In August 2021, PayPlan launched a referral partnership with GamCare to help people that are struggling with debt to be able to access free debt advice. We started this project in Leeds and after a successful pilot, now all GamCare treatment teams can facilitate referrals across the UK. We are very excited to see how this partnership develops and to be able to help clients further who access debt advice through a GamCare referral.
GamCare is the leading provider of information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling harms. They operate the National Gambling Helpline, provide structured support 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.
Emma Gibbons, Vulnerability Lead at PayPlan, comments: “We’re delighted to work closely with GamCare to ensure that clients coming to us for help with their debts also receive the right support they need if they’re battling a gambling issue too. Through our relationship with GamCare, we’ve been able to develop appropriate pathways into debt advice and regularly carry out training to the wider financial services sector to help them ensure they’re up to date with the latest information and advice.”
At PayPlan we partner with GamCare, working closely with them to ensure a consistent, high standard of support is offered for anyone experiencing gambling-related financial harm. Individuals who gamble excessively can find themselves in financial difficulty, ranging from having to cut back on spending to being in debt.
Our partnership means that GamCare staff can refer these individuals to PayPlan’s Specialist Advice Team to receive free debt advice and upon consultation can recommend and implement plans to aid clients to get out of debt.
How our partnership has evolved
Throughout our partnership we have worked together closely on many projects to be able to develop our offering to our clients and provide a dedicated service suited to their needs.
In September 2019, Emma Gibbons, Vulnerability Lead at PayPlan joined the Gambling Related Financial Harm (GRFH) Project’s Steering Group. The aim was to bring together the banking, gambling industry, gambling support and debt advice sectors for the first time, to tackle the range of financial difficulties that can be caused by gambling, through the promotion of best practice support, better identification, and more effective customer support.
The key aims of the programme are to share knowledge, develop resources, and enable organisations to help affected clients as early as possible, so that harms do not escalate.
We have supported with content for the GRFH fact sheets for the debt advice sector so that all debt advisers would have access to resources and offer consistent support and signposting to clients affected by gambling harms.
A referral partnership was launched with the GamCare Leeds treatment service so that GamCare could refer their service users directly into our Specialist Advice Team. After a very successful launch we have rolled this out to all the treatment teams to cover Leeds, London, East Midlands, South East, Scotland and the Money Guidance Service too.
All PayPlan advisers have been trained and are able to warm transfer clients to the National Gambling Helpline to ensure that PayPlan clients are receiving gambling help if we recognise a need for this when they contact us regarding their debts.
We have also worked closely on collateral including the Money Guidance Service toolkit.
To continue to develop our partnership and provide help to both of our clients we work together on training and awareness sessions to keep information up to date for both our organisations, along with regular meetings to continually review and enhance our service offering.
Looking to the future
In September 2022, GamCare launched their Money Guidance Service, which is available to people engaging with GamCare’s service through their National Gambling Helpline and gambling support services. It will provide money guidance to help people understand their spending habits, help manage their budgets, recognise spending triggers, establish boundaries for them and suggest other changes they could make to help them get back on track.
Importantly, the service is also open to people who are affected by someone else’s gambling and will work with them to improve their own financial position. The guidance on offer could include how to extract their finances from the person gambling if needed, understanding their rights if in a relationship with a gambler and the specific support available and how to access it.
If you’re affected by any of the issues raised in this article or know somebody who you suspect is suffering as a result of gambling, contact GamCare on 0808 8020 133, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit www.gamcare.org.uk. Where debt has been accumulated as a result, they’ll be able to refer you to one of our experienced advisers to help them get their finances back on track. Find out more by visiting www.payplan.com/gamcare