Andy, 37, lost his home, partner and friends, due to an addiction to gambling machines, but with the help of The Salvation Army, he is on the road to recovery.
Winning £200 on a fruit machine aged 17, Andy became addicted to the buzz. But when he was made redundant, his addiction spiralled out of control. “Over the last 20 years I have lost about £30,000 to £35,000 on the machines,” he said. “I lied to my partner and I would gamble any money I had in the hope I could make it right again.”
Andy and his partner found they couldn’t afford their bills. They were homeless.
At his lowest, Andy decided to end his life, and his attempt to do so saw him being taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital, and eventually into the care of a Salvation Army Lifehouse in the North-East.
Ian Monteith, Andy’s support worker at the Lifehouse, said: “By incorporating support mechanisms such as Gamblers Anonymous and NECA to help him with his recovery and rehabilitation, Andy is now keen to help others who are fighting with the same hardship.”
Andy still receives support from the Lifehouse and has now moved into a Salvation Army flat while he looks for his own accommodation. He has also restored his relationship with his partner.