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Monica Shafaq is to become Chief Executive Officer of Gordon Moody from January 2024, which brings the curtain down on an “extensive and thorough recruitment process”.

She will succeed Matthew Hickey at the charity, however, he will continue to support the leadership team until the end of the year in a bid to ensure a seamless transition.

Shafaq currently holds the position of CEO at The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, a charitable organisation focused on mental health and wellbeing. She has been in the role for almost 14 years. 

During this time, she has implemented the charity’s rebrand from Sandwell Mind into The Kaleidoscope Plus Group and retained a place on the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work for every year since 2015.

In addition to this, Shafaq is also a Trustee of the Professional Footballers’​ Association, as well as a Non-Executive Director at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

“It is a huge privilege to have been appointed the new CEO of Gordon Moody,” Shafaq commented. “It’s an honour to lead an organisation that is committed to making a positive impact to the lives of those affected by gambling harm and to work with the remarkable team of passionate individuals. 

“Together, we will work tirelessly to raise awareness, provide support, and a path to recovery. I am excited to collaborate with existing partners and stakeholders as well as forging new relationships to drive meaningful change.

“I am leaving The Kaleidoscope Plus Group with a heavy heart but filled with pride for what the team has achieved over the past 13 years. We have done some extraordinary work together fighting for mental health equality and I know that we will remain strong allies going forward.”

Outgoing CEO Hickey is hailed as playing an instrumental role in growing Gordo Moody’s treatment capacity from 120 to 270 a year. He also  oversaw the opening of the UK’s first women-only residential treatment centre in 2021, and paved the way for a new West Midlands-based treatment facility, which is due to open in 2024, that will increase the number of bed spaces to 350.

Claire Arnold, Gordon Moody trustee, said: “We are delighted to welcome Monica to the Gordon Moody team as our new Chief Executive Officer and we would also like to express our sincere thanks to our departing CEO, Matthew Hickey, who has worked tirelessly to advance our cause over the past four years. 

“Monica brings a wealth of experience from her work in the charity sector, most recently from The Kaleidoscope Plus Group and her energy for achieving social change will be a huge asset to Gordon Moody.

“We look forward to the new era of leadership under Monica Shafaq’s guidance and are confident that her expertise will contribute significantly to our mission of addressing gambling harm and its profound impact on individuals and families.” 

In addition, Gordon Moody also cited fresh research that revealed that applications for their treatment services were up 43 per cent through the past year.