Besides licensing and regulating individuals and organisations that provide gambling services in the United Kingdom, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) are also tasked with regulating the National Lottery. And just recently, UKGC Chief Executive Neil McArthur dropped by for a visit at a Buckinghamshire addiction charity, the creation of which was funded through The National Lottery Community Fund.
Together with Catharine Seddon and Balshen Izzet, McArthur met with the founder, trustees, employees, and volunteers of DrugFAM, a charity that provides support to people with family who are suffering from alcohol or drug addiction as well as those who have been bereaved by addiction. They were there to learn more about the charity and how it benefited from Lottery funding. The group also learned more about the challenges of gambling addiction.
Launched in 2006, the High Wycombe charity also works with rehabilitation units, prisons, schools, and communities across the country to raise awareness regarding the impact that substance misuse and abuse can have on families as well as on the general public. The charity’s founder, Elizabeth Burton-Phillips MBE, recently received a Special Recognition Award in November during the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards.
Commenting on their visit to Drug FAM, McArthur said: “It is important in our role as the gambling regulator to ensure funds continue to be distributed to charities like Drug FAM. I met Elizabeth and her team recently at the National Lottery Awards and I was really struck by the charity’s drive and determination to help families and the community. Their work is vital and has helped hundreds of families who have been impacted by the effects of addiction.”
“Funding for good causes through the National Lottery will remain a priority for us as we look to the future, including at how technology and innovation can ensure that the success of the National Lottery continues in the years ahead,” McArthur added. For her part, Burton-Phillips said, “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Neil and to discuss at length how we can support one another.”
She further said, “We now have many years of experience supporting the families of addicts, which includes gambling addiction in addition to drugs and alcohol. For our families, it is about them knowing this is the right place with the right people who are here every day of the year to help them. National Lottery Funding for our helpline has been vital.”
The National Lottery has raised £40 billion for good causes since it was launched in November 1994. The funds have been used to assist in sports projects, health, education, arts and heritage, environmental schemes, and communities. As the organisation regulating the National Lottery, the UKGC ensures that players are all treated fairly, the operator maximises the enjoyment and benefits brought by the Lottery, and that the nation’s interest in the Lottery is always protected.
The DrugFAM helpline operates seven days a week for twelve hours, from 9:00am to 9:00pm. Anyone who needs help can reach the charity organisation through 0300 888 3853.