Posted on 14 January 2020
The Gambling Commission has appointed two new members of the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling, Cath Cooney and Dr Jane West, to continue its work to support the delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harm.
Anna Van der Gaag, Chair of the ABSG, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Cath Cooney and Dr Jane West to the Board. As gambling related harm is recognised as a public health issue, it is vital that the Board has members with deep understanding of public health approaches and public health research. Cath and Jane bring a wealth of such experience to our work. How to better address inequalities, co-production with those with lived experience, strengthening the evidence base, and utilising existing public health infrastructures in Scotland and in England to address gambling harm are just a few of the areas of expertise which Cath and Jane will provide. I look forward greatly to working with them on this important agenda.”
Cath Cooney, Director of Development and Improvement at the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, has a wealth of experience of policy leadership and is committed to strengthening the role of the third sector and the voice of lived experience, in particular how a person-centred approach can support ABSG’s aim to reducing gambling harms.
She said: “Many of the issues that people face in relation to gambling harms are shared across a number of public health issues with underlying factors, relating to mental health, socio-economic inequalities, digital inclusion, gender and power and control. I believe it is time to bring these issues to wider attention and I’m delighted to be able to continue the work of the ABSG to highlight these issues in order to effect real change. The common thread is ensuring that the person is at the heart of what we do in our efforts to address gambling related harm.”
Dr Jane West is Director of Public Health Research and ActEarly Consultant in Public Health at Bradford Institute for Health Research. A fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, Jane brings her wide research experience of inequalities in income and ethnicity and their wider impact on health and wellbeing among children and young people.
She said: “I have seen first-hand the growing public health challenge of gambling and the impact on families and communities which is often unequal, and I very much welcome the opportunity to contribute to the work of the ABSG and help reduce harm and improve the lives of those experiencing gambling related harm or hardship.”
The role of the ABSG is to provide independent advice to the Gambling Commission with the aim of achieving a Great Britain free from the consequences of gambling-related harms. Members of ABSG are appointed by the Gambling Commission.