About Nacoa

Nacoa (The National Association for Children of Alcoholics) is here to address the needs of children growing up in families where one or both parents suffer from alcoholism or a similar addictive problem.

About Nacoa

Nacoa (The National Association for Children of Alcoholics) is here to address the needs of children growing up in families where one or both parents suffer from alcoholism or a similar addictive problem.

About Nacoa


Nacoa (The National Association for Children of Alcoholics) is a registered charity (No. 1009143), founded in 1990 to address the needs of children growing up in families where one or both parents suffer from alcoholism or a similar addictive problem. This includes children of all ages, many of whose problems only become apparent in adulthood.

Nacoa has four broad aims:

  1. To offer information, advice and support to children of alcohol-dependent parents
  2. To reach professionals who work with them
  3. To raise their profile in the public consciousness
  4. To promote research into the problems they face and the prevention of alcoholism developing in this vulnerable group

1 in 5 children in the UK are affected by their parents’ drinking

Awards and recognition

In 2019, BMA Patient Information Awards highly commended Nacoa publication ‘Some mums and dads drink too much’, and were awarded Most Dedicated Provider of Alcoholism Victim Support 2019 by UK Enterprise Awards.

In 2018, BMA Patient Information Awards commended the Nacoa website.

In 2017, Nacoa was awarded Best Vulnerable Persons Helpline in the Social Care Awards, Best for Vulnerable Persons Helpline in the Global Excellence Awards and Best Alcoholism Child Support Service in the UK Enterprise Awards. Hilary Henriques was awarded Helpline Employee of the Year (3rd place) by the Helplines Partnership
In addition Nacoa’s contribution to the first Manifesto for Children of Alcoholics worldwide was recognised by UNICEF.

In 2015, Hilary Henriques was listed in the Independent’s Happy List for her work at Nacoa and for making the world a better place.

In 2014, Nacoa volunteers win Voscur’s ‘Volunteer team of the year Award’.

In 2012, Nacoa was awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and The Meritorious Service Award by NACoA USA.

In 2011, Nacoa received the Springboard Award 2011 for offering outstanding training and skills development opportunities to young people.

In 2010 the Charity’s leadership was highly commended by The Beacon Fellowship in recognition of an outstanding contribution to charitable and social causes and received Young Bristol’s Excellence in Training Award. Nacoa’s written evidence was published in the House of Commons Health Committee Report on Alcohol.

In 2009, a film about Nacoa’s work featured on the Comic Relief Red Nose Day broadcast and on Sport Relief in 2010. CEO, Hilary Henriques received the Women of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award and was featured in a Comic Relief publication ‘Inspiring Women’.

See Hilary receiving the Women of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award and talking about Nacoa’s work.

In 2008, Nacoa was awarded a Certificate of Merit by Mentor UK and volunteer helpline counsellor, Samantha Rawlings, was runner up in The Telephone Helplines National Helpline Worker of the Year Award.

In 2006, Nacoa was a winner of the Guardian Charity Awards.

In 2005, volunteer helpline counsellor, Isabelle Eardley, was awarded the Community Service Volunteers’ Medal for Commitment and was also voted The Telephone Helplines National Volunteer of the Year. Chief Executive, Hilary Henriques was awarded the Bristol Lord Mayor’s Medal for training volunteers and the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to Nacoa.

Alcohol problems often become the family secret, hidden from the outside world. This leaves children isolated and alone with no one to turn to.

We are here to help.

Together we can give them the chance of a brighter future.

You are not alone

Remember the Six "C"s

I didn’t cause it
I can’t control it
I can’t cure it
I can take care of myself
I can communicate my feelings
I can make healthy choices

Resources you may like

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