The Young Gamblers Education Trust (known as YGAM) is a UK Registered Charity with a social purpose to ‘inform, educate and safeguard young people against problem gambling or social gaming.’
Since YGAM was founded three-years ago, the charity has quickly established itself as the emerging leading education charity around gambling & gaming harm-minimisation in the United Kingdom. Last year alone YGAM worked with almost 28,000 young people and collaborated with almost 300 educational organisations (schools, colleges, universities and charities) to deliver their programme. YGAM have been fortunate to have amassed support from several corporate partners including Peridot Partners, where we have supported their social impact from day one.
Grant Taylor, Managing Director, Peridot Partners recalls ‘In August 2014, Lee Willows the founder of YGAM reached out to me following his own devastating experience of problem gambling which almost drove him to commit suicide however, what struck me about Lee is he had a deep resolve to turn what was a terrible experience in to something more positive. He asked me for help……..’
Over the past three years, Peridot Partners have been proud supporters of YGAM and have enjoyed supporting the charity grow and expend their social purpose. YGAM’s initial board were made up of a group of enthusiasts and we supported board members with their initial induction. However, it was becoming clear that Lee’s entrepreneurial drive, ambition and personal story was attracting a lot of interest in the charities social purpose. Following a comprehensive board skills audit in 2017 which Peridot Partners completed, using these results Peridot Partners then supported the charity by recruiting a new independent chair and new board members who epitomise a Modern 21st Century Board. 21st Century Boards are set up to spark ideas, support calculated risks and deploy the expertise of their members in a more expansive way to expedite the reaching of organisational objectives.
In the 21st Century, modern Board members are a diverse and challenging group of people, tough minded, shrewd and bring business insight. The Board has a good number of fast thinking, nimble and creative entrepreneurs present who can see opportunities, liven up the Boardroom and encourage different attitudes to risk. They stretch and challenge the CEO’s thinking and executive team performance. They not only scrutinise the organisation’s performance but are comfortable reviewing Board performance and reflecting on their own performance as a part of that team.
Lee Willows, Chief Executive, YGAM said ‘Without a doubt working with Peridot Partners has been a significant enabler for YGAM. The dynamics and productivity of our board has taken several leaps forward and it is pleasing to be working with such a talented group of people who have big ambitions for our charity. I perceived an influx of new board members and a new independent chair in to YGAM all at the same time would be a risk, however Grant Taylor reassured me and maintained positive engagement throughout the whole process. Having now had the opportunity to work with the new board over what is now almost a year, it has been the best thing for YGAM. Our governance, scrutiny and entrepreneurial outlook has significantly increased and more importantly we are looking forward with confidence and an assured resolve to deliver our charitable objects with conviction and maximise our social impact.’