Since all our time is mainly focused on distributing our film One Last Spin, we have to slowly wind down our work elsewhere. The good news is that we already have five venues in Greater Glasgow and Clyde for showing the film in early 2022, and we are confident we’ll soon have more.

Following the Glasgow Gambling Summit in September, to which we made a small contribution, we know that the fruits of research and behind the scenes work from the likes of Glasgow City Council and Public Health Scotland will soon bear fruit. There’s a nice report of the Summit here.

We are also glad that Jardine Simpson has committed to developing attention to gambling at the Scottish Recovery Consortium at which he is CEO. Also pleased to hear from recovery organisations both north and south of the border of their plans to include gambling. We are also very grateful to those organisations which have provided funding for the film, and we’ll continue our low level approach to seeking modest sums for distributing the film.

So we’re pleased to see the issue of gambling harms beginning to be more widely addressed in Scotland. South of the border, the work of lived experience activists has been astonishingly successful in creating genuine movements for change, and we in Scotland will benefit enormously from this – especially since we are subject largely to Westminster policies around gambling.

In late September a group of MSPs at Holyrood tabled a motion to stop gambling advertising in sport and beyond. See  Holyrood Gambling Motion 921 .This marks an important sign of increasing awareness at national political level. We are looking to screen our film at a Holyrood event, and via networking with the MSPs, events in their constituencies.

Also in September a pilot education project was tested in Glasgow schools, and we’re promised a summary of this from the lead at Edinburgh University.

The Scotland Strategy Implementation Group is something we didn’t know about. It’s been meeting to address gambling and you can see its statement of purpose etc. here: Final_SSIG_Terms_of_Reference_2021 (3)

We are interested that it includes:

16(g). Engaging with people with lived experience of gambling harms in delivering and developing activities related to the National Strategy in Scotland.

We hope it continues its vital work, especially with ‘people with lived experience’. Such work will contribute to the Scotland-wide network of lived experience people established over recent years by Scotland Reducing Gambling Harms at the Alliance for Health and Social Care. We look forward to reports about, and actions proceeding from, this important work by which people with lived experience may at last have their voices heard and be fully involved with policy and strategy development.

Hopefully, while continued actions from statutory and large third sector organisations in Scotland continue to develop, their work will continue to put the voices of lived experience at the heart of things.

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