The Victorian Government is continuing to support people at risk of gambling harm, investing in a localised support project across the Latrobe Valley.
Reclink Australia has been selected to deliver the $600,000 Latrobe Valley Gambling Harm Prevention Project, which will deliver community sports, arts and recreation programs to people at risk of gambling harm, including those who may be experiencing social isolation and poor mental health.
“Our work with people at risk of gambling harm is critical to fulfilling our mission to use sport, art and recreation as ways of supporting people and communities who need it,” said Dave Wells, CEO, Reclink Australia
Community voices will play an important role in developing these programs, with locals who have lived experience of gambling harm sitting on the project’s steering committee.
Reclink Australia will work with key stakeholders in the region to deliver programs aimed at raising awareness of the risks associated with gambling to people aged 16 years and older. These programs will complement current services and investments.
The project will build on Reclink Australia’s existing partnership with the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, supporting people negatively affected by gambling, and those most at risk of gambling harm, through community activities.
“The project will engage Latrobe Valley community members most at risk of experiencing gambling harm, social isolation, and poor mental health to create greater social connectedness, improve health outcomes and raise awareness of the risks of gambling,” said Shane Lucas, CEO, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
A recent evaluation by the Centre for Sport and Social Impact at La Trobe University found 79 per cent of participants in Reclink activities who had experienced gambling harm reported it had lessened as a result of their participation.
Existing Reclink football and cricket leagues in central Victoria have successfully brought together diverse service providers and community groups to support other communities experiencing disadvantage.
The funding for this project is part of the $153 million the Government has invested in the Foundation, which is one of the largest commitments to address gambling harm in Australia.