GambleAware Welcomes Three New Members to Lived Experience Council July 18, 2023 Mike Ashley

GambleAware Welcomes Three New Members to Lived Experience Council

GambleAware Lived Experience CouncilSummary:

  • The new members will have an advisory role in GambleAware’s gambling harms programmes
  • They hope to raise awareness about gambling harms and share their stories to help other people
  • The Council is comprised of people with direct experience of gambling harms and those belonging to affected others

GambleAware has welcomed three new members to its Lived Experience Council (LEC) who will help with the charity’s various initiatives to address gambling harm.

The council was unveiled in December 2022 in line with GambleAware’s commitment to engaging with individuals who have experienced gambling harm.

Lived Experience Council

LEC is comprised entirely of people with first-hand experience of gambling harms and individuals who are indirectly affected by others’ gambling issues. The council provides expert independent advice to GambleAware’s programmes, activities, and strategic development. It has a rotating observatory and advising seat during meetings of the charity’s Board of Trustees.

Membership of the council is good for two years and can be renewed once, extending to a maximum of four years. Those wishing to become a member must be 18 years or older, reside in Great Britain, have lived experience of gambling harms (or belong to the “affected others”), and must be more than six months in recovery (for those with direct experience).

LEC is led by Benjamin Howard who currently volunteers as a peer supporter helping others with their recovery journey. Howard said he’s excited to work with the new members, whilst underlining the importance of having diverse opinions within the council to make sure various communities are represented and listened to.

New LEC Members To Strengthen Work

The fresh additions to LEC include Steve Ramsey who previously worked with the Gambling Commission, The Howard League, and NHS Gambling Clinics. Ramsey is well aware of the devastating impact of gambling-related-harm as he experienced it first-hand. He is now six years into recovery and wants to share the lessons he learned along the way to help other people struggling with similar issues.

Joining alongside Ramsey is Megan Vanderson who experienced gambling harm at a young age. She sought help from Gordon Moody’s women’s residential treatment program which was launched in November 2021. Vanderson, who is under 25, has been in recovery since last year.

As one of LEC’s new members, Vanderson hopes to raise awareness of the stigma surrounding gambling harms in women and young people and help make a change by sharing her story. She said everyone has the right to be heard and seek help regardless of age, gender, race, or religion.

The third new member wishes to remain anonymous.

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