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‘Back from the Brink’ – Gambling, Online Gaming and Behavioural Addictions

7 July | 2:15 pm - 3:00 pm

Sharing of personal, real and hard-hitting story/example of living with addiction.
– Providing insightful and impactful facts and figures around gambling and online gaming and why awareness and education is so important for young people and why this is no longer an issue that schools can ignore in safeguarding their pupils.
– Offering advice in how individuals can spot signs in themselves and others and where that help can be found/signposting help.
– Raising awareness and understanding of why young people are so vulnerable and what they can do to protect themselves and how others can help and play your part.

What will attendees learn? :
-Gambling and gaming are the fastest growing and potentially most devastating addictions.
-With 500,000 children, aged between 11-15, gambling weekly, and young people aged 16 to 23 three times more likely to develop a gambling or gaming problem, problem gambling and gaming amongst young people is a growing concern.
-In a digital age where 96% of our children and young people are thought to own a smartphone, gambling and online gaming has never been more accessible to young people, making it the fastest growing societal issue faced by our younger generation. -With links to low attainment, truancy, poor mental health, anti-social behaviour and, in the extreme, criminal convictions or suicide, problem gambling among young people is not something we can ignore and longer.

About Patrick

Patrick is a former professional cricketer, insurance broker and independent school teacher whose life was torn to shreds by his pathological gambling addiction. Despite his idyllic upbringing and incredible success as a youngster, Patrick’s life become monopolised by gambling from his University days onwards as he found making the transition from playing sport and into the real world a huge challenge. His gambling addiction brought him to the verge of taking his own life in March 2018.
The mist has lifted, and he has gained some insight into
the nature of the condition that was keeping him so unsettled for such a long time and the impact it has had on his life and that of his family.
A need has developed within him to share his journey with young people and their parents as well as those may be experiencing similar difficulties or who are unaware of the potential pitfalls and dangers of gambling and indeed now online gaming.
He is grateful for the opportunity to fracture some of the isolation that comes all too often with gambling addiction and many other manifestations of addictions.
The first step in change is acknowledging that there is a problem, what the problem is and then realising that you simply cannot deal with all your problems yourself. It is imperative that young people realise that admitting you have a problem and that you are not able to deal with it yourself is not a sign of weakness but of courage.
Issues around gambling and low-self-esteem are often so ingrained that we are not even consciously aware how they shape who we are and how we see ourselves.
This is why he believes it is important to share his story and experience as this can provide the identification needed in order to change and inspiring people to have the courage and confidence to reach out for help.
Patrick now works for an organisation called EPIC Risk Management. EPIC is established as the leading independent gambling harm-minimisation consultancy in the UK and Ireland, specialising in the identification and prevention of problematic gambling in high risk sectors.
In his talks Patrick will not only talk about gambling and the recent why the modern generation need to be so aware and are more vulnerable than ever but also the world of online gaming. He explores the increasingly blurred lines between gambling and gaming, helps young people recognise signs in themselves and others and explores the impact that these things can have on mental health and areas of life.


7 July
2:15 pm - 3:00 pm
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Patrick Foster, Former professional cricketer, insurance broker and school teacher