Expert Link has been named by the responsible gambling advocacy charity GambleAware to co-design the national ‘ALERTS’ network.
For 18 months, GambleAware offered financing for ALERTS, an acronym for ‘Affected Lived Experience Study, Care and Support Network’. The community would consist of individuals with lived knowledge of damage to gambling.
The stated goal of the charity is that the organisation will be ‘sustainable and completely independant, including the longer-term recognition and application for its own funding sources.’
Equity, diversity and inclusion
In addition, the network will concentrate on equity, diversity and inclusion, for those who are part of disadvantaged or underrepresented communities, with membership drawn from around the world of living experience.
Although Expert Link organises the start-up process, ALERTS will be guided by its membership, which will decide the objectives and governance arrangements.
Expert Connection was selected because of its experience engaging with oppressed people and those who are socially stigmatized, as well as its awareness and understanding of group organising and social networking.
Once created, the network will seek to engage in the national debate and policy making process on the gambling sector and to influence it.
A single, inclusive network
Research Director Alison Clare of GambleAware commented: “We hope this new group will serve as a single, inclusive network that is representative of all people with lived experience of gambling harms across Great Britain.
“We know there are other lived experience groups already out there doing good work in this area, and this new group will fill any gaps and reach those who are harder to engage with.
“Our ambition is to see this independent network grow and develop so that it can help inform all aspects of the gambling debate, from policy and regulation, to research, treatment and prevention.”
In addition, as well as providing recommendations, the network will scrutinise current treatment programs and provide both GambleAware, the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) and the National Clinicians Network Forum with system-wide advice.
To be discussed by the network, three priority areas were identified:
- Ways to increase accessibility of treatment services by identifying barriers to entry;
- How to improve equity of access to treatment and ensure it is representative of all those who experience harm;
- Improving links between treatment services and other parts of the system.
Preventing and reducing gambling harms
Discussing the launch and goals of the network, Commissioning Manager at GambleAware, Ruth Champion said: “In order for us to ensure that the treatment services we commission are what people want and need, but also effective in preventing and reducing gambling harms, we must ensure the voices of people with lived experience are heeded.”
“The group is already contributing to existing work which builds on the peer support system which is available through the National Gambling Treatment Service. I welcome the establishment of this new group and look forward to working with them to develop further the treatment and support that people need for gambling harms.”
GambleAware recently held its eighth annual conference, featuring guest speakers such as Kate Lampard, Chair of the charity, and Nottingham North Labour MP, and Alex Norris, Shadow Minister of Public Health.