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Theatre production will tackle youth gambling

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Warren Hughes on how a play will look at the perils of youth gambling

Fast Forward, a Scottish youth work charity promoting young people’s health and well-being through education, has announced a new peer theatre production for S3 pupils that raises awareness and poses questions on youth gambling.

Between March and May, Flutter - written by Duncan Kidd and produced in collaboration with Strange Town Theatre Company - will be touring over 70 high schools across 23 local authorities in Scotland.

Flutter explores the choices and questions around youth gambling by following the story of Jack and his friends, Ryan and Becky.

After suffering a sporting injury, Jack is exposed to various forms of gambling but does he or those that enable him to gamble understand what is at risk?

Gambling is being seen as a growing issue for young people in Scotland and the rest of UK.

Warren Hughes

Gambling is being seen as a growing issue for young people in Scotland and the rest of UK

Warren Hughes

Arecent reportfrom the Gambling Commission found that the number of children aged 11-16 that have spent money on gambling in the last year increased to 450,000.

The report found that 14% of 11-16 year olds in the UK have gambled with their own money in the past week, more than those of the same age that had drank alcohol (13%), smoked a cigarette (4%) or taken illegal drugs (2%).

Fast Forward has extensive experience of using peer theatre to raise awareness, educate and engage young people on such areas as substance misuse, knife crime, sexual health and parenting.

The Flutter tour follows the success of the No Knives Better Lives play, Balisong, co-produced by Fast Forward and Strange Town, which was performed to over 25,000 school students around Scotland and received national acclaim.

Alongside the Flutter theatre tour, Fast Forward are providing CPD sessions for pupil support staff at participating schools. These sessions include access to free gambling education resources for teachers to use in the classroom as well as information regarding gambling support services available to their students.

The Flutter tour and Gambling Education CPD sessions are both free for schools as part of Fast Forward’s new Gambling Education Hub.

The Gambling Education Hub was launched in autumn 2018, when Fast Forward was awarded £¾ million funding by GambleAware to further develop the existing gambling education programme, which has been promoting youth gambling education and prevention across Scotland since 2016.

Currently, the Gambling Education Hub is the only national gambling education programme in Scotland.

Its mission is to make it possible for every young person in Scotland to have access to gambling education and prevention opportunities. The project uses a harm reduction approach and provides tailored support to practitioners working with young people and parents in a variety of education settings.

If you are interested in having Flutter performed at your school or would like some more information, please contact [email protected] or phone the Fast Forward Office on 0131 554 4300.

Warren Hughes is a project officer for the Gambling Education Hub at Fast Forward.