Robert Mabbett, our Director of External Engagement, wrote an article for the Gambling News ICE 2023 supplement in the Metro newspaper on Wednesday 8th February 2023. The full article is shown below.
STRONGER TOGETHER – RAISING AWARENESS OF SAFER GAMBLING
The theme of this year’s ICE London event is Stronger Together which could not be more apt when referring to the ongoing challenge we face to raise awareness of safer gambling and reduce gambling harms.
Gordon Moody is a charity founded over 50 years ago by the Reverend Gordon Moody himself. Mr. Moody had already introduced Gamblers Anonymous to the UK in the 1960s after noticing the gambling activities of some had led to difficulties in their lives. These weekly groups were a great support to many who were either suffering with gambling issues themselves or affected by the gambling of a loved one. It became apparent to Mr. Moody that despite the groups being effective for the majority of those that used them, there was a contingent of people whose circumstances had become so desperate as a result of gambling that something more than a weekly group would be needed and so Gordon House, as it was first known, opened in South London in 1971.
Originally set up as a hostel for men made homeless because of gambling addiction, Gordon Moody today helps 100s of people each year reclaim and rebuild their lives free from gambling addiction through specialist residential and retreat programmes. As part of the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS), Gordon Moody provides treatment programmes for those severely affected by gambling addiction. Our 14-week residential programme for men provides intensive support in a safe space where access and exposure to gambling is removed allowing the client to immerse themselves in their treatment and benefit from the support of their peers. Over the years additional programmes have been added such as recovery housing for those not yet ready for fully independent living post treatment, our hybrid Retreat & Counselling programme which combines short stay retreats and online therapy for those who cannot access the residential programme, treatment for those with complex needs and multiple addictions – in collaboration with addictions treatment provider Adferiad – and in 2021 we launched a pilot of a bespoke residential programme for women. Such has been the success of this pilot, the service is now a permanent part of our treatment offer.
Gordon Moody has helped 1,000s of people recover from gambling addiction and has provided hope for many when they saw no way out. It is not an exaggeration to say that for many the treatment at Gordon Moody has been lifesaving. From the first phone call through to post treatment support, our dedicated team are with you every step of the way. Our vision is to help those most affected by gambling addiction to access the right treatment, in the right place, at the right time – but we cannot do it alone.
Recent figures from the UKGC have shown a reduction in the prevalence of gambling harm in the UK and at Gordon Moody we have seen an 80% increase in people accessing treatment this year. We see this as cause for optimism and that more people in need of treatment are able to access it. Events such as the award-winning Consumer Protection Zone at ICE are vital in bringing the sector together to raise awareness in safer gambling and reduce stigma in seeking help.