Banbury man recovering from gambling addiction takes on New Year challenge to raise money and awareness

"As many people are aware I have struggled with a gambling addiction for many years but with the great support I have had I'm currently just over four years without a gamble"
Calvin Findlay with his partner LauraCalvin Findlay with his partner Laura
Calvin Findlay with his partner Laura

A Banbury man who is recovering from a gambling addiction will be taking on a New Year challenge to raise money and awareness of the dangers of gambling.

A self-confessed 'big meat eater', Calvin Findlay is planning to become a vegetarian for the whole of 2023.

And in the process, the postal worker will be raising money for the charity Gambling With Lives.

The father-of-two said: "I'm a massive meat eater, particularly burgers and kebabs. I know this will be a really hard challenge for me but I'm determined to raise over £1,000 for Gambling With Lives who support families and friends of compulsive gamblers who have sadly taken their own lives

"As many people are aware I have struggled with a gambling addiction for many years but with the great support I have had I'm currently just over four years without a gamble."

Calvin added: "I'm very focused on my own recovery and part of that is to raise awareness of gambling addiction.

"There are many mostly young males who have taken their own lives because of their gambling addiction and that's why I have chosen to raise money for the amazing charity Gambling With Lives."

Calvin said he started gambling a few pounds a week on football pools when he was 19.

"At first it wasn't an issue, and was just a bit of fun," he added.

"However, in my early 20s I started gambling online to the point of being completely out of control."

He racked up thousands of pounds of debt which had a huge impact on his mental health as well as his family and relationships.

"I would often just look in the mirror and scream at myself, but still I just continued in the cycle of self destruction," he said.

He eventually got help through Gamblers Anonymous (GA) and helped set up a local support group in Banbury in 2020.

He has now gone four years without gambling and says his life with his partner Laura and their two daughters 'could not be better'.

Back in 2021, Calvin decided to get a tattoo of his last gamble date, and also the GA logo, as -in his own words - "a constant reminder to myself to not become complacent in my own recovery".

"I wanted to open up in the hope others with a gambling addiction or any other addiction know they aren't alone, and you can turn your lives around and there is help out there," he added.

Gambling with Lives was set up by the families and friends of young men who have taken their own lives as a direct result of gambling. They provide much needed support those bereaved by gambling related suicide, and raise awareness of the dangerous effect of gambling on mental health and suicide risk.

To find out more about the charity visit https://www.gamblingwithlives.org

If anybody is suffering with a gambling addiction there is support available on these two websites: https://www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk or https://www.gamcare.org.uk

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