Ygam launched their new strategy at a Parliamentary Reception earlier this week, attended by MPs, Peers and a broad range of stakeholders.
Around 90 guests attended the event in the Houses of Parliament including representatives from Government, regulators, academia, charities, trade associations, and local authorities.
The reception was hosted by Damian Collins MP, the minister responsible for gambling in 2022 and the Chair of the DCMS Select Committee for three years between 2016 and 2019. As a passionate proponent of the prevention of online harms, the Conservative MP opened the event with a speech that praised the charity for the important work it does to safeguard children and young people.
This was followed by a speech from Mike Wojcik, Chair of the Ygam board of trustees for the past six years and also Chief Executive of Queen Mary’s University London Student Union. He said: “I’ve seen the organisation grow and mature, and I couldn’t be prouder of where we are today. This year has been a transformative one for Ygam; we have defined our purpose, identified our unique remit and expertise, and worked to better understand the need so that we can offer the most effective programmes and services to those who have influence over the lives of young people, to enable them to safeguard against harm.”
MP’s and Peers from all political parties attended the reception to show their support for the charity, including Deputy Speaker Dame Rosie Winterton and Lord Clement-Jones. Organisations connected to the research, education and treatment of gaming and gambling harms were represented, as well as individuals with lived experience.
Ygam Chief Executive, Dr Jane Rigbye, addressed the reception outlining the charity’s new vision, mission, and ambitions. She said: “The digital world offers huge opportunities, but with those opportunities come risks, particularly for young people who live in an increasingly digitised world. We have a clear purpose, we deliver evidence-based programmes, and we are focused on understanding and continuously improving our impact.”
Dr Rigbye was clear on the important role of education saying “We want to ensure that universal education and prevention is seen as an essential part of the public health response to gambling and gaming, and that it is adequately funded over the long term. Ygam are here to demonstrate that delivering effective prevention education to all young people is achievable, worthwhile, and will save lives.”
Shadow DCMS Minister Jeff Smith MP closed the event with a keynote address, calling for the Government’s White Paper to support education and prevention. He said “It is absolutely vital that the White Paper gives a clear steer on funding for those in the sector, and we must also recognise that funding should not be limited to treatment provision alone. We need to be focused on preventing harm as well as tackling it when it has been able to develop. That is where charities like Ygam really come into their own, and part of the Government’s responsibilities in this White Paper is to address the concerns around the sustainability of their services and provisions.”
The new strategy reiterates Ygam’s focus on educating children and young people aged between 7 and 25. After appointing an independent facilitator to lead the strategic development process, Ygam has engaged with a diverse range of stakeholders and staff to develop a strategy which brings clarity and purpose to the future direction of the organisation.
The strategy outlines Ygam’s plans for the next three years and is a rolling strategy that will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis. This will enable the charity to adapt to the rapidly evolving context in which it operates, and to deliver its vision and mission beyond 2025. Ygam have committed to reporting on progress on a regular basis and intend to publish an annual impact report, and an annually refreshed strategic implementation plan.
Ygam also launched their new branding at the event which sees the charity change its logo, colours, and style. Daniel Bliss, Director of External Affairs at Ygam said: “The charity has evolved significantly since 2014 so we felt our branding should reflect where we are now. The new strategy was the perfect opportunity to refresh our look and we’re confident our new branding will to enable us to connect effectively with our audiences.”
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