February 11, 2021 3 min read

GambleAware Launches Lived Experience Network and Specialist Group

UK responsible gambling charity GambleAware announced two new initiatives this month: the appointment of an external organization to co-design a nationwide network of people with lived gambling harm experience and the setting up of a specialist interest group Affected Lived Experience Research, Treatment, and Support (ALERTS).

Nationwide Network of People with Lived Experience

GambleAware announced it selected Expert Link to design and deliver the entirely independent network of people with lived gambling harm experience across the country. Based on equality, diversity, and inclusion, the network will encourage membership from under-represented and marginalized communities.

“We hope this new group will serve as a single, inclusive network that is representative of all people with lived experience of gambling harms across Great Britain. We know there are other lived experience groups already out there doing good work in this area, and this new group will fill any gaps and reach those who are harder to engage with.”

Alison Clare, Research Director, GambleAware

Expert Link will perform as a facilitator for the start-up process in the network in which membership will set priorities and governance arrangements so that the group can become in time a meaningful participant in national debates and gambling policymaking.

“Our ambition is to see this independent network grow and develop so that it can help inform all aspects of the gambling debate, from policy and regulation, to research, treatment and prevention.”

Alison Clare, Research Director, GambleAware

The charity announced it already secured funding for 18 months for the new network, to give enough time for the initiative to gather pace and eventually become self-sustainable and completely independent, including identification and application for its sources of funding in the long-term.

The Voice of People with Lived Experience

The second initiative GambleAware undertook was the establishment of a new special interest experience group, ALERTS, for which the charity signed a grant agreement.

The group comprising of people who have undergone gambling treatment is not the first attempt of the charity to find the optimal treatment, following its initiative to provide an independent evaluation of existing treatment and support services in October last year.

“In order for us to ensure that the treatment services we commission are what people want and need, but also effective in preventing and reducing gambling harms, we must ensure the voices of people with lived experience are heeded.”

Ruth Champion, Commissioning Manager, GambleAware

Made up solely of people who have undergone treatment from the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS), ALERTS will seek to scrutinize treatment services and provide support for the services of NGTS via advice and guidance from the perspective of lived experience. ALERTS will also look to contribute to the National Clinicians Network Forum of the NGTS.

“I welcome the establishment of this new group and look forward to working with them to develop further the treatment and support that people need for gambling harms.”

Ruth Champion, Commissioning Manager, GambleAware

The program, which will be identifying ways to increase the accessibility of treatment services and will be serving as an independent advisor to GambleAware and the NGTS, have already been financially secured for a 12-month pilot by the charity organization.

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