GambleAware unveils launch of Lived Experience Council
The leading charity that commissions research, prevention and treatment services to help create a community free of gambling harm, GambleAware, announced the launch of its new Lived Experience Council (LEC). Last week, the leading charity unveiled additional details regarding the new Council, which will help shape its long-term plans.
Ultimately, the LEC is expected to bring invaluable knowledge and guidance for GambleAware's future work. The Council members include people with lived experience of gambling harm, as well as people affected by other people's gambling.
Having a unique set of members that have seen the devastating impact of gambling firsthand will significantly help GambleAware. The experts a part of the council are expected to deliver unique insights, guidance and advice which will help GambleAware with its future strategic growth and development programs.
According to a statement released by GambleAware, the Lived Experience Council has 10 members. The charity explained that the "term of office is two years and it can be renewed once." Earlier this month, the LEC had its first session which helped elect its first Chair. At the same time, the LEC gave advice for different programs and activities by GambleAware.
Ben Howard, an expert that is passionate about raising awareness of gambling harm and breaking the stigma about gambling was selected as the Chair of the LEC. Currently, Howard is in the process of gaining the necessary qualification for becoming a counselor.
Before joining the Council, he was "involved in tackling gambling stigma research, as well as focus groups for workplace training, LGBT community, and has been involved with BBC for a file on 4 radio around the criminal justice system," GambleAware explained.
Leanne Downie is another member of the Council. Her professional background includes Crohn's & Colitis UK charity. In addition to GambleAware's council, she is currently the Head of Support Services at Betknowmore UK.
David Quinti and Mark Conway, two founding members of the GLEN – Gambling Lived Experience Network and experts in the field of raising awareness have also joined the LEC.
Sam Starsmore, the head of Education Delivery at the Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), as well as Nicola Jaques, a project worker for the Six to Ten project, are also among the members of the LEC. Additionally, Steph Shilton, Jas Bindarh and Suhayl Patel, all of which who have a rich background and have helped tackle gambling harm and addictions are members of the Council.
GambleAware's Chief Executive, Zoë Osmond, said on the topic: "Our new Council is further evidence of our proud commitment to engage with the gambling harms community." She explained that amid the expected review of the Gambling Act and the future reforms, the LEC will play a pivotal role in the development of GambleAware.
Osmond added: "It's imperative that the voices of those with experience and expertise in this public health crisis guide our future path." In conclusion, GambleAware's Chief Executive said: "My heartfelt thanks to our new Council members, and we look forward to working with you all on our mission to prevent and tackle gambling harms."