Topics for this month:

Mental Health Awareness – Free Resources

Virtual College have a range of free resources for Employees to help develop and promote strong mental wellbeing. Resources include: Activity Tracker and Planner; Work-life Balance Tracker; Warnings Signs Assessment; Stress management and many more.

Young People and Gambling

The Gambling Commission submitted its annual report last week focusing on young people and gambling for 2018. 2,865 young people aged 11-16 took part and results show that:

  • 14% of 11-16 year olds had spent their own money on gambling, which is up from 12% in 2017 but still lower than rates seen prior to 2017
  • This compared to 13% who had drunk alcohol in the past week, 4% who had smoked cigarettes and 2% who had taken illegal drugs
  • The principal forms of gambling are placing a private bet for money with friends (6%), National Lottery scratch-cards (4%), fruit/slot machines (3%) and playing cards for money with friends (3%)
  • Just in the last week it was discovered that nearly 90% of the pubs across England that were tested, failed to prevent children from gambling on their fruit machines. These are businesses that are not gambling companies but nevertheless have a duty to protect young people from being harmed.

Knife Crime – The Knife Angel

There were 40,147 knife offences in the 12 months ending in March 2018 in England and Wales, a 16% increase on the previous year and the highest number since 2011.

A memorial has been designed by the artist Alfie Bradley, to those whose lives have been affected by knife crime. Alfie has created the ‘Knife Angel’ single-handedly at the British Ironworks Centre from 100,000 knives which were surrendered and collected during nationwide amnesties in 2015/2016.

The Knife Angel is a national monument against violence and aggression to highlight the issue’s impact of people’s lives. The sculpture has been placed outside the Liverpool Cathedral and will be there until 31st January 2019. The latest figures record more than nine hundred serious crimes involving knives on Merseyside last year.

Awareness of Forced Marriage

It is estimated that approximately 8,000-10,000 forced marriages of British citizens take place every year often resulting in devastating long term consequences for the victims. The following online course has been developed with the Forced Marriage Unit of the Foreign Office and aims to raise awareness, challenge perceptions and inform you of the correct actions to take should you suspect someone is at risk.

Find the course here:

Citizens Advice
Citizens Advicepreviously known as the Citizens Advice Bureauis a network of 316independent charities throughout the United Kingdom that give free, confidential information and advice to assist people with moneylegalconsumer and other personal problems. Research conducted has found that 4 in 5 of citizen’s advice clients felt stressed, depressed or anxious and 3 in 5 clients felt their physical health decline as a result of their practical problem.

There is a growing body of evidence which shows that tackling practical problems through advice can considerably improve ‘health and wellbeing’. The national citizen’s advice impact research project reports that 70% of clients said they felt less stressed and 46% said their physical health improved after seeking advice. Of other citizen’s advice clients experiencing long-term conditions, 57% said they were able to manage their condition easier resulting in a better quality of life.

Further information can be found at:

Did you know?…

The Citizens Advice can offer advice on the following: Debt and money; family Law; benefits; health; housing; work; immigration and consumer rights.