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Posted on 5 February 2024

Spark to deliver new gambling support service across Blackburn with Darwen

Spark are set to provide a new service offer for people across Blackburn with Darwen with gambling addictions with a Gambling Related Harms Support Worker joining the team.

The Spark service has seen a rise in gambling addictions and become a significant issue affecting people in the area, which can be largely hidden because of the rise in online gambling.

The newly created role which has been funded by Blackburn with Darwen Council will implement activity to support people affected by gambling harms at all stages of their treatment and recovery journey. The support will be available from the beginning of March for 12 months.

All new & existing clients in the recovery community at Spark will be screened and treated for any possible gambling addictions in a range of settings across Blackburn with Darwen. Spark will be able to support enquiries about gambling addictions from the public and signpost to partner agencies.

Spark will now support events to raise awareness of the impacts from gambling on the health and wellbeing of individuals.

Spark was set up as a collaborative partnership between The Calico Group, Red Rose Recovery, IMO Charity, Early Break and Blackburn with Darwen Council to deliver alcohol and drug support for all ages.

Joanna Clarke, Service Manager at Spark said: “We are really excited to be introducing this element of support to the Spark Recovery Collaborative which will strengthen our service offer.

We are looking forward to building effective working partnerships with professional services to create new referral pathways into support for those experiencing gambling related harms.

Gambling addictions can cause a serious impact on mental health, relationships and society. It leads to poor health, financial instability and social problems, causing distress to individuals and communities.”

Cllr Damian Talbot, Executive member for Public Health, Prevention and Wellbeing, said: “Gambling harms can be an overlooked addiction, but a growing number of people in our borough are experiencing the harmful impacts of gambling. This is not just people directly involved, but their families, loved ones and friends.

This new service is very welcome and will give support to people who are struggling with gambling in BwD and I would like to encourage anyone who thinks they might need help to access the services available.”

For more information or any support, please contact Spark at 01254 495014 or email

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