CITIZENS Advice Hampshire has started a project aimed at helping to spot the signs of gambling-related harm early.

The Gambling Support Service is one of twelve across the country funded by a £1.5 million two year partnership with GambleAware.

The service will go out across Hampshire and other locations in the South East, and will train frontline staff at other organisations, such as councils, so they can help people get the support and advice they need.

Paul Bright, chief executive officer of Citizens Advice Hampshire, said: “Problem gambling can set off a chain reaction of issues and lead to debt, eviction, mental health problems and relationship breakdown.

“It not only spells trouble for those gambling, but for their family, friends and colleagues as well.

“This service means our frontline advisers can develop and share the skills necessary to spot signs of problem gambling early to help prevent the knock-on problems getting worse.”

GambleAware’s partnership funding comes after a successful pilot the charity ran with a local Citizens Advice in Wales.

Katie Fry, who ran the project and is now overseeing the rollout across England and Wales, said: “In two years we trained more than 2,000 advisers and volunteers to recognise gambling issues and help people to overcome them.

“I’m delighted the success of our project can now grow across the country so we can reach more people who may be at risk of gambling-related harm.”

A dedicated trainer will teach frontline staff how to identify anyone at risk of gambling-related harm and support them with the knock-on effects it can have, such as debt, work and housing problems.

The training will help them identify who’s at risk of gambling-related harm and how to spot the signs and symptoms.