Liz and Charles Ritchie collect MBEs

On 28 June, Liz and Charles Ritchie collected their MBEs, awarded in the New Year Honours List for services to charity and to families bereaved by gambling-related suicide.

Charles, a retired civil servant who was Head of Higher Education Research, and Liz, a former NHS consultant psychotherapist, lost their son Jack in 2017 at the age of 24 after he had been drawn into gambling on highly addictive machines while still at school.

Liz and Charles set up Gambling with Lives in 2018 to support other gambling-bereaved families, to raise awareness of gambling-related suicide, and to campaign for change.

“Thanks to the campaigning of the Gambling with Lives families, in April the government announced reforms that would never have happened otherwise. These awards are for all the bereaved families and all those they’ve lost,” said Charles.

Liz and Charles Ritchie, with their daughters Emily and Joanna, at Windsor Castle.

Liz added:

“We never wanted to be here, but we gratefully accept these awards as recognition of the families who walk with us to warn others about the dangers of gambling. Most of all, these awards mean the many who died, like our son Jack, have been seen.”

It is Liz and Charles’s daily work to support families bereaved by gambling-related suicide – the only charity specialising in this in the UK and (it seems) the world – that they have been awarded for.  Gambling with Lives now supports a large community of families dealing with the incredibly difficult time following the suicide of a loved one. This includes remembering and family events, help with legal proceedings, debt, and therapy.

As charity trustees, Liz and Charles work full-time on a voluntary basis.

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