Money seized from tackling illegal gambling has been handed over from the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) Economic Crime Unit to the Inspire charity to positively impact those affected by poor mental health and addiction.
The sum amount of £108,125 was raised, with the majority through tackling illegal gambling, and has been presented to Inspire, an all-island charity and social enterprise which provides recovery based mental health and addiction services in communities. Services include counselling, mutual aid partnerships, family support, floating support, advocacy and supported housing services.
The sale of seized items was facilitated by Wilsons Auctions.
Detective Inspector Joanne Harris said: “We are delighted to donate this sum of money to Inspire, who work together with people living with mental ill health, intellectual disability, autism and addictions to ensure they live with dignity and realise their full potential.
“Gambling is an issue that affects people from all walks of life. Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime. There are real issues around addiction and exposing people to the culture of gambling and Northern Ireland is no different to any other jurisdiction. Organisations such as Inspire play a crucial role in providing support and help for those in need.
“We are proactive in tackling illegal gambling and work alongside our partners and local communities to increase awareness of the issues, dangers, responsibilities and possible consequences.”
Kerry Anthony MBE, Inspire Group Chief Executive, added: “This extremely generous donation from the Police Service of Northern Ireland will have a life-changing impact on the people who use our services, their families and the wider community. In our services we see the devastating consequences that addictions, including illegal gambling, can have on people, families and communities. However, every day in Inspire we also see how, with the right support, people can turn their lives around. It is very heartening that the money obtained through negative means will ultimately have such a positive influence.”
Mark Woods, Wilsons Auctions’ Government Contracts Manager commented, “It’s moments like these that make the hard work worth it. Wilsons Auctions is extremely proud to have realised this amount from the seized assets. Now that the money is going to such a worthwhile cause, it’s a great outcome for all parties.”
To find out more about the work of Inspire Wellbeing you can visit their website www.inspirewellbeing.org.
Pictured L to R: Kerry Anthony MBE (Inspire Group Chief Executive), Joanne Harris (Detective Inspector), Mark Woods (Wilsons Auctions’ Government Contracts Manager).