The Forum empowers people with lived experience of gambling harm to influence gambling policy and practice in Scotland.

The forum sits within the ALLIANCE’s Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm programme,  which aims to put the voice of people affected by gambling harms at the heart of action to reduce those harms. ‘Gambling harms’ describe a wide range of diverse negative impacts from gambling on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and society. We believe that people’s voices, expertise, and rights should drive policy and the design, delivery and improvement of support and services. 

If you’re interested in joining the forum or know someone who might be, follow the sign-up instructions or share our flyer (downloadable at the bottom of this page) within your circles. 

What are gambling harms?

Gambling-related harms are harms caused by gambling. This includes financial, employment, and relationship issues, physical and mental health problems, criminal activity, and in the most severe cases suicide as a direct result of gambling harm.   

People can experience gambling harm to different degrees, and we are interested in speaking to anyone who feels they have experienced harm as result of their own, or a loved one’s gambling. 

Our work 

The Forum helps to identify key areas of importance in reducing gambling harms in Scotland and provide their expertise to contribute to meaningful change. Forum members commit to attending regular, evening meetings every six weeks for one hour and a half. They have opportunities to shape action to reduce gambling harm in Scotland, as well as network and build relationships with others. 

Previous activities include planning and attending events like roundtable discussions with invited experts and responding to consultations on gambling regulation by the Government. See below the ‘Humans of Scotland – Gambling Harm’ edition that members contributed to. You can also check the ‘Mental Health and Gambling Harm’ report under ‘Resources’ on the Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm programme page, the summary of an in-person roundtable event organised with the forum. Our X page @ScotRGH is regularly updated with work the forum is involved in. 

“People don’t understand it. Mental health and addiction go hand in hand.  It should be a public health issue. It should be about protecting our children and grandchildren. It should stop seeing the broken as people with ‘illness’ but recognise the cause of this misery as resting with the unregulated supply of addictive products.” 

Person with experience of gambling harm

Getting involved  

The Forum is open to new members wishing to join. If you have questions or would like to get involved with this programme, please email gamblingharm@alliance-scotland.org.uk or call 0141 404 0231. 

Additionally, you can fill out our sign-up survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/gamblingharmforum/

We also welcome individual participation in the Lived Experience Forum (not full membership). Interested individuals should get in touch to discuss how they could contribute and what level of engagement they would be comfortable with. 

Past work 

Some of the Forum’s work has been highlighted at the bottom of this page. This includes our publication ‘People with lived experience share their stories of gambling harm’ as part of the Humans of Scotland series. 

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Small Grants of up to £250 available to support Community Conversations on the draft Charter of Rights for people affected by substance use.

To support organisations to host a Community Conversation on the draft Charter of Rights for people affected by substance use, the ALLIANCE have a limited number of Small Grants of up to £250 available.

These are to cover the costs incurred by the organisation, group or individual hosting the conversation, or to support individuals to attend a conversation you host.

Things small grants might be used to cover:

  • Expenses
  • Venue hire
  • Food and catering
  • Accessibility or inclusion measures
  • Paid participation
  • Materials and resources to support conversation

More information about the draft Charter of Rights, the consultation process and timescales is available here.

Application forms for the small grants are available on the bottom of this page, or please contact the ALLIANCE to discuss by emailing people@alliance-scotland.org.uk.

Guidance on Rights, Duties and Principles

As part of the IDENTIFICATION stage in the FAIR Model, the National Collaborative have issued a consultation on a draft Charter of Rights for people affected by substance use.

This draft Charter of Rights was informed by the Call for Evidence which took place in May – Aug 2023.

Video explaining the background and development of the National Collaborative and draft Charter of Rights.

The draft Charter of Rights aims to:

  • directly support people to know and understand their rights in order to access drug and alcohol services.
  • directly support service providers and government to continuously improve the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of such services.

The draft Charter of Rights and supporting information on the guidance, rights and principles which underpin this are available at the bottom of the page.

A consultation on this draft Charter of Rights is currently open until 3rd June 2024.

Consultation open on Draft Charter of Rights for people affected by substance use.

As part of the IDENTIFICATION stage in the FAIR Model, the National Collaborative have issued a consultation on a draft Charter of Rights for people affected by substance use.

This consultation aims to capture people’s views and opinions on the draft Charter of Rights, and inform its continued development.

A Facilitation Pack has been developed to support people to host conversations in their communities on the draft Charter of Rights and feedback their thoughts. This is available at the bottom of the page and contains the questions being asked to inform the further development of the Charter of Rights.

A small number of Small Grants of up to £250 are also being made available to support people to host community conversations. More information on how to apply for these is available here.

You can respond to this consultation by:

  • Returning a completed feedback form to nationalcollaborative@gov.scot (available at the bottom of the page).
  • Completing a digital Smart Survey response.
  • Getting in touch with nationalcollaborative@gov.scot to discuss other options of feeding back.

Individuals, groups, communities and organisations are all welcome to feed their thoughts in to this consultation.

This consultation will be open until 3 June 2024.