As 2023 draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on the past year and look towards the changes that 2024 will bring for Gordon Moody. Our Clinical Director, Dragos Dragomir, reflects:

What a year it has been

If I could choose one word to describe 2023 for Gordon Moody, it would definitely be ‘change’.

Probably the most important change is that of our CEO, Matthew Hickey, leaving the organisation after four years. During Matthew’s tenure, Gordon Moody has grown its treatment capacity from 120 to 260 a year, and the visibility of the organisation at a national level has increased.

Also during Matthew’s tenure, we opened a new women’s residential treatment centre, implemented a dedicated treatment pathway for those living with complex gambling and other addictions or mental health co-morbidities, and have secured a long term contract with GambleAware to deliver our services.

Changes to the core team

2023 saw Rob Mabbett, our Director of External Engagement, leave Gordon Moody after five years, during which time he contributed enormously to putting us on both the UK and international maps. Showing us as an organisation whose voice must be heard in the space of support and treatment for gambling-related harms.

Over the year, our executive team expanded to welcome a new Finance and IT Director, Julia Herdman; a new HR Director, Lucy Bennett; a new Commercial Director, Emma O’Reilly; and a new Director of Operations, Jon Murray.

They all bring an extensive array of experience and skills, which will help Gordon Moody reach a new level of quality and impact in the coming years.

Operational updates

In response to our service user feedback and needs analysis over the last few years, we have seen all of our residential services moving to a 24/7 staffing model. This provides a safer and more enhanced level of support for all service users accessing our residential treatment.

Sadly, we have seen our Beckenham and Manchester men’s residential treatment centres close during 2023. However, they will be replaced by a bigger, more modern 28-bed centre in Redditch that will open in 2024. Our women’s treatment centre moved into its permanent home in Wolverhampton, offering a 13-bed state of the art new facility.

Alumni and Affected Others

This year has seen the start of our new Alumni Project, aimed at developing a team of lived experience Gordon Moody alumni that will become an integral part of our service design and delivery, as well as the start of our new Affected Others programme – which aims to enhance the level and quality of support we offer to our service users loved ones.

Steps on our mission path

In order to make further steps towards our mission to be the benchmark for successful treatment for people who are most affected by gambling-related harms, we have developed a bespoke Competencies Framework for practitioners working in residential gambling treatment and we have developed a structured induction and training programme for our staff.

Furthermore, we welcomed the first official Quality Review this year, conducted by our commissioner GambleAware. The review concluded that Gordon Moody ‘delivers good quality services to its gambling service users, who were exceptionally complimentary about the treatment they have received’.

Service levels

What hasn’t changed is our passion for offering a safe, caring, and healing environment for those most affected by gambling-related harm, our ability to deliver the highest quality services for our service users, and the impact we have in helping people reclaim and rebuild their lives free from gambling addiction.

Almost 1000 people, more than any year before, applied to access our services in 2023. Almost 600 engaged in an assessment or brief intervention, with more than 200 entering our residential or retreat & counselling programmes.

The overwhelming majority of those engaging with our services saw a significant reduction in the severity of their gambling-related harm and a significant improvement in their psychological wellbeing.

We have also continued to work as part of the National Gambling Support Network, developing and maintaining services and referral pathways and ensuring people are able to access the right help, in the right place, at the right time.

As we move into 2024

From the beginning of 2024, the reigns will be taken over by Monica Shafaq, who joins the organisation as our new CEO. Her wealth of experience and dedication to the betterment of individuals’ lives align perfectly with Gordon Moody’s vision and mission.

We already know that 2024 will bring even more changes, from opening our new treatment centre in Redditch and implementing an entirely new clinical quality assurance process, to managing the transition to the new statutory levy commissioning model and aligning our model of care to the new NICE guidelines on identification, assessment, and management of gambling-related harms.

Powering ahead

We are ready to embark on the journey of 2024, with all the changes it will bring, whilst always remaining true to our mission and P.R.O.U.D. (Passionate, Respectful, Open, United, Dynamic) of all our colleagues at Gordon Moody, and all of the people who are entrusting us to be part of their recovery journey.


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