have adverse impacts on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and society. This can include loss of employment, debt, crime, breakdown of relationships and deterioration of physical and mental health.
This work is backed by the Gambling Commission as part of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms and funded by a regulatory settlement with an industry operator.
The funding will support work that will take place in all ten of Greater Manchester’s boroughs and be a catalyst for organisations and partnerships to focus on gambling related harm in Greater Manchester whilst sharing knowledge and experiences.
The projects funded will work with a wide range of people, including veterans, ethnic minority communities, young people and more.
By funding these projects and working with partners GMCA is aiming to tackle inequalities and support community-led activities.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “Gambling can have a very serious effect on people’s mental and physical health. I’m pleased to be able to use our funding to tackle some of the issues that come from gambling in our communities.
“Funding these projects means that people across Greater Manchester will gain a better understanding of the dangers of gambling as well as benefit from additional support made available in the city-region.”
One of the projects funded will be run by Rochdale AFC Community Trust. The funding will help the Charity work with vulnerable and at-risk communities in Rochdale to promote understanding and awareness of gambling harm through social media campaigns and school and community mental wellbeing and education programmes.
Charlotte Griffiths from Rochdale AFC Community Trust said: “We’re delighted to be part of the network delivering project to help those adversely affected by gambling. I think we’re in a unique position as a football club, with football and gambling so often being intertwined. We’re really excited to integrate gambling education into new and existing mental wellbeing projects to tackle the risk factors associated with it, alongside supporting those who are currently being affected.”
Another of the projects funded will support Syngesis CIC to deliver a number of community led engagements and activities addressing the harm and stigma associated with gambling for men and women from Bangladeshi heritage backgrounds in Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside.
Abdul Malik-Ahad from Syngesis said: “We feel that this work needs to be grounded in the community in order to gain trust and engagement from the people we need to target. Our volunteers and community champions will co-produce a creative programme to raise awareness about gambling related harm within our diverse communities, many of whom have been badly impacted by the Covid19 Pandemic.”
Communities Addressing Gambling Harms is part of the Greater Manchester Gambling Harm Reduction programme which seeks to prevent and reduce gambling related harms across the city-region.
This programme includes activities to: build understanding of gambling harms, improve provision and access to treatment and support, develop preventative interventions and engage with local individuals and communities to co-design change.
You can find out more about the Gambling Harm Reduction programme and full information about the projects that have been funded through Communities Addressing Gambling Harms HERE