Sarah Gillen, GamCare – Member in Focus #56

Interview with Sarah Gillen from GamCare.

Tell us a bit about yourself and/or your organisation.

My name is Sarah Gillen and I am an Education and Training lead for an organisation called GamCare. GamCare is the leading provider of information, advice, and support for anyone affected by gambling harm. We operate the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133), provide treatment for anyone who is harmed by gambling, create awareness about safer gambling and treatment, and encourage an effective approach to safer gambling within the gambling industry.

Across Northern Ireland, we deliver a programme that provides education, training and support for Young People called The Young People’s Harm Prevention Programme in partnership with YGAM (The Young Gamblers Education Trust). This evidence-led, externally evaluated, and accredited programme aims to equip young people with the skills and resilience necessary to make decisions about their participation in gambling in the future. Giving young people the facts about gambling and gaming, plus building their critical thinking skills and digital resilience, is key in helping them make informed choices about their participation in gambling in the future and preventing further harms.

How well have you/your organisation adapted to the pandemic?

GamCare has continued to support its Young People through online 1-hour workshops and delivering accredited training to youth-facing professionals during the pandemic. We also have a dedicated information, advice and support website for young people,, and the Young People Service

How well have people/organisations in your area collaborated throughout the pandemic?
During the pandemic GamCare identified that the increase in the number of Helpline callers experiencing issues with online gambling. Through collaborative working with GamBan and GamStop we are offer anyone in Northern Ireland the opportunity to access TalkBanStop. TalkBanStop brings together an important combination of blocking software, self-exclusion and support. When used together we believe this blend of support and practical tools can be more impactful for people seeking to stop gambling, giving additional layers of protection from harm.

It all starts with a chat. Get in touch with a trained Adviser on the National Gambling Helpline: 0808 8020 133 for free confidential information, advice, and support. If you’re worried about gambling, talking to someone is your first step in guiding you to the support and tools that will work best for you. You’ll also be able to access a free Gamban license and we’ll talk you through the benefits of self-excluding with GAMSTOP.
Gamban is a type of software that will block your access to thousands of gambling websites and apps through your devices e.g. online casino, bingo, lottery. It is quick and easy to install, Gamban can be used on up to 15 devices. If someone is starting their recovery journey, GamCare also recommends self-excluding via GAMSTOP, UK self-exclusion scheme, so that you won’t be able to access your online gambling accounts or set up new ones for between six months and five years. The scheme will also make sure you don’t receive any further gambling marketing messages during this time.
Anyone over 18 can seeking treatment for problem gambling should contact Dunlewey between 9am – 11pm, if you require support outside of those hours then you can contact the GamCare helpline number for the help and support you may need.

What key needs are becoming apparent and/or are likely to arise this year?

The gamification of gambling is becoming prevalent in young people. Many games expose young people to loot boxes and/or downloadable content. Not only does this increase their chances of making progress in a game, but also, young people develop gambling behaviours through the satisfaction and thrill of purchasing a loot box.
For youth-facing professionals, being able to identify the signs of gambling related harms is paramount, as gambling remains a hidden harm in young people and they can experience harm for longer. Young people require gambling awareness education to ensure that they can make informed choices in the future and be able to identify the safe and unsafe behaviours associated with gambling.

ASK: What do you need, right now, that the members of Community Network NI and/or the wider community may be able to help you with?
What do you need, right now, that the members of Community Network NI and/or the wider community may be able to help you with?: As we are a relatively new organisation to Northern Ireland, we would like to continue to engage with as many youth-facing professionals and young people through our training sessions and workshops. Furthermore, we want to continue to promote the Young People Service and BigDeal website. To achieve this, we would like as many organisations to promote us through a range of social media channels, as this would help continue to raise awareness.
👋 If you would like to respond to this ask, please follow the link below and enter “GamCare” to the first field.

OFFER: What support are you currently offering and are you open to members of Community Network NI and/or the wider community making contact?

We offer free gambling awareness training to both young people and youth-facing professionals:

For professionals we offer: Free gambling awareness one-hour workshop for professionals who work with young people to learn more about the hidden harms associated with problem gambling or a three-hour CPD accredited Gambling Awareness and Brief Intervention Training.

For young people we offer: Free interactive workshops to help them gain awareness knowledge and skills to make safer choices around gambling, understand more about problem gambling, and ensure they know where to access support should they or someone they know need it.

The Young People Service: The Young People Service is for young people impacted by their own gambling, impacted by someone else’s gambling or family members and professionals worried about a Young Person’s gambling.

👋 If you would like to be connected to this offer of support, please follow the link below and enter “GamCare” to the first field.


Share This Post

Subscribe to our mailing list

Get updates directly to your inbox

More To Explore