Lived Experience Programme 2020/21

It is well demonstrated that the meaningful involvement of those with lived experience is crucial at all levels of service delivery, policy and legislation formation, research, and civil society discussion and debate.

GambleAware is keen to ensure that the early intervention and treatment services commissioned are what people want and need, and are effective in preventing and reducing gambling harms; ensuring the voice of people with lived experience is heard is key to that.

There are two strands of work in GambleAware’s ongoing Lived Experience Programme:

  1. Facilitating the initial development phase of a special interest group for people who have been through treatment for their own gambling harms.
  2. Collaborating on establishing an inclusive GB-wide membership network for all who have experienced gambling harms.

1) Special interest group

This group has been established as the parallel governance structure to the National Clinician’s Network Forum which is part of the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS). It is for people who have experienced harms associated with gambling and/or gambling disorder who have been in treatment. The group will meet on a regular basis and will be attended by those who have lived experience from across a range of treatment providers. Its longer-term aims are broad and will be shaped by the membership; initial priorities are to:

  • Increase access to treatment services by identifying potential barriers to access
  • Increase the diversity and representativeness of people accessing treatment services
  • Improve links between treatment services and other parts of the system
  • Play a clear role in the scrutiny and accountability mechanisms for the National Clinician’s Network Forum.

This is a specific interest group. If you have been through treatment, and would like more information about taking part, please email contact@gambleaware.org, and your inquiry will be forwarded to the group (prior to establishment of their own inbox).

2) Inclusive GB-wide membership network

GambleAware is collaborating with communities of people with lived experience of gambling harm to identify the demand for and views about having an independent and neutral provider to deliver a GB-wide network of people with lived experience of gambling harms. This will be an all-embracing and inclusive network for everyone and anyone with lived experience. These communities include existing specialist groups, individuals, and groups and individuals who are currently invisible and are therefore not currently represented.

At the moment, there is no singular network which is representative of all people with lived experience of gambling harms. The network will be representative, sustainable, accessible, diverse, and accountable. It will determine its own priorities and governance arrangements. GambleAware will not be predefining what the network will look like: this will be defined by the community.

Before any work takes place, GambleAware is linking up with key stakeholders and organisations with experience of gambling harms. It is a priority to keep everyone informed of the direction of travel, listen to community members’ ideas, and develop communication channels.

If you would like to be involved in this inclusive network’s formation, please get in touch by emailing jay@gambleaware.org. You must have lived experience of gambling harms to be involved. We will respond as soon as we are able.