GMA Weekly Blog 19th June 2020

Published: Friday, 19 June 2020 by Dunc

For some of us at GMA this week there has been a return to some kind of normality, after 3 months we have been able to bring in new residents into our newly refurbished treatment centre in Beckenham. This service is much needed as we also hosted our 500th unique participant in our virtual groups which have been running throughout the lockdown period. These groups have been immensely popular and a great support to our ex-residents and those getting in touch with our service for support. They have also helped us to understand the issues that have arisen during lockdown for those affected by gambling. Speaking to the BGC recently CEO Matthew Hickey stated that cases of a severe nature have increased massively amongst problem gamblers during lockdown with many presenting with mental health issues, other addictions, trauma, isolation and in many cases suicide ideation. Matthew identified the “perfect storm” lockdown has created with many problem gamblers anxious about the return of live sport and re-opening of land-based betting establishments as a potential challenge for GMA and other treatment providers in the coming months. We are in conversations with a number of organisations to strengthen our support offer to meet the needs of an increase in demand. 

Beckenham re-opens 

This week has seen the re-opening of the Beckenham service after lockdown. We have been very proactive during the shutdown of the service too, completing a full refurbishment of the rehab facility. With newly decorated room and fresh new communal areas, the site has started welcoming in residents as we carefully work towards opening fully, whilst also keeping residents and staff safety at the forefront of what we are doing. For those who would like to take a look at what our newly improved premises looks like, here is a video link  

In the same vein, we have just started working on refurbishments at the Dudley Recovery House, to best utilise the opportunities Covid-19 has presented to us. We are working towards creating the best environment we can for our service users, making our centres homely and as conducive as possible to continued recovery. 


For those of you that follow us on social media you will have seen our message urging people to seek help if they are worried about there gambling and to not get drawn back in to bad habits now that sports such as premier league football and horse racing events such as Royal Ascot have returned. For many the return of sport will be a welcome one providing entertainment and a distraction from the current situation, many of us at GMA too are looking forward to cheering on our teams again now that the football season will be concluded. 

For some however this will not be the case and the return of sport coupled with the re-opening of betting establishments will be a challenging and potentially dangerous time so please reach out for support if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one. 

News reports on the state of the economy as a result of the Covid-19 measures also leave us in no doubt that there are tough times ahead for many financially too. It is important to remember that gambling should be for entertainment only and never a way to get out of financial difficulty, again if you are concerned please reach out for help Gamcare who run the national gambling helpline have also teamed up with other helpline providers under the hashtag #readytotalk to raise awareness of the support available. You can also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.  

 ¡Saludos desde Latinoamérica! 

Or “Greetings from Latin America!” This week our Gambling Therapy team along with members of our senior management attended SBC’s Latin America Digital Summit. This was our first appearance at a “Virtual Conference” and what a great opportunity it was! To be able to promote our services to an audience half way around the world, at an event that we would not have been able to attend in person was a game changer for us, especially as we receive so many calls to our international helpline from this part of the world. The team did a fantastic job creating a visually stunning virtual stand with lots of information available to help raise awareness and widen the conversation about safer gambling and gambling harm. We attracted a lot of interest and met with many organisations with whom we hope to build strong and meaningful collaborations. We will also be attending SBC’s North America Digital Summit next month and we look forward to updating you on events stateside soon. 


Finally, this week we have recently welcomed a few new members of staff to our team here at Gordon Moody. Here’s a short introduction from each of them: 

John Gani 

Hi, my name is Johnny. I started with GMA on the 8th June. I have come over from a clinical setting within a substance misuse rehabilitation centre where I specialized in direct therapy for clients. My background was originally construction where I was also able to use my skills to help homeless people struggling with addiction. I did this by setting up and managing a project from scratch which is still successfully running today. It started with a small fund from the Treasury, but today it has no problems as a charity getting funded for its continued work. 

I am looking forward to being part of GMA and what it will achieve in the coming weeks, months, and years moving forward.  

Sian Fallon 

Hi, my name is Sian and I am 2 months into my position as a residential support worker within the Gordon Moody Association. I have previous experience of adult care work, supporting individuals with disabilities and mental health issues and working in a homeless hostel. I was eager to join Gordon Moody after seeing what they do and wanted to be a part of an amazing charity offering something that is unfortunately not as common as it should be, help for problem gamblers.  

Michelle Everitt 

Hi my name's Michelle. I started in April in the HR team. I have over 30 years’ experience of people management, 25 of those in HR. I have worked in various industries which have provided me with a breadth of experience and ideas for managing and engaging people. I have a genuine passion for addiction recovery and am grateful for the opportunity to merge this with my professional skills. 

To apply for a treatment place at GMA visit or call 01384 241 292 

For international, multilingual support for anyone affected by problem gambling visit or download the Gambling Therapy App. 

Thanks for reading, stay safe! 

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