Our patrons

Ambassadors for Nacoa's work throughout the country.

Our patrons

Ambassadors for Nacoa's work throughout the country.

Our patrons


Prominent ambassadors for Nacoa’s work throughout the UK.

Tony Adams

Football manager and former player appearing 66 times for England and one of the greatest Arsenal players of all time

‘Children are often the hidden victims of their parents’ alcoholism and end up living a lie, trying to hide their parents’ problems. I support Nacoa because it’s important for children and young people to know that they are not responsible for their parent’s drinking.’

Calum Best

Celebrity, businessman, and son of footballing legend George Best.

‘It’s so important for me to be a Nacoa patron. If I’d known there was someone I could talk to or even someone to listen it would have helped me understand and cope with my dad’s illness. I hope kids and young people feel they can ask me for help and see that things can be different if you talk about it.’

Lauren Booth

Broadcaster and journalist; daughter of actor Tony Booth and presenter of the David Stafford Memorial Lecture 2008.

‘I grew up amid alcoholism, so I know the devastation the illness causes – not only for the sufferers but also their families. It is hard for a child to reach out, to admit that their parents aren’t ‘normal’; admitting you need help as a child means battling a great sense of betrayal. Not to reach out, to find a helping hand or an understanding listener can spell a lifetime of problems.’

Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne is a British Labour Party politician who has been Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hodge Hill since 2004. He served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in Gordon Brown’s Government and is one of Nacoa’s new Patrons.

“I am very proud to be a Patron of this great charity. Nacoa’s excellent staff and volunteers do so much for Britain’s 2.6 million children affected by their parents’ drinking. In the months that followed my father’s death from alcoholism last year, Nacoa gave me the strength to try and make sense of my life as the child of an alcoholic. I am looking forward to another successful year working alongside Nacoa as we take our campaign for change to the heart of government.”

David Coldwell

David Coldwell is a Boxing Coach, Manager & Sky Sports Pundit.

As a coach, he has worked with many prize-winning boxers helping them achieve great accomplishments such as WBA & WBA World titles as well as British, Commonwealth and European titles.

David has also spoken powerfully about his difficult experiences as a child of alcohol-dependent parents.
Listen to the interview here.

His bespoke ‘Coldwell Boxing’ designer face masks are on sale now, with all proceeds to Nacoa. Click here for details.

Geraldine James OBE

Theatre, television and film actor, winner of The Best actress at the Venice Biennale for the film ‘She’s Been Away’.

“I know what it’s like to grow up with a parent who drinks too much. As children we were never allowed to talk about our mother’s drinking. I learned to cope by pretending to be grown up, by putting on a brave face and by looking after everyone else. This helped us to look good as a family but inside I felt lost, lonely, ashamed and frightened. We all conspired to keep ‘the secret’. If only Nacoa had been there for us, to listen uncritically; to give support and help; someone to trust.’

Cherie Lunghi

Cherie Lunghi is an English film, television and theatre actor, well known to British audiences for her starring roles in many TV dramas. Her international fame stems from her role as Guinevere in the 1981 film Excalibur. Her long list of screen, stage and TV credits include football manageress Gabriella Benson in the 1990s television series The Manageress and a series of adverts for Kenco coffee. She also competed in the 2008 series of Strictly Come Dancing. Cherie has been an ambassador for Nacoa since speaking at the Vintners’ Company fundraising dinner in 2007 and presenting the David Stafford Memorial Lecture in 2013.

‘I support Nacoa because I know childhood is not easy for children when their lives are taken over by their parent’s drink problem. Imagine coming home from school and not knowing what you’ll find and having no friends because you can’t bring them home. My message to them is there is hope and help from people at Nacoa.’

Elle Macpherson

Business woman, television host, model and actor.

“I identify with Nacoa’s desire to provide a safe forum for children with alcoholic parents to voice their fears and receive much needed support. It’s not a fashionable charity or a charity that people want to talk about. But I know that without their help and support children affected by their parent’s problems become lost in the system; they grow up feeling worthless and un-noticed at best and abused and broken at worse. We all need a safe place and it gives me great pleasure to support a cause so close to my own heart.’

Suzanne Stafford CQSW

Social Worker and Nacoa’s first fundraiser.

‘Nacoa has played a significant role in recognising the experiences of children of alcoholics and it has been a privilege to have been involved with the charity since 1990. The dedication and commitment of everyone involved plays an important role in raising awareness about this hidden problem, offering help and support to many people who have suffered in isolation.’

Camilla Tominey

Camilla Tominey is a COA campaigner and associate editor at The Telegraph. As a journalist at the Sunday Express and now The Telegraph, she has put pressure on the government to listen to the demands of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children of Alcoholics. She has often achieved that by speaking out about her own story.

You can see the timeline of her work with Nacoa by clicking here.

‘I wish Nacoa had been around when I was growing up with an alcoholic mother. Just to be able to speak to people who could understand how unsettling it was as a child to see someone you loved so much slowly destroying themselves.’

‘Alcoholism breeds secrecy, but we know that only by talking through what we are experiencing at home, can we be helped through it. Nacoa provides a confidential listening ear to children of alcoholics both young and old. It is never too late to discuss the effect parental drinking has had on your life. Nacoa is here to help. That is why I am so proud to be a patron of this fantastic charity.’

David Yelland

Writer, former journalist and editor of The Sun, partner at Brunswick Group LLP and author of ‘The Truth about Leo’.

‘Nobody fills the gap when Nacoa isn’t there. I learned that when volunteers told me why they manned the phones and how it changed their lives. I wanted to tell them that each child they counsel, each call they take is a new start, a new life. What they do is so very VERY important.’


Meet more of our people here.


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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