Dame Rosie Winterton, MP for Doncaster Central and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, has praised the work of YGAM co-founders Anne and Keith Evans, congratulating them for their unstinting commitment to help improve awareness of gambling and gaming related harms.
After suffering for over two decades with a gambling addiction, Anne Evans’ son Alan tragically committed suicide in 2010 at the age of 40. Since then, Anne has worked tirelessly to help educate others on the potential consequences that gambling and gaming can have, co-founding the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) a national charity which is now collaboratively delivering a £10 million national education program which aims to reach over 3 million young people.
Speaking on the tenth anniversary of Alan’s death, Rosie Winterton, who served as a Minister in the government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “It has been an absolute honour to have worked with Anne and Keith over recent years. I have so much admiration for their bravery in the face of personal tragedy and their commitment to helping others is incredibly inspiring.
“Anne and Keith are very wonderful people whose kindness and concern for others is a beacon of light. I strongly believe that their work shaping the magnificent YGAM charity, which safeguards young people from gambling and gaming-related harm, will have saved lives and I am very proud to count them as friends.”
Reflecting on the past decade, 86-year old Anne, who in 2016 was nominated to receive an NHS National Award for Excellence in Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “I am determined to make sure other mothers and families do not have to experience the hurt that I did. I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has listened, supported, and hugged me over the past 10 years. You have helped make a mother very proud.”
YGAM’s chief executive, Lee Willows, added: “Anne and Keith Evans have been involved in YGAM from the very start and have seen the charity grow, develop and mature to where it is today. I see the grief Anne, Keith and the family still experience ten years on and take great pride and comfort that we are collectively using our experience in a positive way, engaging with a wide range of stakeholders including many from the gaming and gambling industries, to work collaboratively in order to minimise harms. Anne, Keith, Alan and the wider family are always at the forefront of our minds and are consistently remembered in everything we do.”