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EPIC renew education partnership with WHYSUP for 2023/24

EPIC Risk Management are seeking to improve upon a successful year of education delivery by launching another impactful programme of gambling-related harm and mental health awareness for the new academic term in partnership with WHYSUP.

The long-standing relationship between the two organisations – now heading into a fifth year – has been extended in light of positive reviews from the previous academic year regarding the level of awareness it helped to generate among students of secondary school age.

Together, they delivered 221 sessions across 158 state and private schools, for the benefit of 28,734. Among those who completed a post-visit survey, 88% of pupils report that they now have good or excellent awareness of the potential harms of gamblingwhile 93% say that they will gamble less or not at all after attending the sessions – a statistic that factors in any form of gambling among peers, given that most forms of betting remain illegal for under 18s.

The quality of delivery – based around EPIC’s unique and innovative selling point of using personal lived experience stories of gambling-related harm to help outline the message – also received positive plaudits. 92% of staff members surveyed were completely satisfied with the session provided by EPIC and WHYSUP, scoring it 9 or 10 out of 10, with 99% believing that the content was age-appropriate for the pupils.

EPIC’s programme coordinator Simon Wootton – who arrived at EPIC earlier this year, bringing a significant wealth of experience across primary, secondary and further education teaching – believes that excellent feedback from schools across the UK is a positive sign that the programme continues to deliver a vital message to the nation’s teenagers, explaining:

“Every year we look to ensure that the programme we deliver with support from WHYSUP continues to offer an even greater educational experience for the secondary school children in attendance, and once again we believe that we are experiencing year-on-year improvements in impact and awareness generation.

“One teacher wrote to tell us it was ‘genuinely one of the most positive reactions we have ever had to an external visitor’ while another said that their pupils were still discussing what they had taken from the talk two hours after it finished.

“It points to an educational method that works and we are delighted to be continuing our relationship with WHYSUP to bring the lived experience model to even more schools in 2023/24, ensuring that they benefit from our specialising in gambling-related harm and WHYSUP’s focus on mental health benefits for an age group that faces the many daily challenges of adolescence.”

Further teacher feedback included positive appraisal of the connections that the facilitators are able to draw between gaming and gambling, ensuring that pupils are aware that their popular pastimes can have unwitting mechanisms that draw them towards betting-related activity, not least in the form of loot boxes, which continue to be scrutinised and subject to further voluntary regulation within the UK, as they effectively make forms of gambling accessible to under 18s under current legislation.

Specialising in mental health discussions for school-age children, WHYSUP bring a crucial additional element to the holistic education offering, and are very happy to be further enhancing their partnership with EPIC.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with EPIC Risk Management for another 12 months,” said Mark Murray, founder of WHYSUP.

“When we first met Paul Buck [EPIC CEO] in 2019, one of the things he shared was his passion to educate young people. Through four years of partnership, we believe we have made a real difference working in this space.

“Our recent two-year state school programme has been a huge success, combining both organisations’ expertise of gambling harm minimisation and mental health.

“As we go into a new year of partnership, our primary focus is the same as it was in 2019: to make a real difference through collaboration and offer an outstanding education programme for young people.”

Secondary schools in both the private and state sector who wish to learn more about EPIC’s unique education programme are welcome to contact for further details.

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