Helpline FAQs

Frequent questions about calling the helpline

Helpline FAQs

Frequent questions about calling the helpline

What age do I have to be to contact you?

You can be a child of an alcoholic at one or 101 and you can contact us at any age.

Will you see my number?

No, we do not have caller ID. We cannot 1471 and do not trace calls.

Do I have to tell you my name?

No. Many callers only use their first name, or you can choose a name you would like us to call you by. It’s up to you – it’s your call.

Will my call be recorded?

No. We don’t record calls although we keep information which is kept in strictest confidence. This means we can work as a team and helps our helpline volunteers to offer the best possible service.

Who will I talk to and who will answer my emails?

You will talk to one of our trained, volunteer helpline counsellors, who also answer emails. We work as a team to ensure you get the best help available.

When can I phone/email you?

Our phone lines are open from 10.00am – 7.00pm Monday and Friday. 10.00am – 9.00pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and from 10.00am – 3.00pm on Saturday. You can email at any time, night or day, and we will reply as soon as possible.

If our lines are busy we have an answerphone. If you feel comfortable, please leave a message. When we phone back we will only speak to the person who phoned, we will not identify ourselves to anyone else and will not leave a message unless you’ve said it’s OK. We value your right to confidentiality and anonymity.

Will my call be kept confidential?

Yes. We treat all calls in strictest confidence and if you have any concerns, we will discuss with you how to keep the call confidential to give you as much control as possible.

However, if you choose to give us your full name and contact details and we are worried about your safety, or the safety of other people, we may need to talk to someone else. We will always talk to you about this first and will give you as much control as possible over what happens next.

How do I get hold of you?

Our free phone number is 0800 358 3456 or you can email helpline@nacoa.org.uk or write to Nacoa, PO Box 64, Bristol, BS16 2UH.

What if I can’t get through?

At busy times you may go through to an answerphone. If you feel comfortable, please leave a message.

When we phone back we will only speak to the person who phoned, we will not identify ourselves to anyone else and will not leave a message unless you’ve said it’s OK. We value your right to confidentiality and anonymity.

How much can I tell you?

You can tell us as little or as much as you want when you want. This is your call and you are in charge. We don’t judge – we only want to help you.

I’m worried about someone else, can I still call?

Yes. Many of our callers are relatives, friends or colleagues who are concerned about someone else. We are here for everyone who is concerned about someone else’s welfare.

How much does the call cost and does it show up on the bill?

Calls are free from a landline and will not show up on the landline phone bill. The helpline is free from Orange, Virgin, Vodafone and 3. Other mobile networks may charge. There should be a warning message about this before you are connected. If you have inclusive minutes, you can also access the helpline by calling 0117 924 3675. If you do not wish to store Nacoa’s number on your phone you can clear your Dialled Numbers call register.

Who else uses this service?

People of all ages, affected by their parents’ alcohol problems, even if they no longer live with their parents or if their parents no longer drink.

People including family, friends and colleagues who are concerned about someone affected by parental alcohol problems.

Professionals, including teachers, nurses, youth workers and other professionals who are concerned about someone affected by parental alcohol problems.

Students and everyone who has an interest in helping others cope with parental alcoholism.

Can you help me?

Yes. We will listen to you and help you to find ways to cope and deal with anything that troubles you. We do not make false promises. As a team of carefully trained and compassionate volunteers we have no limits and we will do our best for you.

Who else will know about my call?

You don’t have to tell anyone you’re contacting us and we won’t tell anyone you’ve talked to us. Anything you tell us will stay within the helpline team and we won’t tell anyone else what you’ve said.

Will I get anyone in trouble by telling you what’s happening?

No. We value your right to anonymity and confidentiality. Sharing how you feel is not being disloyal to your family, it’s a way of taking care of yourself by getting help and support from people who understand the problem.

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

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