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New FiMT Award: Swansea University awarded funds to better understand levels of gambling in ex-Service personnel

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded Swansea University £279,503 to undertake the first ever UK survey to understand and explore the levels of gambling participation and attitudes to gambling in ex-Service personnel.

International evidence reveals a hidden gambling problem among ex-Service personnel but there is a lack of relevant data as to the nature and extent of gambling problems in UK Armed Forces Service-leavers.

This two-and-a-half-year study aims to identify how ex-Service personnel may be more vulnerable to developing issues with gambling than the wider population, and estimate any resultant healthcare costs by exploring the relationship between financial management and mental health problems.

Participants in the project will complete self-report questionnaires addressing their personal demographics, financial problems, social and mental health problems, and gambling attitudes and behaviour.

For those who complete the survey online there will be additional questions posed covering whether they have gambled using technology and where the gambling took place. Further questions will be put forward surrounding registration with online betting companies.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “The public perception of ex-Service personnel can be quite negative, and includes a tendency towards excessive gambling and other addictive behaviours. This ground-breaking study by Swansea University will provide credible evidence of the actual levels and nature of gambling among ex-Service personnel; it will present an understanding of whether they are more prone to excessive gambling than the rest of the population, and if so, will identify what type of support is required to those in need of it.”

Professor Simon Dymond, Swansea University, said: “We are delighted that FiMT has chosen to fund this important work. The public health challenges posed by problem gambling are growing, and we hope that this research, whatever the findings, will help start a conversation about the need to potentially assess and understand problem gambling in former members of the UK Armed Forces in greater detail.”

The study will be conducted in collaboration with researchers at Anglia Ruskin University, Bangor University, Veterans’ NHS Wales, University of Ulster, EPIC Risk Management, and the Swansea Centre for Health Economics.

-ENDS-

Note to Editor: Ray Lock is available for interview. To arrange please contact Tina McKay, Communications Officer at FiMT on co@fim-trust.org or on 07956 101132 or 0207 901 8916.

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships. All work is published in open access and hosted on the Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre’s Veterans and Families Research Hub https://www.vfrhub.com/. A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FiMTrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

Swansea University is a world-class, research-led, dual campus university. The University was established in 1920 and was the first campus university in the UK. It currently offers around 350 undergraduate courses and 350 postgraduate courses to circa 20,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The University’s 46-acre Singleton Park Campus is located in beautiful parkland with views across Swansea Bay.  The University’s 65-acre science and innovation Bay Campus, which opened in September 2015, is located a few miles away on the eastern approach to the city. It has the distinction of having direct access to a beach and its own seafront promenade.  Both campuses are close to the Gower Peninsula, the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Swansea was named ‘Welsh University of the Year’ in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017. The University is in the top 300 best universities in the world, ranked in the 251-300 group in The Times Higher Education World University rankings 2018.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 showed the University has achieved its ambition to be a top 30 research University, soaring up the league table to 26th in the UK, with the ‘biggest leap among research-intensive institutions’ (Times Higher Education, December 2014) in the UK.

The University has ambitious expansion plans as it moves towards its centenary in 2020, as it continues to extend its global reach and realising its domestic and international ambitions.

Swansea University is a registered charity. No.1138342. Visit www.swansea.ac.uk