1 in 5 children in the UK are affected by their parents’ alcohol problems. Together we can make a difference by letting them know that they are not alone. When alcohol dependence is the family secret, people often believe that talking is being disloyal to their parents and try to hide their problems from the outside world. This can leave children feeling isolated and alone. Many alcohol services offer family programmes, but there are few services for the vastly greater number of children whose parents do not seek help or even acknowledge the problem. These children find themselves with no one to turn to.
Our free, confidential helpline provides information and ongoing support for everyone affected by a parent’s drinking. We are here for children, young people, adults and concerned others and professionals alike. Calls, emails and messages are answered by a team of dedicated volunteers. Volunteers also help in many other ways such as fundraising and events, distributing leaflets and posters, public speaking and talking to the media. Nacoa is funded entirely by voluntary donations and we would not be here without the help of so many wonderful volunteers. With your help we can continue to provide a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable children in the UK today; many of them suffering in silence.
Helpline counsellors staff our free, confidential telephone, email and message board helpline providing information, advice and ongoing support. Simply listening can help people to realise they are not alone and that their feelings are important. The helpline provides a space in which callers can work through problems and find ways to feel better. The role can be challenging, at times, but is immensely rewarding. Prior to commencing helpline work, volunteers must complete our foundation training programme which looks at alcohol dependence and how the family adapts, child protection and listening skills and is followed by a series of inductions and mentored shifts
For this role you need to live in reach of our office in Bristol and be able to commit to a minimum of 3 hours per week for at least one year. A passion to help others simply by being there is essential. Helpline volunteers are required to complete our foundation training programme which takes place over two months as well as an induction to the helpline. Helpline volunteers are also required to attend monthly helpline meetings providing support and supervision and occasional ongoing training sessions. Helpline volunteers must be aged 18 or over and be happy to complete DBS checks.
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