GambleAware has launched its ‘Lived Experience Council’ (LEC), formed of victims of gambling harms who will provide ‘first-hand advice’ on the development of the charity’s activities, programmes and strategic objectives.
A directive of its new ‘Organisational Strategy 2021-2026’ – the Council was established to provide GambleAware teams with tacit insights on the lived experience of gambling harms.
GambleAware noted, “the Lived Experience Council builds on our commitment to ensuring its approach is collaborative and best placed to support the communities most in need.”
Members met for their first session last week (Friday 2 December), during which they elected Ben Howard as first Chair of the LEC.
A peer-support volunteer for addiction recovery, Howard is studying to become a qualified counsellor. He is currently involved in research related to gambling stigmas and focus groups for workplace training and in the LGBT community.
Howard will serve a two-year term in office, leading a council of 10 members with lived experience of gambling harms, including those who have been affected by other people’s gambling.
Zoë Osmond, GambleAware Chief Executive, said: “Our new Council is further evidence of our proud commitment to engage with the gambling harms community. With the imminent publication of the White Paper and subsequent regulatory reform, this is a crucial time for GambleAware’s strategic development.’
“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.”