If there’s one thing that this year has taught us, it’s that technology can be a great way of connecting with people when there’s no other option available. And strangely enough, the lockdown could almost be said to have had a positive impact on the work of Extern Problem Gambling, as moving our services online meant we could reach more people!

One of our proudest achievements during the year has been our new podcast, which we set up at a point early on in the lockdown when we weren’t getting as many referrals as usual. We wanted to find a different way of connecting with people and providing information, advice and personal stories of recovery.

We like to keep the tone and feel of the podcast quite lively and engaging, so we feature a mix of interviews with experts and people who have experienced problem gambling, along with some episodes where myself and my colleague Tony O'Reilly discuss important topics in gambling addiction recovery.

The response was really positive – we had over 40,000 listens to the podcast, and it was referenced in national newspapers. One of the biggest highlights was Tony interviewing GAA legend Oisin McConville. Tony and Oisin are two of the most inspirational people on the island of Ireland who are in recovery.

Their books have been read by countless people who are trying to manage gambling addiction and their stories help greatly to
reduce the stigma associated with the issue.

Most importantly people have been in touch to tell us how the podcast has had a positive impact on their recovery. At the end of the day that’s what we do this job for, to make a real difference to people’s lives, and the podcast is one more way we can deliver that.

Barry Grant,
Project Manager/Counsellor,
Extern Problem Gambling