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Charlotte's story

When I was 11 my dad died from a heart attack which was caused by a severe gambling addiction.

My dad had gambled since he was 18, becoming addicted quickly he gambled until he died aged 52.

He gambled all my mums money, he got our family home remortgaged without my mams consent forging her signature, then repossessed the house. My dad’s gambling brought out another side of him that we didn’t know, not until he died we found out about everything. He hid his gambling addiction and told so many lies to do so.

He got money from friends, family. Got into debt with gangs. He even used to take my birthdays and Christmas money I kept in a box in my wardrobe. That’s how desperate he was, which makes me understanding the psychology behind his addiction. Took every penny from my mam, stopped our post so my mum wasn’t aware of her financial situation and the letters about being behind on mortgage payments, leading the house to be repossessed. 10 years later, but my mum has lost her husband, found out about his addiction, all the debt he left us with. It’s ruined her life and lost her dream home and now she’s stuck renting, she’ll never be the same person.

I’m 21 now, I miss my dad so much and it breaks my heart what has happened and he didn’t get the help he needed. The police, NHS psychiatric hospital and mortgage companies all failed to help my dad, he was that good at manipulating his addiction and acting like he was fine.

This will stay with me and my younger brother forever. Including my widow mum and family. Please if you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out and please try get help before its too late, just like it was too late for my dad.