Groundbreaking gambling harms campaign launches in Greater Manchester

A campaign for a unique information, training and support hub for everyone affected by gambling, Chapter One, launches across Greater Manchester today.

The campaign aims to drive people harmed by gambling to Chapter One’s website, which gives information on how to access protective tools and treatment options through a thought-provoking film.

It’s estimated that 18,100 people in Greater Manchester are directly affected by gambling harms, and that 1 in 15 people here are harmed when experiences of their children, friends and families are considered. This is 1.5 times higher than the national average.

Greater Manchester Police respond to at least one incident each week where serious concern has been raised of a risk of suicide directly associated with gambling.

“We want all 18,100 people harmed by gambling in Greater Manchester to see this campaign and access Chapter One,” said James Grimes, Head of Prevention at Chapter One, who was addicted to gambling for 12 years.

“Our campaign is designed to cut through the noise to deliver support to everyone who needs it, all while challenging the systemic issues that cause gambling harms. One of the keys to my recovery from addiction was the knowledge that gambling can be extremely addictive combined with a positive example of life after gambling. Chapter One offers both and I wish I’d seen this when I first struggled.”

“Our mission is for Greater Manchester to be a place where no-one experiences gambling related harms”

Paul Dennett, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester

Created by those with personal and professional experience, Chapter One gives the facts on the causes and effects of gambling harm, free from gambling industry influence. This means shining a light on gambling companies’ role in addiction, such as the impact of addictive products and mass-advertising.

“Chapter One is another example of the public sector leadership Greater Manchester is providing nationally when it comes to preventing and reducing gambling harms,” said Paul Dennett, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester.

“Thanks to the creation of Chapter One, Greater Manchester residents can now seek free, confidential information and support as soon as they need it.”

The short film shows four inter-linked experiences of gambling harm, with the message that there’s help out there. It is being promoted throughout June and July across Greater Manchester to encourage people to seek support. 

“We believe it’s vital that people who are being affected by any form of gambling harms can easily and comfortably seek specialist support for themselves or their loved ones. This might be in the form of qualified professionals and/or connecting with others who have lived experience of gambling harms,” said Will Halstead, Chair of GaMHive, Greater Manchester’s gambling harms lived experience network, also in recovery from a gambling addiction

“As someone who has been affected by a gambling addiction, I can say that with the right advice and support, there is a life after the destruction that gambling can bring”

Will Halstead, Chair of GaMHive

The project is a partnership between Gambling with Lives, a charity that supports families bereaved by gambling suicide, and Greater Manchester Combined Authority that will first launch in Greater Manchester before being rolled out to the rest of the UK later in the year.

For regular updates, sign up to our newsletter.