Gambling has become a normalised leisure activity in the UK, but it does cause problems. It is estimated that only 1% of people who need help to stop gambling actually get it. This means that people can be burdened for years; many spiral into all sorts of crises including family breakdown and running up huge debts; some commit suicide.
With this in mind, Dan Richter of Salisbury Vineyard Church, launched the social enterprise, Better Futures for Gamblers, in 2015.
His intention was to give the church something very simple - a way to get involved without huge commitment, and to get to know local people who might not otherwise have approached a church.
Take 4 minutes to watch Dan explain the vision in this video:
It is easy to do. Unlike many other things you can do as a church, this is low input, and high impact. We have a short manual to guide you, and we have personal support available to you by phone and e-mail 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Now please register your church's interest below. It does not mean you have to take anyone, and you can also leave our list at any time.
But what if we already run CAP / The Recovery Course?
Excellent! These complement what we do. Many gamblers will need support from debt agencies such as CAP. Better Futures can feed into these other programmes. And if we put someone in touch with you and they decide they'd like to do both the Better Futures course and The Recovery Course then great; if they decide they'd rather do The Recovery Course than ours, then no problem. We want the Kingdom, not an empire!
But we don't know anything about gambling...
You don't need to. Your role is to support the client pastorally and ask them questions which we give you. The main thing people need is to be loved well and feel supported, like someone is on their side.
Sign your church up
Sign your church up
If you would like to make your church available to befriend local people who have developed a gambling problem, then sign up below.
By doing so, you are simply registering your interest; we will notify you of people who need help on a case-by-case basis, and there is no obligation to take on any particular person. We recognise that church life ebbs and flows, and sometimes it is more possible to provide a volunteer than at other times. So what have you got to lose?
Terms & Conditions
Terms & Conditions
Terms and Conditions for Churches - version 1.2.
Effective from 8 November 2016 until further notice, and superseding previous versions.
a. “Better Futuresfor Gamblers” or “Better Futures” means Better Futures for Gamblers C.I.C., a company limited by guarantee, and registered in England number 09605646
b. “Befriender” means a befriender or befrienders provided by a local church in order to help clients work through the self-help materials.
c. “Church” means a church which subscribes to orthodox Christian beliefs, and which has signed up to help Clients.
d. “Client” means someone who has voluntarily signed up to be helped by Better Futures.
e. “Programme” means the materials supplied to the Church and to the Client, and the interactions between Church and Client.
2. The Church’s responsibilities
a. The Church will deliver the Programme provided by Better Futures. It will not deviate from the Programme either through omission or commission, without the express prior permission of Better Futures.
b. The Church will provide the same Befriender(s) to the Client through the whole Programme, except in cases of illness or other exceptional circumstance.
c. The Church warrants that it:
i. Has suitable Data Protection and Confidentiality arrangements in place
ii. Has suitable arrangements for Safeguarding in place
iii. Has suitable arrangements for Lone Working in Place
iv. Will use safe and secure premises for the purposes of delivering the Programme
v. Will deliver the Programme in accordance with the Equality Act 2010
vi. Will not distribute or commercially exploit the Programme
3. Relationship with the befriender
a. The Church understands that:
i. The Befriender(s) are there as a critical friend to help the Client work through the materials, and to provide pastoral care.
ii. The Befriender(s) are volunteers and not acting as professionals (although they may have relevant qualifications and experience).
iii. The Befriender(s) will not disclose publicly anything which the Client shares on a confidential basis. The Befriender(s) may escalate matters internally within the Church where appropriate. The Church may breach confidentiality where required by a Court of Law or Court Order, or if related to a Police investigation.
iv. The Befriender may offer to pray with the Client but must not force prayer or their faith on the Client.
a. The Church agrees that it will meet the costs it may incur in its delivery of the Programme, for example but not limited to: hall hire, travel costs for Befrienders, or postage.
5. Data provided
a. The Church agrees that Better Futures can use the data it supplies for the purposes of delivering the Programme.
b. The Church agrees that its data may be used in research, for statistical purposes, and for quality improvement.
c. The Church understands that it has the right of access to ask for a copy of its data held by Better Futures at any time, under the Data Protection Act 1998.
6. Follow up
a. The Church agrees that it will attempt to follow up the Client, where asked by Better Futures for the purpose of monitoring outcomes, up to 24 months from the point of the Client’s initial assessment.
7. General liability
a. Better Futures is responsible for establishing the connection between the Client and the Church, and for providing the Programme.
b. The Church is responsible for all relations between the Befriender(s) and the Client.
c. If any one or more provisions above is found to be illegal or unenforceable in any respect, the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired thereby.
Go back to Sign your church up
Go back to For Churches
We recommend issuing a press release in your local paper. The template for this is here.
You could also promote the service through your church website, or newsletters. It may also be good to list it in any local directories.
We have a set of materials for churches to use.