Meet the Red Card Team

Tony Kelly

Managing Director and Founder

I plied my trade in the Swedish 2nd Division as well as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Divisions of the English Football League in a 9 year career. I spent 3 years at Stoke City under legendary managers such as Alan Ball and Lou Macari and had numerous highs and lows during that period, namely a Wembley winners medal and my famous ‘YouTube’ goal at Anfield in a 2-2 draw in the 1991 League Cup!

If I knew then what I know now, with regards to how professional therapy can be a ‘life saver’, I would not be writing this article. ‘Problem gambling’ can be helped with proper treatment, which may include Psychological therapy. There is no magical cure as it’s an illness and should be treated as such.

We will endeavour to find out what triggers people’s compulsive behaviour and urge for compulsive gambling and I am sure with, your full commitment and continued therapy, together we can accomplish our aim.

Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor

COMPANY Director

Paul joined the Red Card Gambling Support Project because he is worried about the rise of gambling and its long term negative impact. Within Red Card, Paul is responsible for overseeing governance processes.

Outside Red Card, Paul is a management consultant with over 30 years’ experience of delivering change and supporting organisations across the Financial Services, Oil/Gas, Government and Social Enterprise industries.

As well as being a director of Red Card, Paul is also a director of a firm production CIC called SkipzProductions.

In addition, Paul is a judge on the Management Book of the Year awards, an associate lecturer for the Open University Maths Technology school and an external specialist for the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, where he sets syllabuses and writes course materials. He obtained an MBA from Open University Business School and is studying (albeit very slowly) for a Doctorate at Middlesex Business School.

Finally, Paul authors and speaks on a wide range of subjects covering technology (covering AI and Big Data), offshoring, working for yourself, entrepreneurship and change management.

Kevon Robins

Virtual COO

With two decades directorship experience internationally, providing operational leadership, guidance and support, across multiple industries, combined with a multitude of qualifications in finance, engineering, law and more, and officially recorded “Upper Superior Intelligence”*, Kevon Robins is very well established as a credible and reliable business operations expert, skilled in strategy planning and management, streamlining operations, pragmatic data-driven decision-making and nurturing relationships at all levels.

In his early career, Kevon managed operations for a heavy engineering company, served for over five years as managing director of a transmissions engineering company, managed operations of a 450 staff oil and gas company in the UAE, and helped CNPC (the fourth largest company in the world) develop the content of their manager training program. In 2016 he was recognised for his business acumen by a group of venture capitalists and was hired to setup a video advertising company in the UAE. He stayed on for a year as managing director before leading and delivering a major IT project in Kuwait as a joint venture between two telecoms multinationals. In 2018 he returned to the UK to serve five years as Operations Lead for UK trade defence and is now COO of Professionalisation Limited.

Kevon believes ‘a rising tide lifts all ships’ and is driven by a desire to improve quality of life in the UK for everyone. In supporting Red Card he sees an opportunity to improve the lived experience of Red Card’s staff, customers, suppliers and the general public.

*The highest level of intelligence as defined by Mensa, the world’s largest and oldest high-IQ society.

Sandra Mtandabari

Counselling Psychologist

Sandra Mtandabari is a Chartered and Registered Counselling Psychologist with over 20 years of experience in the field of mental health, working in the NHS, voluntary sector and in private practice.

Her approach to therapeutic practice is integrative, informed by cognitive behavioural, schema and existential models, also incorporating systemic principles & motivational interviewing techniques. Working with adults and adolescents, Sandra offers individual and group therapy, for most psychological presentations including addictions.

As an integrative practitioner, Sandra endeavours to work with a holistic approach, thus ensures all the existential dimensions (psychological, physical, social & spiritual) are addressed at the assessment and treatment of clients.

Harj Gahley


Having been through many struggles as a recovered gambling addict, Harj truly knows what it is like to hit rock bottom.  Having spent almost £250,000 on his gambling, this addiction nearly cost everything he loved meaning  children, wife, family and even his own life.

I was afraid to ask my family, friends and Sikh/Indian community for help because I felt embarrassed. However, I put my ego to the side and asked a professional therapist for help and because of her CBT treatment, I was able to dig deep within myself, build my confidence and quit gambling. I was able to reignite my passion for entrepreneurship and now own multiple business, that has given me financial certainty and time freedom to live the life I deserve.

The United Kingdom gives around £1.2 billion annually for gambling addiction, which proves gambling is no longer a problem, it is an epidemic. The number of suicides, unemployment, homeless and imprisonment as a result of problem gambling is shocking. Due to my experience and journey with gambling addiction, it is my belief that we need a proactive approach as opposed to a reactive approach around gambling awareness to make the gambling industry, safer.

Bradley Riddell

BA – Ad.Dip in Integrative Counselling - MBACP

I have been actively involved in the world of addiction since 2001, when I began working for the National charity Addaction, counselling substance mis-users with drug and alcohol issues. I have worked with families of addicts for the charity CRI-Patched, and for the charity Breakeven which specialises in the area of gambling addiction offering free counselling to problem gamblers and their ‘significant others’ ie: friends and family.

I recently began my own private practice in 2014 based in Maidstone & Brighton specialising in addiction therapy whilst continuing my work with problem gambling with Breakeven who have offices throughout the South East of England.
My interests in addiction stem from my own experiences in my earlier years when I began to use alcohol & recreational drugs heavily and obsessively. Interestingly for an “Addictions Therapist” I am not a particular fan of the term “addict”.

Whilst I recognise that when used appropriately it can have tremendously healing potential I’m very aware that when used derogatively it can cause stigma and shame, adding to the addictive behaviour and thinking, and not helping it. For this reason therapeutic work needs to be undertaken sensitively, compassionately and with empathic understanding for the pain the person in the grip of the addictive compulsions is going through. I work in an integrated way and with a keen interest in Neuro-scientific research into brain chemistry. In my experience these insights can help clients understand what was previously inexplicable and greatly aid therapeutic progress and integration of self.

I am a member of the BACP and an active member of the Counselling-Directory on whose site I have had several articles on addiction published.

I am currently in the process of becoming an accredited member of the BACP.

Darren Lane

Darren Lane

Lived Experience Facilitator

My name is Darren, and I have suffered from a gambling addiction for the majority of my adult life. My gambling started when I was around 11 years old and what I thought was a normal hobby quickly started to severely impact not only my life, but those around me too.
My life was consumed with gambling thoughts and actions 24 hours a day from my late teens. This resulted in broken relationships, financial problems, no self-worth, and suicidal thoughts. My gambling started at Amusement Arcades, quickly escalating into gambling on anything available to me, from football bets to FOBTS to online gambling.
I want to help raise awareness of gambling harm, particularly for young people. If I had this awareness in my teens, I honestly believe my life would have taken a different path. Following my extensive support and my acceptance to having an addiction, I am now gamble free and enjoy a wonderful, fulfilling life.

Sue Alty

LinkedIn social media expert.

Fate brings people into your life for a reason.

Some people are with you for a short time, others may remain for longer, and some forge strong bonds that last a lifetime!

Fate introduced me to Tony Kelly.

Our connection on the LinkedIn platform quickly led to a conversation about ways in which I thought he could tell his story and bring the important work that Red Card Gambling Support Project do to the right audience.

I’ve dealt with addiction first-hand during my career.

My operational time in HR often found me supporting colleagues who were seeking help. This experience taught me about addictive behaviour and the triggers that can set people down that particular road.

In addition to gambling, I helped people deal with an unhealthy dependency on drugs, alcohol, food, and sex.

I sometimes saw colleagues at their lowest point, but I also shared in their joy when they ‘overcame their personal demons’, finding health and happiness once more.

My career first took me into the world of hotels and hospitality.

Learning was ‘hands on’, and I rose through the ranks from chambermaid to Executive Head Housekeeper.

And this was during the 80’s, a time of excess and money.

I witnessed ‘champagne lifestyles’ close-up, casinos were extremely popular, and losing was for wimps!

But I also saw many colleagues fall prey to the ‘work hard, play harder’ culture, and sadly, not all my friends made it through the decade.

Once I’d attained my own hotel career goal, it felt the right time to leave hospitality and transfer my skills to another industry.

Still in love with my London life, I was in no rush to leave the capital city, so I moved into recruitment for hotels, catering, and events, making good use of the network I’d built up over the years.

But it was love that finally enticed me away from London, I met my partner and relocated to Cambridgeshire with him.

After a couple of years working for a local legal firm as their HR Manager, I took the decision to return to a more corporate role when Tesco built a huge distribution centre in Peterborough.

A dozen happy years soon flew by, but when a long line of company restructures coincided with the death of my father, I decided to take redundancy and try my hand at something new.

And I’ve never looked back!

I was invited to join The Chrysalis Crew and found myself swapping corporate for creative!

This role has taken my love of writing to a whole new level, and I create content for several businesses in addition to my work within HR and social media for the Crew.

I love helping others to tell their stories, we’ve all got a tale to tell, and I enjoy supporting people build their online audience authentically.

The glamour and glitz of gambling can be a thin veneer at times, and what lies beneath can be ugly and unhealthy, making the work that Tony Kelly and Red Card do essential.

I’m proud to wave a ‘Red Card’ to educate, build awareness and help prevent addiction to problem gambling.

Ben Jones

Gambling awareness facilitator

At the age of 18 I had the world at my feet, I was playing rugby at a high level with real hopes of becoming professional, and as a fall back I was getting straight A’s in my A levels so I knew I had a strong academic background to fall back on. Due to injury, rugby didn’t work out, and when I went to University to study Psychology, I started to suffer from what would become a 10 year long battle with depression.

When my girlfriend fell pregnant, I started to look for a way to support us, so turned to gambling. I found that gambling also acted as a way to escape my depression and pretty soon I was in the depths of gambling addiction. This worsened over time and the very thing that I was using to escape my troubles, was actually the thing that was sending me into an ever worsening downward spiral that I could not escape from.

I was working as a sales manager and was bringing home decent money for my family, I continued to gamble and started to use lines of credit to fund my gambling, during a 3 year period I had over 100 pay-day loans as well as credit cards overdrafts, and other lines of credit, but it still wasn’t enough.

I started to steal money from my employer to make sure that I could still gamble, and this continued for around 3 years, by which point I was stealing tens of thousands a month. I tried to stop in July 2018 after a suicide attempt, but my account manager at the betting company lured me back in and by November 2018 I had stolen £370,000 and was caught. I attempted suicide again, and it was at this point I realised I had to turn my life around. Gambling was ruining everything in my life, and my now wife was heavily pregnant with our second child and I wanted to make sure that one day my daughters would be proud of me.

I spent the next 12 months doing everything I could to recover, as well as working with some gambling operators to raise awareness of how gambling can destroy lives. In November 2019, with a 11 month old and 8 year old daughter at home, I was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

During my time in prison I continued my recovery and I knew that upon release I wanted to use my story and experiences to help and make sure that others did not have to go through the same thing I had. Shortly after release I secured a job in a role where I speak to people at their lowest point every single day, and this is something that brings me an unbelievable sense of satisfaction and self worth.

However, I believe that we don’t need to let people get to “rock bottom” before we help them, what if we can prevent them from getting there in the first place. This is where I saw Red Card were recruiting and I knew that it was a perfect role for me. Awareness and education are the strongest tools we have at our disposal to prevent the next generation from falling into the same traps I did, in a world where gambling is more accessible than ever.

Hardip Sidhu

We welcome Hardip to Red Card.

Further details to follow.

Kate Seselja

Lived Experience Facilitator

Founder of The Hope Project.

“I am joining the Red Card team because I am passionate about addressing gambling harm both from a National perspective here in Australia and internationally like working with Tony and the Red card Team. I look forward to delivering workshops that educate and engage the community. With education comes empowerment.”

Kate Seselja is passionate about proactively skilling people with tools for sustainable wellbeing. She is using her lived experience and training to create positive change. Her 12 year struggle with gambling addiction to Poker Machines (aka slots) almost took her life. The passionate mum of 6 has turned her adversity into a mission to coach, educate and inspire others. She contributes in the areas of advocacy in gambling reform and founding The Hope Project (a social enterprise).

The Hope Project tackles proactive prevention and resilience skill-building, through programs focusing on emotional intelligence and developing a constructive relationship with adversity. Her mission is to change the destructive vernacular of addiction to focus on Growth Not Shame. Her program AWAKE is a tool for Sustainable Mental Well being.

The Hope Project partnered with United Nations Association of Australia to promote Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being. Kate is a Recovery Coach for Los Angeles based IGNTD Recovery, a unique new
approach to individual transformation from addiction. Kate Co-Chair of Canberra Gambling Reform Alliance (CGRA) and appointed to the Ministerial Advisory Committee to implement new gambling reforms in ACT. Kate is a TEDx speaker, a World Kindness Australia Goodwill Ambassador and has won a number of awards, most recently the Women with Altitude ‘Most inspiring person of 2018’. She has been featured on a number of publications, podcasts and television programs like The Today Show, ABC’s ‘You Can’t Ask That’ and CNN’s ‘Vital Signs’.

“I help shift the way people view struggles.”

Chris Gawor

Lived Experience Facilitator

Chris has lived experience of gambling addiction which lasting over 12 years whilst working as a senior sales leader for digital media brands.

Chris was addicted to financial spread betting & trading, risking significant sums of personal finances and credit to feed his addiction.

As he got help, he realised that gambling support charities were starting to understand his particular type of addiction which prompted him to research the physiological and psychological impacts behind gambling addiction in all its forms.

Through his recovery, he has trained in both mental health and addiction awareness, and continued his research into the impact of gambling as addiction continues to rise in the UK and therefore the impact and risk to employers.

Chris knows first-hand how both the psychological and financial impact of this addiction impacts mental health and therefore performance at work.  Uniquely, he experienced how gambling and trading during working hours can impact attention, decision making and wellbeing.

By raising awareness of the unique impact this addiction has on people, Chris hopes to encourage others to find support and prevent harmful gambling behaviour. Helping to reduce the number of people whose lives have been impacted by gambling in all its forms.

Elisabet Ekpenyong

Admin Volunteer

I struggled with illness for 22 years, but while I focused on getting well and keeping my job, I did not understand the toll my various battles would have on my mental well-being until it was almost too late. I am happy to be alive and I feel very privileged that I have the opportunity to help others deal with challenges in a healthy way. Red Card is focused on Prevention by educating and creating awareness of gambling harms so that people can enjoy gambling as a pastime, if they choose to, without falling into the downward spiral of addiction. 

I hold an L.LB from the University of Abuja, Nigeria, and an L.LM in International Banking and Finance Law from the Queen Mary, University of London. I was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002 and have, over the period, developed unique specialism in both legal and financial advisory services. I have worked extensively in the Nigerian Financial Sector with various investment banks, including the Davandy Group, the Chapel Hill Denham Group and the DLM Capital Group. As an investment banker, I worked in corporate finance/financial advisory, securities trading, asset management, principal investments, risk & compliance, and investigations. In 2013, I returned to legal practise where I focused my career on financial market law, managing funds and providing legal solutions on structured financial transactions. I left legal practise in 2018, resigning as a Partner and Head, Financial Market group at Perchstone & Graeys, to establish a financial law and risk consulting firm, Knowledge Room Limited, with a bias for developmental finance, and a law firm, Yong & Brown.

My passion for development finance led me to work (pro-bono) with various Nigerian government departments, including the FSS 2020 Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where I and the ad-hoc legislative drafting team drafted bills targeted at developing the Nigerian financial sector, including The Secured Transaction in Moveable Asset Act, 2016, The Factoring Assignment (Establishment, ETC) Bill, The Securitisation Bill, and The Nigerian Warehouse Receipts Bill. I also authored various opinion articles on the financial market, which were published by Business Day Nigeria. Furthermore, I was a member and the secretary of the Nigerian Factoring Working Group, and an active member of the Capital Market Committee of the Nigerian Bar Associations’ Section on Business Law, under which I lectured on Equities Market at different training and lecture tours.

Kevin Sanders

Website Manager

Kevin is the founder and manager of Sanders Web Works. Together with his team, he works with Red Card to develop and manage most aspects of the Red Card website. 

Kevin is very experienced in all areas of website management and development, and is delighted to help Red Card achieve its goals.