Safer Gambling Week 2021 – the experiences of people we support

It’s Safer Gambling Week and all week on our social media we are sharing advice, guidance and signposting to support. Our staff will also be out and about at stands across the Midlands giving advice and talking to people about our services we offer at Aquarius.  

At Aquarius we offer gambling support services to adults in the Midlands through our partner, GamCare. We provide support, information and advice to anyone suffering with the harms caused by gambling, as well as to family members and friends affected by someone else’s gambling. We also have support for young people struggling with gambling. 

As part of Safer Gambling Week, we wanted to take the opportunity to share the recovery journeys of people we have supported through our gambling services. We want to show you the impact that expert support services can have and demonstrate that there is always hope in recovery no matter what point you are at right now.  

Names have been changed to protect the identities of the people we support. 

Joe’s Story 

When Joe self-referred, he was betting on sports events and was in debt for £27,000. He was full time employed as a retail manager and initially had a big win. This started the spiral of gambling for Joe. He was anxious, stressed and felt isolated, compounded by feelings of extreme grief after the loss of his mother, with this bereavement he also felt he lost control of his spending.  

During our work together he managed to stop gambling, this was timely as he just found out his partner was pregnant. Being in treatment and facing his addiction helped Joe to not only keep his relationship, but to build a healthier future for his family. Working on his self-esteem, loss and anxiety really made a huge difference and changed the direction of his life. 

Lisa’s Story 

Lisa referred herself back into our gambling service as she found herself at a point so low, she attempted to take her own life. Working through our past sessions it became apparent that she was using a loan shark which was manageable for her, until the pandemic began, and her work reduced as did her wage. Lisa had resorted to borrowing cards and money off a relative without their consent. Instead of giving it to the loan sharks she gambled it, getting deeper into debt. Her anxiety spiralled out of control as she could see no way out but to take her own life.  

Coming back into treatment gave us the opportunity to involve debt advice services and make a plan that gave some hope to the situation. Although a long road, there is now a resolution in sight for Lisa. 


Check out our Twitter and Facebook to keep up with our Safer Gambling Week campaign. You can find out more about our gambling services delivered in partnership with GamCare here