Strengthening local networks to reduce gambling-related harm, with GambleAware

Strengthening local networks to reduce gambling-related harm, with GambleAware

Read about our work with GambleAware to support local partnerships to reduce gambling related harm

Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Flickr of artwork: Relief, Rhythms (1932) by Robert Delaunay

The GambleAware Mobilising Local Systems (MLS) funding programme aims to facilitate an integrated gambling-related harms (GRH) support system to better address gaps in identification, prevention and treatment. 

As the learning and evaluation partner for the MLS funding programme, the TIHR team is exploring how best to promote partnerships and collaboration between national, local and regional stakeholders. We are doing this via regular contact with National Gambling Support Network (NGSN) and non-NGSN providers and organising learning events.

So far, we have interviewed several GambleAware employees and NGSN providers in the ten regions/nations and hosted the first learning event on the 4th of June 2024. The learning event was attended by 25 regional/national board members. This included many local and national NSGN providers as well as representatives from local authorities, Citizens Advice, grassroots organisations, and the Probation Service. The boards aim to involve representatives from different sectors within their regional or national systems and are led by one NGSN provider.

Shared goals

These initial conversations have revealed a strong desire from MLS board members to learn from each other about how best to strengthen links with other non-NGSN providers, including the NHS, public health agencies, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations at the national, regional, and local levels. Members share the goal of raising greater awareness of GRH and establishing better prevention, referral, and treatment pathways. Many participants feel they can build on existing local partnerships but hope to strengthen and broaden these connections through further collaboration.


A common theme is that while progress has been made across the ten regions/nations, some boards have found it harder to build relationships with non-NGSN providers due to competing priorities and limited capacity. Additionally, even when new partnerships are established, it can still be challenging to coordinate meetings with people from different organisations.

Other issues include resistance in some regions to working with NGSN providers. Some members reported some overlap in the aims of the boards with other local initiatives or groups such as the recent establishment of Gambling Harms Groups in some local authorities.

Success factors

A key success factor in establishing strong partnerships is the ability of those setting up the boards to build on existing knowledge of, and links with, other statutory and non-statutory agencies. However, this process can be complicated by the size of the regions and complexity of local systems. Several attendees at the learning event highlighted the need to begin mapping the local system to better understand the GRH landscape and its regional and national connections with the wider system.

Overall, participants of the learning event saw it as a good opportunity to exchange and share experiences with other organisations, including non-NGSN providers.

What’s next

For future learning events, members expressed a desire to focus on the processes and activities needed to build successful partnerships and run their boards. They want to learn about effective strategies used in other areas and develop a consistent approach to monitoring and evaluating activities funded by the MLS programme.

The next learning event will be held in the autumn. In the meantime, we will warmly encourage board members to communicate with each other through the online platform, Basecamp.

Find out more about our research and evaluation service

Subscribe to our newsletter

The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations | 63 Gee Street, London, EC1V 3RS
hello@tavinstitute.org | +44 20 7417 0407
Charity No.209706 | Design & build by Modern Activity