GaMHive are a group of people affected by gambling harms in Greater Manchester – either directly, or as a result of a loved one’s gambling. In early August 2023, they held an event in Manchester to discuss gambling harms in Greater Manchester, how these harms can be reduced, and how lived experience can be used in achieving these aims.
Gordon Moody had a stand at the event and a team of four travelled to Manchester: David Hollingsworth – Lived Experience & Volunteer Lead; Debbie Geoghan – Gambling Therapist at our Manchester centre; Chris – current resident at our Manchester centre; and Paul – an ex-resident of our Beckenham and Dudley centres.
Setting the agenda
The day began with a series of talks from GaMHive members who spoke with passion and honesty about their experiences of gambling related harms. The event was chaired by Emily Beck, whose father had been affected by severe gambling harms, and featured first hand accounts of the devastating impact on individuals and their families.
One of the speakers was Naman Jawaid, who completed the Gordon Moody Retreat & Counselling programme, and who is now part of the GaMHive group. Danny Cheetham, who has campaigned for change within gambling establishments in Manchester having overcome his own gambling addiction, also spoke at the event.
Once the talks ended there was a carousel for attendees to work their way around and chat to the various organisations present, including Gordon Moody. Also represented were GamLearn, GamFam, Beacon Counselling Trust, and Gamblers Anonymous.
Meeting the attendees
There was lots of interest in our stand and it was also great to be able to network with the other organisations and come away feeling ever more connected to others in the field of rehabilitation as well as those working towards a safer gambling landscape.
Manchester leading the way
There is always more work to be done but Manchester is leading the way in raising awareness of and reducing the stigma associated with gambling related harms. Paul Dennett, the Mayor of Salford and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, closed the event and he spoke about the work being done to make Manchester a safer place where locals are less likely to be affected by gambling harms because of the measures put in place.
David Hollingsworth commented:
“It was a pleasure to share the stand with some of our Gordon Moody alumni and for them to be able to talk so eloquently about the journeys their recoveries have taken them on and the role Gordon Moody has played in that. Manchester in particular for Chris which was appropriate for the event’s venue.”