Hello! Just to let you know that we use non-essential cookies (including analytics and third party cookies) to help us understand if our website is working well and to learn what content is most useful to visitors. We also use some cookies which are essential for our platform to work and help us to provide you with the best experience possible. You can accept or reject our non-essential cookies and change your mind at any time. To learn more, please read our cookies policy.

Update cookie preferences
Skip to content

National Association for Children of Alcoholics

Nacoa founded in 1990 addresses problems faced by children growing up in families where one or both parents suffer from alcoholism. This includes children of all ages, many of whose problems only become apparent in adulthood. We offer a free confidential helpline 0800 358 3456 and helpline email helpline@nacoa.org.uk.

nacoa.org.uk Fundraise for us

0117 924 8005

Registered charity no. 1009143

Member since September 2020

About us

Nacoa addresses the needs of children of all ages growing up in families where one or both parents suffer from alcohol dependency. We offer information, advice and support to children, including adults, reach out and support professionals who work with them; raise the profile in the public consciousness; promote research into the problems they face and the prevention of alcoholism developing in this vulnerable group. Our phone lines are open throughout the week and emails can be received at any time. The helpline empowers these children with a variety of life skills to help them cope with difficult ongoing challenges.

The way we work has been developed by listening and taking account of what children, young people and adults tell us they want and need. Our focus is on the individual caller, encouraging them to look at their own practical wants and needs, rather than those of the family.

Callers tell their stores to more than one Volunteer Helpline Counsellor. Sometimes they’ve allowed their feelings to build up inside until they feel ready to explode or become ill with symptoms like abdominal pains and headaches. By recounting experiences, callers begin a process of looking at difficulties one at a time whilst at the same time realizing that they are not alone; are not responsible for their parent’s drinking; did not cause it and cannot control it; and are not responsible for their parent’s behaviour.

Callers often feel overwhelmed and use drink, drugs, eating problems and self-harm, as a means of surviving difficulties at home and problems at school. This seemingly destructive behavior is seen as a means of coping. With Nacoa’s support these children can learn a variety of coping and self-care strategies to stay safe and to respect themselves.

Our services are funded by voluntary donations and membership.

• £10 pays for 5 information packs to be sent out to professionals working with children of alcohol-dependent parents • £60 pays for our free phone calls for a week • £400 pays to train a new volunteer helpline counsellor and, • £800 keeps the helpline running for 6 weeks

Since Covid-19 and lockdown our calls have doubled. You can read more on this 'Report: Covid So Far, Lockdown and the Lost Children' - https://www.nacoa.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2020/06/05/report-covid-so-far-lockdown-and-the-lost-children/