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Online Peer Support Service

Connecting with others through shared experiences can be a vital part of recovery for a lot of people.

GamCare recognises the importance of Peer Support in increasing well-being and supporting recovery. Experiencing gambling-related harms can be a lonely and isolating experience for many, the Online Peer Support Service aims to build hope, resilience, and connections for those accessing support.

Delivered by trained volunteers, who all have lived experience of gambling harms, the Online Peer Support Service pairs you with a volunteer for regular email support for up to 6 months. Our volunteers’ aim is to listen to your experiences, share their own experiences where helpful, help you navigate the support options available to you and support you to set and reach your short-term goals.  

Who can access Online Peer Support?
The online Peer Support service is open to anyone aged 18 and above in England, Scotland, and Wales who is experiencing the impacts of gambling harms, either through their gambling or through the effects of someone else’s gambling.  

Support can be provided for up to 6 months and you must be able to commit to regular contact with your volunteer and staff during this period.  

What will email support look like?
Once paired with one of our volunteers you will receive regular email contact of up to 3 emails per week for up to 6 months. During the pairing volunteers can support with: 

  • Actively listening to your situation and your worries and concerns. 
  • Help you to set and work towards short-term goals. 
  • Signpost you to additional support available to you and help you navigate accessing support through GamCare or others within the National Gambling Support Network. 
  • Sharing resources and practical tools that might help support your journey. 

The Online Support service is not available to provide: 

  • Crisis or emergency support 
  • Clinical or therapeutic support 
  • Advice or direction on what you should do. Our volunteers will use their own insights to guide and encourage you to make decisions. 

If you need to discuss your needs or what alternative support is available you can speak to one of our Advisers on the National Gambling Helpline 24 hours a day.

How do I access the Online Peer Support Service?
You can self-refer into the Online Peer Support service using the referral form below. Alternatively, if you would like to discuss the service in more detail you can speak to one of our Advisers on the National Gambling Helpline.

Interested in becoming a volunteer? You can find out more about the role of an Online Peer Supporter here


What can I speak about in my emails with a volunteer?

Gambling can impact on your life in many ways. Some things you may want to chat about with our volunteers include: 

  • Stopping or reducing gambling or supporting someone who is doing so 
  • Worry and Stress  
  • Financial difficulties 
  • Relationships  
  • Emotional Wellbeing  

If you have any questions about what the service can support you with or would like to discuss alternative support, you can speak to an Adviser on the National Gambling Helpline who can explore the different support available.

How long can I access this service for?

You can exchange up to 3 emails per week with your volunteer for up to 6 months.  

Is the service confidential?

Yes. Whatever you say will be just between you and the GamCare team.  Our Online Peer Supporters do sometimes need to discuss their work with the staff team, including our volunteer coordinators and service managers to ensure we are providing the most appropriate support. All our emails are screened by our Lived Experience before being sent on to our volunteers so we can make sure you are getting the support you need.   

We only share information about you with others if:   

  • you ask us to;  
  • we believe your life, or someone else’s life, is in danger;  
  • you’re being hurt by someone in a position of trust, like a partner, carer or friend;  
  • you tell us that you’re seriously harming another person / people.  

More details can be found here.

Is this service also for people affected by someone else’s gambling? 

Yes. Our Online Peer Support Volunteers are made up of a mixture of people with lived experience through their own gambling and being affected by someone else’s gambling. 

What information do I need to give to access this support?

We will need your contact details and some basic information about you, including a summary of your situation/motivation for accessing this support. You can complete the self-referral form or talk through the referral with an Adviser on the National Gambling Helpline. 

Can I access this service anonymously?

No, we will need your contact details and some basic information about you and your situation before you can access support through the Online Peer Support Service. If you do not feel comfortable with this and are looking for anonymous support you can contact our National Gambling Helpline to talk to a trained advisor anonymously who can listen and help you with your situation. You can also access our chatrooms and forums anonymously to access peer support with others who have similar experiences.   

Is this a replacement for Treatment?

No. This service aims to provide you the opportunity to connect with others who have had similar experiences to what you are currently experiencing, with the hope of encouraging you to access further support, reach short-term goals, and improve your wellbeing. If you would like to access local treatment or alternative support, please contact the National Gambling Helpline who can help you explore what support is right for you. 

Can I access this service if I’m already receiving support from GamCare or a partner organisation?

Yes. The Online Peer Support Service can be accessed alongside other support services as a way to connect with others in a similar situation and support your ongoing journey. 

What if I’ve already stopped/reduced the amount I’m gambling?

The service is open to those who are looking to stop or reduce their gambling and those who have already done so as well as people who have been affected by someone else gambling, whether that be current or in the past.  

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We are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can also contact us for free on 0808 80 20 133. If you would like to find out more about the service before you start, including information on confidentiality, please click below. Call recordings and chat transcripts are saved for 28 days for quality assurance.

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