March Newsletter

Stephen Bloor Newsletter

Welcome to the March newsletter.

Coming soon.
Training for all colleagues to update them on safeguarding. You can choose – on line via learner zone , or a webinar that you can book on. Steve will be running a number of webinars and you can book yourself on. Looking forward to this method of updating all colleagues.

This months theme is: Gambling.

Around this time last year, we noticed an increase in learner concerns of “excessive” gambling.
A recent survey (click here) found that over 62% of people have spent money on gambling activity with in the past 12 months. The percentage of these people that were seen to have problems as a gambler is low. However, with supersized lottery jackpots, upcoming horse racing events like the Grand National and Cheltenham around the corner. It may be a good opportunity to talk to your learners about the impact of gambling and “chasing a big win”.

Some questions for discussion could be:

Do your learners gamble?
What would they consider to be a “gambling problem”?
If they have an issue – where can they find support?

February Safeguarding Stats

There were
Learner Concerns

Information or low level

There were
Unresolved Concern

Moderate Level
Were reported to the relevant authorities

High Level

You can report a concern regarding a learner if you have any concern regarding their welfare or safeguarding.
We have had a number of concerns raised this month regarding concerns over a learners welfare after they are subject to disciplinary in their workplace.
While its not in our remit to be involved in such matters, we can refer them to ACAS, in order that they receive the best expert advice, and we can offer support through REMPLOY for learners who suffer anxiety in the workplace( often as a result of such issues).
You can see how to report a concern here
click here

Please ensure that you update Safeguarding of the outcomes to learner concerns so they can be closed.

Our concern levels are as follows:
Information – At present staff member is monitoring the situation
Low Level – Staff member presenting doesn’t require involvement from the Designated Person
Moderate Level – The concern may require input from the Designated Person
High Level – Staff member requires immediate action from the Designated Person

Current Total People Safeguarding Trends – February

Anxiety,depression, suicidal thoughts.
Mental Health

Around 70% of concerns raised are in relation to this issue.

Advice and Guidance

A great app that is always available if you have your mobile phone. It takes you through a series of “STOP, BREATH , THINK” activities. A 10-15 minute break in your routine helps you reduce your anxiety and get back on track.
Recommended for staff as well!!

A service offered to anyone who is in employment (and can be extended for learners who are in education but not yet in placement) offering 6 months support with face to face meetings and phone consultations. Expert advice and support strategies uniquely arranged around the individual.

Self Harm
Do you work with learners who self harm?

There has been a rise in reports of concern for learners who self harm. Some of these learners have significant issues of a long standing nature.

Advice and Guidance
Steve attended a days training course at the Countess of Chester ran by Cheshire West LSCB.

If you feel you would benefit from a raised awareness and support strategies around this issue, please let Steve Bloor know and he will arrange for extra training.


Are you a problem gambler?
Try this questionnaire: With “never”, “sometimes”, “most of the time”, “almost always”.

Do you bet more than you can afford to lose?
Do you need to gamble with larger amounts of money to get the same feeling?
Have you tried to win back money you have lost (chasing losses)?
Have you borrowed money or sold anything to get money to gamble?
Have you wondered whether you have a problem with gambling?
Has your gambling caused you any health problems, including feelings of stress or anxiety?
Have other people criticised your betting or told you that you had a gambling problem (regardless of whether or not you thought it was true)?
Has your gambling caused any financial problems for you or your household?
Have you ever felt guilty about the way you gamble or what happens when you gamble?

Score 0 for each time you answer “never”
Score 1 for each time you answer “sometimes”
Score 2 for each time you answer “most of the time”
Score 3 for each time you answer “almost always”
If your total score is 8 or higher, you may be a problem gambler


GamCare offers free information, support and counselling for problem gamblers in the UK.
It runs the National Gambling

Helpline (0808 8020 133) and also offers face-to-face counselling.

National Problem Gambling Clinic
If you live in England or Wales, are aged 16 or over and have complex problems related to gambling, you can refer yourself to this specialist NHS clinic for problem gamblers.
See if you meet the criteria for this service.
Self-help tips for problem gamblers

  • Pay important bills, such as your mortgage, on payday before you gamble
  • Spend more time with family and friends who don’t gamble
  • Deal with your debts rather than ignoring them – visit the National Debtline for tips

  • View gambling as a way to make money – try to see it as entertainment instead
  • Bottle up your worries about your gambling – talk to someone
  • Take credit cards with you when you go gambling
  • For more self-help tips, see the Royal College of Psychiatrists website.
    If you’re affected by someone’s gambling
    If you’re having problems because of another person’s gambling, it’s best to be honest with them about it. They need to know how their behavior is affecting you.
    Support is also available to people who are worried about someone else’s gambling:
    Local support groups for anyone affected by someone else’s gambling problem – find your nearest group.