It’s been another busy week here at Gordon Moody, all of our treatment programmes are running and we are helping men and women reclaim and rebuild their lives free of gambling addiction. 

The challenges of Covid have certainly made us think differently about how we offer treatment and our team have worked at pace to adapt and adjust to ensure that we have been able to continue to provide a service for those in need.

Our initiatives designed through the pandemic such as online pre-treatment support, ex-resident groups, family and friend groups and our online Retreat and Counselling programme will not be forgotten when life gets back to normal, and we will take the lessons we have learned forward to support our core treatment offer.

This happens in our treatment centres too; through our creative groups we are always looking at new ways to help our residents reflect on and express their emotions.

Beckenham Treatment Centre Manager David Hollingsworth and Support Worker Vanessa Golding provide an example in this week’s blog.

“When in doubt sew it”

For the past three weeks in Beckenham our residents have been getting their creative juices flowing in ways that couldn’t have been foreseen before they came into treatment. Under the watchful eye of our very own trained seamstress, Vanessa Golding, the guys have spent many hours using a needle and thread to make their own cushions.

What began as a tentative suggestion by a couple of residents to do some needlework in the Creative Group has mushroomed to be an ongoing project that takes up a lot of the guys’ down time around the house. Vanessa gained permission for a sewing machine to be bought for the house and it has been used pretty much nonstop ever since.

The uplift in wellbeing has been a sight to see around the house over the past few weeks. No complaints about boredom or having nothing to do in the afternoon, only the quiet hum of stitching with faces of concentration all round. Having an ongoing project like this has really added to the sense of purpose in recovery as a new interest is piqued which brings therapeutic value and a sense of calm reflection.

One of our residents has made a man inside a cocoon; representing how he himself had shut himself off from the world and but now the cocoon is slowly opening and the man is coming out of his shell “Sewing helps to sew memories and helps to process thoughts”. Being able to express himself through craft has helped to move his recovery forward.

Another resident has made a cushion with a star in its centerpiece. Having had no previous needlework experience it has been helpful for him to see what he can do and take the encouragement and enthusiasm of others to really go for it. “Sewing makes me relax and I feel SEW supported by Vanessa.”

All of this has taken place under Vanessa’s guidance and her own passion for the project and her knowledge of the therapeutic benefits of needlework. She said this week “I am qualified seamstress, but the residents didn’t know this when they first spoke about doing some sewing. I really enjoy sewing; I find it a calming and peaceful activity. It has been amazing to see the guys so readily buying into it and coming up with some outstanding work.”

Some more materials are on order and the plan is for the resident to make cushions for the lounge and one each for our nine bedrooms. There are also plans for a giant Gordon Moody patchwork quilt; a never-ending piece of work that future residents will be able to add to. Each resident can make their own design, and these will inspire the next generations to pick up the needle and thread themselves and discover, or even rekindle, a hobby that can do so much for their overall wellbeing.

As we will no doubt see over the coming weeks with our staff sunflower growing contest, the smallest of seeds can grow into the grandest of sights. With a project like this one there really isn’t an end to the growth, and we will have an ongoing legacy in Beckenham.


Let’s tackle gambling addiction together

I know for many affected by gambling harm this will have been a challenging week due to the Cheltenham festival.

Thousands of people will have enjoyed the event without harm but for those consumed by gambling addiction as well as their loved ones the week has the potential to be very damaging.

I would urge anyone concerned about their own or a loved one’s gambling to seek help. At Gordon Moody we provide innovative and affective treatment for those severely affected by gambling harm.

Please don’t suffer in silence, we are open, we are here to help, and we are still accepting applications for treatment, whatever the twists and turns of the COVID-19 regulations.

To apply for treatment at Gordon Moody visit or for more information call us on 01384 241292.

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