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The Big Step scores RG partnership with Swansea City

| By Robert Fletcher
The Big Step, a football-focused gambling education project and part of the Gambling with Lives charity, has entered into a partnership with English Championship football club Swansea City.
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Under the arrangement, The Big Step and Swansea will deliver a community-based education, training, awareness and signposting programme.

People with lived experience of gambling harm will take part in the initiative, including Nick Phillips, a Swansea fan and recovering gambling addict who founded The Big Step.

“During 12 years of addiction, football failed to provide adequate warnings or the help that I so desperately needed,” Phillips said.

“This partnership will show how football can be a positive social vehicle in preventing and reducing gambling harms in its community through our education, awareness and signposting work.”

The Swansea City Supporters Trust and Swansea City Community Trust will also support the scheme.

Local MP Carolyn Harris, who also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm, has praised the project.

“I am delighted that the Swans, my local football club, are taking the issue of gambling-related harm seriously and is forming this important partnership with The Big Step,” Harris said.

“This programme will play a critical role in ensuring that young people are made aware of the real risks of gambling and gambling addiction.”

Swansea’s head of commercial, Rebecca Edwards-Symmons, added: “At Swansea City, our supporters and their welfare are at the centre of our values, so we were quick to pledge our backing to this project, which can help the lives of not just individuals, but their families and friends too.

“Aside from backing The Big Step, this season we have moved away from having a gambling company as our main kit sponsor, which allows our junior Jacks to proudly wear the same shirts as their heroes.”

The Big Step and Gambling with Lives are among the leading voices calling for a total ban on gambling sponsorship in British football, with both organisations having written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to take action.

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