In this post, we profile GamFam, a registered charity, set up by people who have experienced first-hand the devastating effects that gambling can have on family and friends.
GamFam are a registered charity that want to empower individuals and families to alleviate the impact of gambling harms and move towards a positive future. Members of GamFam have all suffered with significant emotional and financial consequences and have not known where to turn or what to do next. They are a group of people who have a common thread – they have all been affected by loved ones who have formed a gambling addiction.
Through their programme of work they offer hope to anyone affected by gambling harms and provide opportunities to share experiences in a safe space, without fear of judgement with others who have genuine empathy and understanding. They offer advice and support to those directly and indirectly affected by gambling harms through structured peer support and signposting to relevant partners and agencies.
GamFam are also involved in advocacy activities, raising public awareness and understanding of the early warning signs commonly associated with the development of a gambling addiction in order to promote early intervention and minimise harms.
GamFam offer support through GRA5P – The GamFam Recovery and Support Programme, a structured 5-stage self-help peer support programme which was originally designed to support those affected by someone else’s gambling. However, more recently, and in response to demand, GamFam have now developed a similar programme to support those directly in recovery.
The GRA5P programme delivers a strong support network so that group members can start to understand the devastating impact that gambling harms can have. It also offers guidance on how individuals, families and friends can help themselves, as well as practical suggestions for coping day-by-day and moving towards a more positive future.
GamFam members meet every Monday evening online Zoom. Meetings are hosted by trained GamFam facilitators and usually have between 8 to 10 members, with the option of 1 to 1 peer support also available. All facilitators have lived experience of gambling harms and have attended our in-house training, safeguarding training and the Suffolk Mind’s ‘Your Needs Met’ well-being training.
“It has provided me with a safe space to discuss issues related to gambling with people who understand what I am going through.”
“If I didn’t have Gam Fam, I would be seriously ill, both mentally and physically. I was totally unable to cope with my gambler.”
“It’s enabled me to process my own thoughts and think more clearly. For the first time in 2 years I’ve started to talk about my life living with an addict/addict in recovery. It’s like a weight has been lifted.”
“Being able to relate to others who have had similar experiences. Listening and being heard, sharing and learning. But most of all having support and people who genuinely care.”
To find out more about GamFam, and access information and support for parents, families and those who gamble, visit: https://gamfam.org.uk