Lee Willows: it has been a privilege to lead this amazing charity

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Lee Willows has confirmed that he will depart his position of founder and chief executive of the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust at the end of this month.

He has held the position for more than seven years after setting up the charity with Anne and Keith Evans in 2014 following their experiences with gambling-related harms. 

YGAM has lauded the “significant growth” experienced during Willows’ tenure at the helm of the charity which looks to educate and safeguard future generations.

Willows explained: “It has been a privilege to lead this amazing charity for seven incredible years. With the endless support and dedication of my co-founders Anne and Keith Evans, I have been on an extraordinary personal journey, and I feel extremely proud of what we and the staff team have achieved together.

“In 2014, I was determined to use my experiences of gambling harm to create a positive force for good and focus our efforts on evidence-led education and prevention.

“We have since developed a portfolio of award-winning programmes that are now helping to safeguard young people in every region of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

“As YGAM is entering its third strategic cycle, the timing is right for me to step down. This is a special charity and one that has exciting plans for the future.

“I will always passionately support the exceptional staff team and I look forward to seeing what they can achieve next.”

Helen Martin has been appointed chief operating officer and will take on additional responsibilities until a new chief executive has been recruited. The independent board of trustees will be announcing further details on the recruitment process in due course.

Mike Wojcik, chair of YGAM, added: “On behalf of the board of trustees and the staff team, I would like to thank Lee for the tremendous efforts and passion that he has devoted to the charity. 

“Lee has achieved so much for this sector and has established an organisation that is making a real difference.  

“He leaves the YGAM in the strongest position to continue our progress and achieve our mission to educate and safeguard future generations.”