Gambling Related Harm (GRH) has been high on the government’s agenda for some time. The Beacon Counselling Trust (BCT) has been putting the spotlight on protecting Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities (CALD). Research has shown ethnic communities in the UK are less likely to gamble than the overall population, but those who gamble are more likely to experience harm than those identified as white.
Beacon Counselling Trust and ARA Recovery for All (ARA) are leading a pioneering project, funded by the Gambling Commission, which will provide support at grassroots level in encouraging people to talk openly about the challenges of gambling and help work through some of the language and cultural barriers they face in getting the help they need.
Suhayl Patel is the BAME Gambling Harms Programme Manager at Beacon Counselling Trust and has been leading the strategy to raise awareness, engagement and in-community education and fundamentally increasing access to specialist treatment provision for members of our culturally and diverse communities.
We have made giant strides in the past year, despite the challenges of covid-19, by hosting the UK’s first ever South Asian community Gambling Harm conference in November 2020. This is in addition to our on-going collaboration with The Muslim Council of Britain, Lancashire Council of Mosques and Lancashire BME Network by engaging South Asian communities in the UK around gambling related harm. As a result of the growing influence of BCT in this area, we are pleased to have recruited an additional Community Connector, Abdullah Timol, who will be working closely with Suhayl across the North West of England.
BCT will soon be launching its highly effective ‘Bet You Can Help’ training programme, which has been designed to meet the needs of ethnic minority communities; we are also proud to make the programme available to be delivered in the main community languages of Urdu, Punjabi and Gujarati.
The programme recently achieved approval by The Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) as a registered Level 2 Accredited Award in Supporting Individuals Affected by or At Risk of Gambling Related Harms.
Suhayl has been inspired by the work of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation situated in North Melbourne, Australia who have been funding culturally and linguistically diverse organisations to address health inequalities in local communities.
Suhayl spoke to Grace Kilpatrick, a senior advisor at Gambler’s Help (Australia), via Zoom, who described the work in minority communities in Australia, which involved empowering local residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to understand the harms of problem gambling and be trained to be ‘champions’ of gambling prevention in their community. Grace has kindly introduced Suhayl to several community leads in Australia with a view to share international good practice and collaborate in developing their work within South Asian communities based in Melbourne.
ARA Recovery for All are working in partnership, on this two-year funded project, with Beacon Counselling Trust. ARA are currently recruiting for equivalent South West based BAME Community Connecter posts to extend this much need work in addressing GRH inequalities and engage the most vulnerable members within our society.
To learn more about this programme and / or other services provided by both BCT and ARA please go to: