Gambling addiction is a growing concern worldwide, with an estimated 1-3% of the population suffering from a gambling disorder. In the United Kingdom alone, there are estimated to be over 430,000 problem gamblers, which significantly impacts individuals, families, and communities. To address this issue, EPIC Global Solutions, a leading independent gambling harm minimisation consultancy, joined forces with Chelsea FC Foundation, the charitable arm of one of the world’s biggest football clubs, to concurrently deliver gambling harm awareness education to five schools in the same geographic area. This case study delves into this unique partnership and how it aims to raise awareness and prevent gambling harm among young people.
Chelsea FC Foundation has a long-standing commitment to using the power of football to promote social inclusion, health, and education in the community. By collaborating with EPIC Global Solutions, the foundation aimed to extend its reach and impact by addressing the prevalent issue of gambling harm and mental well-being among young people as part of their ‘Chelsea Champions’ initiative.
The partnership between EPIC Global Solutions and Chelsea FC Foundation had several objectives. The main goal was to prevent and minimize gambling harm among young people. The specific objectives were:
- To raise awareness of the risks and consequences associated with gambling among young people.
- To educate young people on the signs of problem gambling and how to seek help.
- To equip young people with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about gambling and understand it’s relationship with well-being and mental health.
- To promote responsible gambling and encourage young people to gamble responsibly, if at all.
- To create a sustainable model for delivering gambling harm education in schools.
EPIC Risk Management and Chelsea FC Foundation worked closely to develop a bespoke program as part of the wider ‘Chelsea Champions’ initative. delivering gambling harm education in schools.
As part of the ‘Chelsea Champions’ initiative delivered by the official charity of the leading Premier League football club, five EPIC facilitators joined the bill alongside Chelsea FC Academy players and Chelsea FC Foundation coaches to deliver an afternoon of mental health and wellbeing workshops at secondary schools across the south-east of England.
The EPIC quintet all made journeys to schools regularly served by the foundation. All five, who have lived experience of gambling harm, shared their back story with the teenage audiences present, speaking alongside Chelsea’s potential stars of the future, with a handful at each school explaining their story of how they broke into the game and some of the challenges they have had to overcome throughout their school days. Of particular note on the day was the contribution of attacking full-back Noah Hay, who returned to his former school, Chelsea Academy, and was able to relay the benefits of being part of the Chelsea Champions programme and other projects delivered by the Foundation while he studied there.
There was also time for some welcome football activity at each of the venues with sports facilities, thanks to the Chelsea FC Foundation coaches teaming up with the Academy players to put on fun sessions for the pupils.
“It’s great to be able to utilise and work alongside EPIC, using their real-life experiences, which I think has really touched and brought a lot home to the students,
The facilitators spoke really well and passionately, and I think anything like that that adds that extra value.
Speaking to a lot of the young people, I think it has raised a few eyebrows and hopefully that’ll encourage some positive conversations, raising the importance of talking and knowing who to speak to and share those problems.
We have an officer that works full-time in the school, so hopefully EPIC’s message can encourage those positive conversations to keep going in the schools.”Jonny Drabble, senior project officer for the ‘Chelsea Champions’ project delivered by Chelsea FC Foundation.
The collaboration between EPIC Risk Management and Chelsea FC Foundation has set a powerful precedent for delivering gambling harm education to young people. By joining forces, the two organizations were able to use their expertise and resources to raise awareness, educate, and prevent gambling harm among young people in a specific geographic area. The success of this partnership has not only impacted the students who attended the workshops but also the wider community. It serves as an excellent example of how the private and charitable sectors can work together to address social issues and create a positive impact on society.