On Saturday 2nd July, a group of women and their families will take to the streets of London and will walk across seven iconic London bridges on the Bridge To Freedom walk. The charity walk is to raise awareness of the support available to women facing gambling addiction. The walk is a follow-up to last year’s inaugural walk and signifies getting to the other side and freedom from addiction.
The walk is raising funds for Gordon Moody, who are the UK’s only charity dedicated to providing treatment and support for those most severely affected by gambling addiction. Gordon Moody have been saving lives since 1971 by providing recovery in a safe and supported environment. The funds raised will mean more people will be able to reclaim and rebuild their lives, free from gambling addiction. Female and male specific programmes are offered in a safe and supported environment, providing the most effective therapies, intervention, and counselling possible.
Whilst there has been growing visibility of women reaching out for help, there is still work required to ensure that women get the right support, right treatment, and right environment to deal with the range of complex issues that need to be tackled in helping them address their gambling addiction. Gambling is the hidden addiction. Hidden further within that is the story of women gamblers and women who are affected by others.
Bernadette Gilham, a mother of a compulsive gambler said:
“I am delighted to join the Bridge to Freedom walk in July. I hope to catch up with friends I made on the walk last year.”
Lisa Walker had gambled for most of her life and ended up losing everything, including her home.
“At the age of 45, I started my recovery through Gamblers Anonymous, and never looked back. I now support people with gambling addiction and have set up a group called New Beginnings. I also work with BetKnowMore and I have great opportunities. Life without gambling is good.”
Tracy Madlin, an ex-Gordon Moody service user, is one of the organisers of the walk. She said:
“Gordon Moody let me be me. They gave me the tools to live a life without judgement, and with empathy and understanding. Light shines from within. Sharing is caring and we are never alone.”
Stacey Goodwin, aka The Girl Gambler, is a fellow ex-Gordon Moody service user and has gone on to document her recovery on social media, her TikTok channel alone has over 101,000 followers. Following her successful completion of treatment at Gordon Moody, Stacey has remained gambling free and has dedicated her time to raising awareness of the issue of gambling addiction in women. Her recent book, titled ‘The Girl Gambler’, is the story of a young girl’s entrapment in gambling addiction. The true advert for problem gambling and how it controlled her every movement, her every thought, and almost took her life. Stacey said:
“You can get better, you can break the cycle. No matter how long you may have had your addiction, it’s NEVER to late.”