The Beacon Counselling Trust, in partnership with GamCare, are launching a free support service for individuals and families affected by problem gambling from Liverpool Town Hall on Thursday 17th of April.

The new service offers face-to-face problem gambling treatment, including one to one counselling, couples counselling and group counselling, and will be delivered from a central hub in Liverpool from Tuesday the 22nd of April.

Neil Platt, Clinical Lead at Beacon Counselling said, “We have seen a real increase in family related issues linked to problem gambling reported recently in Liverpool. This new free initiative will go a long way to help support those families in such need.”

The GamCare network of treatment partners provides services across Great Britain for those who need sustained help to deal with their gambling problems. This service is free and confidential and is available to anyone affected by problem gambling.

GamCare Chief Executive Dirk Hansen said:

“We know that there is a strong need for services in Liverpool and we are delighted to be working with the Beacon Counselling Trust to meet this demand. GamCare operates the national Freephone HelpLine 0808 8020 133 and a range of online support services, but for many people talking to a counsellor face-to-face can be instrumental in helping them to make a sustained change to their lives.”

The launch has the support of Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Gary Millar and Liverpool Councillors Nick Small and Peter Mitchell, as well as a wide range of statutory and local community organisations.

Councillor Nick Small “There are issues with problem gambling in every community in Liverpool and we’ve seen an increase in problems over the last few years. I’m really pleased that GamCare and Beacon Counselling Trust are putting services in place to help those residents who are experiencing issues with problem gambling”

Councillor Peter Mitchell said “This is a fantastic opportunity to support the people of Liverpool affected by Problem Gambling, and I will be giving this new initiative my full support”

To find out more about the service offered by Beacon Counselling Trust visitwww.beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk. Anyone wishing to use the service should contact 0151 321 1099 or the GamCare helpline on 0808 8020 133 (www.gamcare.org.uk) from 17th April 2014.

Notes to Editor

1)    The Launch event will take place at Liverpool Town Hall from 11.00am.  If you would like to attend please contact Wendy Taggart at Beacon Counselling Trust on 0151 226 0696.

2)    Interviews will be available with all involved from 10.30am.

3)    The Beacon Counselling Trust registered charity number 1140011 is a charity that works comprehensively in the area of mild to moderate mental health issues. Beacon is located on Townsend Lane, off Queens Drive in Liverpool, its central hub has 10 purposely designed one to one rooms, group rooms and training rooms the Charity also has a 14 bed residential facility in Anglesey

4)    Start-up funding for this service has been secured until April 2015 and it is positively anticipated, subject to volume that this funding would then be rolled out until 2018 supported by the evidence generated in the first year.

5)    GamCare is the national provider of education, advice, practical help, support and treatment for anyone affected by problem gambling. Founded in 1997, the GamCare HelpLine receives nearly 100 calls a day with more than 85% of clients rating the service as “very good” or “excellent”. In 2012/13 GamCare treated more than 3,200 clients.

6)    GamCare supports best practice within the gambling industry through training, GamCare Certification, consultation and training. GamCare Certification is an internationally recognised third party accreditation available for gaming, betting and lottery products across land-based, mobile gaming and internet platforms. GamCare training is face-to-face or via GamCare ExTra e-learning.