In a Foreword to GambleAware’s Strategic Delivery Plan for 2018/20, chair of the board of trustees Kate Lampard CBE explains the need for more funding for Research, Education and Treatment.
Trustees published a five-year strategy in November 2016,and committed to reviewing progress annually to ensure that our commissioning and grant-funding plans continue to be relevant and appropriate to our charitable objective of helping to reduce gambling-related harms in Britain.
The purpose of this document is to make clear our strategic priorities for the next two years. In Britain, it is estimated that 430,000 people have a gambling problem and another two million are at risk of developing one. This is a public health issue that requires a broad array of organisations to work collaboratively to help reduce gambling-related harms.
The fact that fewer than 2 percent of problem gamblers are receiving treatment represents a significant gap in the provision of specialist services. With nearly 400,000 11 to 16-year-old children gambling weekly in England and Wales (including 25,000 defined as problem gamblers), there is a need for significant investment in education and harm-prevention activity. And further evidence is needed to increase understanding and ensure what we and others deliver makes a positive difference.
We welcome the Gambling Commission’s review of the current arrangements for funding Research, Education and Treatment (RET). We hope it will lead to an increased and more reliable source of funding for our commissioning of the core elements of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy, and will allow for additional, innovative contributions from other third sector and government bodies.
Our priority is to ensure that sufficient core funding is raised through the current voluntary system and is strategically allocated in accordance with the priorities set by the Gambling Commission, as advised by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board. We would welcome additional funding towards RET as a whole, and we are excited by the prospect of working alongside, and in collaboration with, the multiple organisations it will take to deliver this at greater scale. However, our essential task is to ensure the core requirement is delivered, and to set the standard for quality across all three areas of RET.
In the last two years, we have demonstrated our independence, strengthened governance arrangements, increased capacity, and sharpened our focus.
We now have a solid foundation to deliver our commissioning plans more efficiently and more effectively.
The goal is to close the gap between the number of those getting treatment and those who need it by increasing the range, quality and quantity of early interventions and treatment, and by preventing people from getting into difficulty in the first place.