GambleAware, the charitable body tasked with tackling gambling addiction in the UK, has appointed two new trustees as it moves to establish a board which is wholly independent of the gambling industry.

The appointments were made following an open recruitment process supported by an independent recruitment advisor, and follow the retirement of Alan Jamieson and Brigid Simmonds at the end of their respective terms of service as trustees.

The new trustees are Marcantonio Spada, professor of addictive behaviours and mental health at London South Bank University. and Paul Simpson, chief finance officer and deputy CEO of Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

GambleAware said that Professor Spada brings significant experience in working to identify factors that influence various addictive behaviours. Similarly, Simpson brings significant healthcare and financial management experience, which stems from an extensive career in senior finance roles across a range of local NHS Trusts.

“We are delighted that Marcantonio and Paul have agreed to become trustees of GambleAware,” said GambleAware chair of trustees Kate Lampard. “Between them, they bring strong experience in addiction, public health, finance and risk management. Also, I should like to record our thanks to both Alan and Brigid for their hard work as trustees.”

Lampard said that GambleAware’s board is now wholly independent of the gambling industry, which the charitable body believes is necessary to secure public trust and confidence, given its central role in commissioning research, education and treatment services.

“Trustees continue to call for a statutory levy on the gambling industry to ensure research, education and treatment services are adequately and sustainably funded,” continued Lampard. “In the meantime, we will continue to pursue our charitable objectives to reduce gambling-related harm within the government-prescribed voluntary donation-based system currently in place, and we are confident that this can and ought to be achieved without the need for anyone employed by a gambling company to have a seat on the board.”

GambleAware now has eight trustees, with Spada and Simpson joining existing trustees Saffron Cordery, Professor Siân Griffiths, Michelle Highman, Professor Anthony Kessel, Chris Pond and Professor Patrick Sturgis.