Gordon Moody Association was the first charity in the UK dedicated to providing help to problem gamblers and over its nearly 50 year history has evolved and adapted to continue to meet the needs of its client group in an effective and relevant way.
Our founder, the Reverend Gordon Moody, whilst working within Gamblers Anonymous, realised that many individuals, despite attending weekly meetings, were struggling with their addiction in between meetings largely due to the fact that they had nowhere to live or had very little support from others. Without a safe place to focus on their recovery it was very difficult to resist the urge to gamble and to start work on overcoming the addiction which was blighting their lives. Reverend Moody began by creating a hostel in 1971 in South London and called it Gordon House. Over the next few years experience of working in a residential setting with this client group developed into the unique therapeutic residential programme which is offered today.
In the late 1990s further accommodation was opened in Dudley, West Midlands to provide a residential service outside London and a purpose built site was created. This provided a 22 bed space facility, surrounding a landscaped garden with external spaces for counselling, support and communal areas for both therapy and socialising within the therapeutic community.
It was around this time in 1997 that Gamcare was founded as in independent charity to offer a helpline as the first point of contact for people worrying about problems with gambling.
A Gordon House service for women was introduced in Dudley in 2002 and lasted for 7 years until 2009 when funding was withdrawn due to lack of sufficient take-up. Although those women who used the residential service responded well and consequently re-shaped their lives without gambling, it was difficult for many women to access the service because of childcare and family commitments which prevented them from entering residential treatment which at that time lasted for 9 months.
Due to pressures on funding and following a review of the length of the programme the residential treatment was shortened initially from 9 months to 6 months in 2009 and a year later in 2010 to 3 months. 3 months is the current length of the programme, with an optional further relapse prevention programme for those who need more time to reinforce their behavioural changes. The number of bed spaces was also cut to reduce costs and there are now 9 beds in Dudley and 9 beds in Beckenham.
2004 saw the launch of a new online service, Gambling Therapy, created to meet the needs of overseas problem gamblers (those living outside Great Britain) which also provides an online service for Gordon Moody Association ex residents who required outreach support following treatment.
In 2007 the charity was incorporated as Gordon Moody Association and, following a period of financial uncertainty, the charity was restructured in 2011/12, the posts of Managing Director and Director of Therapeutic Services replaced the role of Chief Executive, and the current Board of Trustees were appointed.
Latest developments included the introduction in 2014 of a new women's service pilot combining short term residential treatment with one-to-one counselling to fill a gap in provision which has been long overdue. There is also an increasing emphasis on evaluation to provide evidence that what we do works and our annual Impact reports available to download from the website show some convincing statistics. Future plans include finding ways to open additional bed spaces to meet the increasing demand for our residential service and we are also increasing online support in other languages through our Gambling Therapy website. We know that the Gordon Moody Association residential programme meets an essential need for those people with a severe addiction to gambling and our aim is to continue to be here to help them.
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