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New working group to develop action plan to tackle growing gambling problem in borough

'Council hosts one-day 'Beaten Docket' event as forerunner to action plan development

The partnership working group who organised the event and will continue to work together to develop an action plan to tackle problem gambling in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough.

Personal, honest and frank stories from people who have experienced gambling problems have been recounted during a special one-day event.

The ABC ABC Council hosted ‘The Beaten Docket’ initiative in Lough Neagh Discovery Centre at Oxford Island.

The aim was to “bust the myths with facts” around problem gambling and focus on how communities and organisations can tackle the issue together.

Problem gambling is a growing concern among many communities and organisations working with all age groups.

And so Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s event – supported by the Department of Communities through council’s Neighbourhood Renewal Programme – brought together communities, addiction services and community-based organisations to set out the facts and trends around gambling.

Representatives from local community groups heard from addiction experts including the Southern Health Trust, Dunlewey Addiction Services and Problem Gambling Ireland.

They discussed current treatment pathways available, looking at practical opportunities for everyone to work together to tackle the issue at a community level.

One of the most valuable parts of the event were the personal, frank and honest stories from people who have been through the problem and the subsequent successful intervention and treatment services.

The group discussed gaps in the service provision, giving feedback on ideas and activities that could help communities and services work together going forward.

The successful event culminated in the development of a local working group to tackle the issue.

Picture inset: Lord Mayor Councillor Julie Flaherty with guest speakers at the problem gambling event in Lough Neagh Discovery Centre L-R: Joe Walker, Head of Addictions Network, Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Emma Smyth, Southern Health Trust Promoting Wellbeing Division, Barry Grant, Founder of Problem Gambling Ireland, Pauline Campbell and Fiona Geary, Dunlewey Addiction Services, and Rory Gervin Southern Health Trust Early Intervention. Picture: Liam McArdle

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