Merkur Group UK has announced its commitment to safer gambling by agreeing to support the latest phase of the Mindful Resilience Programme, pioneered by safer gambling charity YGAM. The programme is a pilot initiative which has been designed by psychologists and academics, health professionals and individuals with lived experience to enable healthcare professionals to access quality training on gambling and gaming harm in young people under the age of 25. The programme was endorsed by the Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Dr. Rosena Alin-Khan MP, who described it as “pioneering”.
The aim is to ensure that risks surrounding gaming and gambling harm are identified and given increased priority by training health care professionals who are able to engage with young people and encourage them to get the help they might need. Currently being piloted, the vision is to roll out the programme more widely after extensive evaluation.
In an official press release, Sascha Blodau, General Manager, Merkur UK spoke about the programme and said: "We are delighted to be able to play a small part in helping to fund an initiative that directs resources into helping to address such an important part of the safer gambling narrative. Our 360 Program, which we launched in September 2020 is dedicated to ensuring that all of our 2,500 UK staff understand what we mean by safer gambling and equipping our consumer-facing colleagues with the information and practical skills required to turn a philosophy into a deliverable."
"We have a strong working relationship with YGAM not least through the City and Guilds assured training of our 250 venue managers which they delivered. As a business, we feel strongly that Safer Gambling goes beyond just the connection that we have with our customers. Our view is that it should be a commitment that gambling entertainment businesses have to society at large. This training connects with the hearts and minds of health professionals, who have a powerful role to play in protecting young people and the vulnerable. We are delighted to play a small part in helping deliver this pilot programme."
Ian Shanahan, YGAM's Director Of Business Development and Fundraising, added: "We're delighted to receive this fantastic support and commitment from Merkur for the Mindful Resilience Programme. It is a crucially important programme in our portfolio and one that is attracting interest from the health sector. This support will help us continue to grow the initiative to increase its reach, profile and impact."
In March, Merkur UK underlined its community credentials by making a £5,000 ($6592) donation to the UK's Bacta Charitable Trust. The donation, which is part of the Gauselmann Group's Merkur Initiative program introduced to help support smaller community-based good causes, raised Merkur's charitable contributions in the UK to £1.25 million ($1.64 million).