A man who gambled away £250,000 is setting up a group to help others.

Emil, 69, of Stebbing, gave up gambling in 1988 and has been clean ever since.

He has set up groups in Slough and Cambridge to help other gamblers kick the habit and is now doing the same in Braintree.

He said: “Gambling is like crack cocaine. It is truly addictive and is now accessible 24 hours every day.

“These groups won’t alone make you stop gambling, you have to want to do it, but they will support you.

“It’s a great feeling being free from gambling, although you can never be fully cured of it.”

Emil is running the sessions at the Braintree Community Centre on Wednesday evenings from 7pm-8pm, with the start date yet to be confirmed.

Anyone who wants more information can call him on 01376 856957 or 07930400122.