Gambling Harms and Homelessness

Information, e-learning, support and signposting

Homelessness and Gambling Harm Toolkit – free resources and training

Simon Community Scotland is delighted to partner with Fast Forward to create a Homelessness and Gambling Harm E-Learning and Toolkit for staff who support people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. They are free for everyone to access and provide information about what gambling harm is, how it is linked to homelessness and how to support someone experiencing gambling harm. 

Take the course – Homelessness and Gambling Harm E-Learning 

If you are an organisation and would like to organise bespoke face-to-face training for your staff, you can contact Fast Forward who can facilitate this. Click here to sign up for their online training and webinars through The Scottish Gambling Hub. 

Find out more about our work on Gambling Harms and Homelessness

The relationship between gambling and homelessness might seem obvious, however, very little work has been done to look at this in Scotland. Gambling is rarely mentioned when discussing homelessness, even though it can contribute to relationship and family breakdowns, rent and bill arrears, domestic violence, debt and deteriorating mental health – all of which can lead to someone being asked to leave their accommodation.

Gambling harm is “the adverse impacts from gambling on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, communities, and society.” It is more prevalent among people with a lower income, and the gambling industry exploits this.

Our Project 

Since launching our Gambling Harms project in January 2023, we have focused on raising awareness and reducing the stigma of gambling harms by normalising conversations in our services through: 

  • Training staff online and in-person about gambling harm to increase their confidence in speaking about gambling
  • Hosting awareness-raising sessions in our group spaces and residential services with people we support 
  • Facilitating a Gambling Harm Drop-In Clinic in our Access Hub 
  • Organising events to share learning with organisations who support people experiencing gambling harm 
  • Co-designing resources with people we support who are experiencing homelessness and gambling harm to create an E-Learning and Toolkit for staff throughout Scotland who support people at risk of or experiencing homelessness and gambling harm 

Now, in 2024, we will be focusing on creating tailored pathways of support for women in our Connect Hub when it opens in the Spring.

  • We will co-design and develop this service beside women who will be using it.
  • We will be extending our Drop-In Clinic to Edinburgh and continuing to engage with people in our services and at support groups who are experiencing or affected by gambling harm. 
  • We will be promoting our newly created resources internally and externally across Scotland and continue to work with people and organisations to share learning, raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with gambling harm and homelessness. 

Free Treatment and Support 

Simon Community Scotland, in partnership with The RCA Trust, hosts Gambling Harm Drop-In Clinics in our Glasgow and Edinburgh hubs. People do not need an appointment to attend and can drop in for information about gambling harm, organise treatment for themselves or someone they know, pick up a leaflet or simply just have a wee chat about how to reduce their gambling.

Other support available includes;

  • The RCA Trust can provide one-to-one or group support that is person-centred and flexible to the person who is either experiencing or affected by gambling harm.
  • GamCare offers 6-8 sessions of CBT for people who are experiencing or affected by gambling harm which can be repeated after 3 months if required. Gamcare also offer support through WhatsApp, Live Chat, Forums and Chatrooms. You can connect with professionals or people who are affected by or experiencing gambling harm. 
  • Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step programme that hosts meetings daily throughout Scotland. They facilitate over 80 meetings every week that people experiencing or affected by gambling harm can attend without an appointment.
  • New Beginnings by Betknowmore UK – This is online women-only support providing a safe space for women affected by gambling harm. It provides structured group support by a team of trained Lived Experience facilitators over a specific eight-week period.
  • thrivin’ together –  A safe space for UK women impacted by gambling – led by women with lived experience.
  • GamBan – An easy-to-use application which blocks online gambling on all of your installed devices.
  • GamStop  – Allows you to self-exclude from online operators with one request.

Contact us

If you want to connect to talk about anything on this page, please contact:

Lauren Heaney, Policy and Practice Lead for Gambling Harm