GambleAware recruits public health experts to execute five-year strategy

| By Conor Mulheir
Industry charity GambleAware has announced several new senior appointments, including a chief operations officer, chief commissioning officer and chief communications officer, as part of a spree of new hires.

Other senior hires the organisation has made include a new research, information and knowledge director, a head of programme and project management, leads for prevention and evaluation, and a fundraising and engagement manager.

GambleAware said the new hires are part of an extensive restructure of the charity, in order to expand its capacity and resource to deliver on its new, five-year organisational strategy.

Anna Hargrave will join the organisation as its new chief commissioning officer, bringing 13 years’ experience of working with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Hargrave has worked collaboratively at a national level with government departments and industries, which GambleAware said would be highly beneficial in the expansion of its National Gambling Treatment Service.

“I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to share my skills of working within the health and care system with GambleAware and look forward to working with the charity and other public health agencies, local authorities and organisations to help reduce gambling harms,” Hargrave said.

The role of chief communications officer will be fulfilled by Alexia Clifford, former marketing director at Public Health England (PHE).

In her previous role, Clifford led flagship government public health campaigns across a range of priorities, including mental health, physical activity, healthy eating and smoking cessation.

GambleAware said the campaigns Clifford led are recognised as the best in the industry, having successfully changed behaviour at scale through audience insight, behavioural science, sophisticated targeting and innovative digital techniques.

“I am thrilled to be joining GambleAware, and to play my part in delivering its vision of a society where people are safe from gambling harms,” Clifford said.

Commenting on the expansion of the charity’s team, GambleAware chief executive Zoë Osmond said: “We are very pleased to welcome our new senior leaders, each of whom bring with them invaluable skills and knowledge in areas integral to the successful delivery of our new five-year organisational strategy.”

“We are working hard to drive forward GambleAware’s new programme of work which demonstrates leadership in establishing, developing, and maintaining a co-ordinated network of services, including the expansion of the National Gambling Treatment Service.”

GambleAware’s new organisational strategy was announced in April this year, with a focus on forming a stronger connection with health services, as well as increasing access to gambling harm services, raising awareness and improving the overall diversity and effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service.

Last week, the charity announced a commitment of £4m (€4.7m/$5.5m) in funding to Great Britain’s first academic research hub specialising in gambling harms research, over an eight-month grant award process.

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