At the end of September, we tricked Stacey Goodwin, aka The Girl Gambler, and asked her to visit our head office for a meeting. Little did she know that she was actually there to be surprised by ITV Central News and find out she had won the East Midlands Pride of Britain regional fundraiser award for her work raising money for Gordon Moody.
But let’s back up a bit first. At the beginning of September, we were contacted by ITV Central News to tell us Stacey had been nominated for the award. We arranged a filming session with Stacey and Jane Fahy, our Retreat & Counselling Service Manager. The recording took place at our women’s residential treatment centre and both Stacey and Jane were interviewed for the nominee segment.
Speaking to ITV News Central, Stacey said:
“When I went through my journey, I started at 18 and I didn’t tell anybody for years because I thought gambling was a male thing which affects males. I shouldn’t be an 18-year-old girl suffering from gambling addiction.
“I am three years clean of gambling now. I needed a woman to sit and talk to, to just say how I felt and to just give me some help and that’s exactly what I found at Gordon Moody’s retreat.
“I felt so much shame about what I was doing.”
Stacey has gone on to become an advocate not only for Gordon Moody but for helping other women going through the same issues. She has over 115,000 followers on her TikTok channel, The Girl Gambler, and her honest and open posts help people across the world know they are not alone, and that they can rebuild and reclaim their lives free from gambling addiction.
After being nominated, Stacey said it was the proudest moment of her life so far, but little did she know that things were going to get even more exciting. We invited Stacey to attend a meeting at our head office to discuss her ongoing work with Gordon Moody and Epic Restart Foundation. Little did she know what was in store for her …
ITV Central News presenter Pablo Taylor was hiding ready to spring the surprise that she had won the regional award and would be progressing to the main Pride of Britain awards, where she would get to meet and mingle with the invited celebrity guests, walk the red carpet and hopefully come away with the main award.
A group of colleagues came into the meeting and started talking about Stacey’s nomination and then a knock on the door changed everything. In walked Pablo with the award and Stacey muttered the classic line, “Shut up!” when she realised what was happening. It made for a wonderful segment that night with the presenters commenting on her classic reaction to the surprise.
As part of the segment Stacey said:
“Thank you so much, you proper got me! This is the best single greatest achievement from where I was.
“I can’t explain what it means, it’s hope to every single person who got as low as I did, to say look what you can do, you’re not a bad person, you can get better”
Stacey was selected as the winner by a panel of judges included ITV staff and multiple gold medal winning gymnast Joe Fraser. He said all of the nominees were winners in his eyes and it was a difficult choice, but he was really happy with the final choice.
We are incredibly proud of everything Stacey has achieved and we know she will go on and shine like the diamond she is at the main awards. Thank you for all the work you do in supporting Gordon Moody and raising awareness of women’s gambling related harm and treatment.
Gordon Moody are the UK’s leading charity dedicated to providing support and treatment for gambling addiction. We help people reclaim and rebuild their lives through recovery in a safe, supported environment.