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Idea to improve a first time visitor's journey

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#1 Posted on:
Tue, 26/09/2017 - 10:50



Dear Forum Admin,


I've got an idea for your consideration - a natural first point of call specifically for new visitors to Gamcare.

When someone first visits Gamcare, usually at the end of their tether due to the effects of this insidious condition, whether for themselves or someone they know, the first thing they see is the main welcome banner. There are three clear options: Helpline, Netline, Forum. All very clear and intuitive.

However, when someone clicks on 'Forum' the journey starts to get complicated for the newbie. The top category, Welcome to the Forums, is fine, but there are then eight sub-categories talking about etiquette, rules etc. but nothing specifically to help 'kick start' their journey. A first time visitor will either have visited the forums because they didn't want to use the Helpline or Chatline at this point, or have used either and been directed to the Forums as potentially useful.

What I'm suggesting is there is no natural 'Welcome' point or specific message  for new visitors that describes what the Forum is all about and - perhaps even more useful to the newbie - suggesting immediate first possible steps they may wish to consider - "A survival guide", if you like (although I don't necessarily like that term). This is the ideal place to elucidate the ethos of what Gamcare is all about, in a personal message.

Here's my thinking, in practice.

1. A new visitor visits the Forums. I would suggest a new category, right at the top. "Welcome to the Gamgare Forums. If you're a first time visitor, Click here first!"

2. Therein, there would be a "Sticky" post along the lines of

"Welcome to the Gamcare Forums, a place to meet people, find information and share how you're feeling. It's all about supporting you, and each other, and we hope you find our forums useful and helpful..."

You may be visiting us for the first time and may be wondering where to start. 

  • You may find talking to one of our Gamcare advisors on the phone helpful; we're open from X to Y. [Click here for details.]
  • Alternatively, you might prefer using our Netline service, texting online. [Click here for more information.]
  • Sometimes, gambling can lead to feelings of despair; you can phone the Samaritans at any time on [phone number]

Dealing with gambling addiction often requires more than willpower alone; here are a few ideas that you may wish to consider in the first instance.

  • Sharing your problem with loved ones or friends; they may be more supportive than you think and it means you don't have to hide your problems anymore.
  • Handing financial control to someone you can trust can make a big difference
  • If you have debts that are spiralling out of control, consider phoning Stepchange on XXXX to talk things through.
  • Counselling might help you, Click here for more info.
  • Organisations such as Gaming Anonymous might suit you; click here for more details.
  • It's a good idea to self-exclude from the type of gambling that's causing you a problem.
    • For online gambling, blocking software might help you. Click here for more details.
    • For bookies, you can self-exclude yourself from premises in your aresa. Click here for more info.
    • For casinos, you can self-exclude from all casinos in the UK. Click here for more info

You are not alone! There is plenty of support for you and hope these first steps are helpful to you. You can ask for advice, or even start your own diary here on the Forums [link], and we have regular chatrooms where you can join others in a supportive, interactive atmosphere [link] -  you're welcome totake a look around!

And if you need any help with any part of your, or someone you know, gambling journey then we are only a phonecall away on XXXXX.

Kindest regards and our very best wishes.

Forum Admin"

You get my drift - a logical, friendly, helpful welcome message with useful links to help any visitors' first visit, giving a good first impression showing the spirit and heart of what Gamcare is all about.

Submitted for your consideration.

All the best, Mixer


Posted on:
Tue, 26/09/2017 - 14:32




Posted on:
Tue, 26/09/2017 - 15:38

Forum admin


Hi Mixer,

Thanks for a thoughtful post; you've obviously given this a lot of consideration and you've raised some valid points.  I think we'll have to discuss this within the team, but we'll take on board what you've said and certainly pass it up the chain of command. 

Thanks also for your ongoing contributions to the forum, we do appreciate them. 

Forum Admin

Posted on:
Wed, 27/09/2017 - 00:38

Self Sufficient...


Mixer you really are a jolly decent chap. Once again I salute your admirable efforts to assist other travellers on their journey. You are helpful, compassionate, understanding and always ready to walk the extra mile.....stephen 

Posted on:
Wed, 27/09/2017 - 10:51



Think this would be a great idea, as when you first find yourself coming to this fourm it can be a bit daunting and something like this would really help

Posted on:
Wed, 27/09/2017 - 19:58

ALAN 135

Before 2009

Yep totally agree , it's a good point and would be a great idea for newbies :))

Posted on:
Sat, 30/09/2017 - 17:10



More brilliant and helpful ideas from Mixer.

Good work.

Posted on:
Sun, 10/12/2017 - 07:12

Little miss lost


Mixer you are spot on! I found this forum and as you say, I was in a bit of a state after just throwing money away again and realising that I had a problem.
I was desperate to hear someone say to me - don't despair, you can do this, you can recover!
I wanted to join and write on the diary section but I couldn't work out how to start a diary. (I'm not brilliant with technology) I set up an account but didn't know how to post so I drifted away and went on to lose many more thousands. I occasionally came back (usually after big losses) because I liked the concept but It took a while before I realised how to start a diary of my own.
Even just a section that says open an account. To start your new diary click here and write your first entry.
It was very daunting when I was new. An easier format for newbies would definitely help.

Posted on:
Sun, 10/12/2017 - 07:16

Little miss lost


Ps it was only through reading a forum members post where they were explaining how to open a diary that I was able to start one of my own.

Posted on:
Sun, 10/12/2017 - 17:29

Forum admin


Hello Little miss lost,

Thank you for this feedback.  I will pass it on to the forum team leader so that she is aware of your suggestions for improving the forum.

Take care,

Forum admin.

Posted on:
Sun, 24/12/2017 - 09:00



Excellent post Mixer!

I think that would help improve things for new visitors.

The welcome message could be clearly there directing people to make that all important first phone call. More of a structured process for new visitors so they dont feel so overwhelmed about posting a few lines.

Then forum admin can more quickly get into the process of have you completed the stage 1 steps...phoned us...fully admitted to a problem..decided on a next step?

Yes many are going to be nervous and still addicted. There are many short posts where they are clearly not sure about the forum. Some write a few lines when I dont know if they are even admitting to a problem. Its more along the lines of I want to stop losing and keep winning but thats the addiction talking

Its difficult to know what to say and they face a multitude of replies ranging from cheer up mate to a psychological breakdown of the addiction. I can see them negatively thinking whoooh whats this all about.

I think it would be better if they were guided to do step one of if some stages were laid out in front of them. The quicker we can see if they are getting something out of the forum, the better

A problem test up front with some real questions set by previous addicts and people in the know. Some problem tests are a bit wishy washy and a person can end up thinking no I only have a light problem I can handle or no problem at all really.

I would like to see more new posts saying Ive scored 4 and Ive phoned Gamcare and they have said.............  More posts admitting a problem through a structured process with check box steps.

I believe that counselling should come in alongside definate steps having been taken. Counselling is going to be less effective with an active gambler that hasnt made blocks or told anyone close

I believe there are stages of recovery and real tests. I dont like a back to square one mentality if no real tests are in place. I never left square one for 10 months but I told others I was moving on...yes its an addiction that makes people lie. I wasnt moving back to square one...I never left square one during that period...a critical difference.

So I am just saying that new visitors have to be engaged fast and feel they are on every step of the recovery journey.

Just my thoughts. Its still a valuable forum but not everybody likes using a forum.

Best wishes

Posted on:
Tue, 26/12/2017 - 10:17

Forum admin


Hello Joydivider,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how the forum could be improved.  I will alert the forum team leader to your post, so that she can consider your feedback.

Thanks again,

Forum admin.