Towards the end of the year a screening of One Last Spin at Platform, Easterhouse was followed by audience discussion with panel seen here. L- R: Ronnie Cowan MP, Vice Chair All Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm; Georgina Charlton, Manager of Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm at the Alliance; Councillor Laura Doherty, lead on Council strategy to reduce gambling harm; Martin Paterson, The Machine Zone

Also at the Platform event was a performance by the Simon Community Scotland’s drama group and a very moving performance from Amanda Lehmann (right) of the song ahe wrote and recorded to accompany our film. We’re tremendously grateful to Amanda, an interntional star, for all her voluntary work and support throughout the year. That she took time to be with us in Easterhouse speaks volumes.

If you don’t know already, the video that accompanies the song was produced by COPEScotland. We’d like to give special thanks to radio presenter Sylvia Fountain who paved the way for the song by introdusing us to Amanda. Sylvia continues as an indivdual powerhouse working to address gambling harms (recently recording an Advertising Standards Authority judgment against an online gambling ad.)

We take the opportunity here to acknowledge with great respect both the large grassroots organisations that have grown, and also the countless individuals such as Amanda and Sylvia who give so much time to do their bit to address gambling harms.

Image: Hugh Hill, Simon Community Scotland

It was great to have Glasgow Shettleston Councillor at the Platform event. Laura has taken the lead role within the council to work on strategy to address gambling harm. Patrnered with Public Health Scotland, the GCC lead the city’s multi-agency working party. There are clear signs that work since the 2020 Glasgow Gambling Summit, real progress is being made. It’s also encouraging to see action at national government level, led by MSP Kevin Stewart: there is now a working party at Holyrood. We were pleased to screen our film to a group of councillors at City Chambers.

 

Our work in 2024 included community events, conferences and training. 

Simon Community Scotland appointed a gambling harms worker, Lauren Hearney, at he start of the year, and since then they have been instrumental in developing work through events and networking. The conference (above left) is one such.

Kelly Field has had a pretty tough year and we all wish her a much better 2024.  Notwithstanding tough issues arising, Kelly remains reilient and has earned the greatest admiration from all who attended the two events she made time to visit with us. Centre above at Glasgow Woemn’s Centre, and right above at Greater GovanHill CIC.

 

 

Training day for Simon Community Scotland workers at the Albany, home of Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector

We were delighted to be asked to screen the film at a ROSC (Recovery Oriented System of Care) meeting. These six-weekly meetngs bring together many individuals and organisations from many sectors. We are particularly keen going forward to see recovery from gambling harms become integrated with substance harms recovery. Brian McCarthy who manages North West Recovery Communities has shown active commitment to this. (He attended the Platform event, and we met him at a Glasgow Women’s Centre event).

We’ve also worked closely with the Glasgow Suicide Prevention Partnership, and many thanks here to Tracey Jenkins, and the several initiatives overseen by Jenna Ingram, gambling harms worker at the Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector.

Most recently we visited three depots of the Glasgow City Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Sustainability, showing our film to about a hundred workers. Great working with manager William Holms who is arranging for more in the new year.

Overall, we have become more convinced than ever that our own work has been made possible very largely because of the work and commitment of other individuals within their organisations.

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