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IFCF joins forces with Nacoa UK schools campaign tackling the effects of parental addiction

Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation (IFCF) and Nacoa UK are joining forces to boost awareness and understanding in schools about alcoholism and its impacts on families. IFCF are providing tools for Nacoa, the national charity for everyone affected by a parent’s drinking or similar addictive issues, to deliver over one-hundred presentations and training sessions, thereby doubling Nacoa’s current capacity. Working together, Iceland and Nacoa will deliver the largest outreach project of its kind in UK history.

The impacts of addiction on the family

  • 1 in 5 children are affected by a parent’s drinking in the UK. Over 700,000 children live with an alcohol-dependent parent
  • Only 18% of parents with an addiction problem are in touch with treatment
  • Children of alcohol-dependent parents are more likely to suffer from mental health problems, witness violence, have trouble at school, and develop an addiction problem themselves
  • Nacoa’s twenty year study showed that half of these young people keep the problems they face hidden from the outside world
  • Research shows that active support in schools for these children provides a ‘protective factor’ and builds resilience for them to make healthy choices for themselves

Nacoa is the NHS recommended service dedicated to children affected, promote awareness and training through its schools campaign. Despite the prevalence of the issue, however, this is not a statutory topic in classrooms in England and Wales. Despite fundamental strengths in volunteers and materials but hampered by limited resources, Nacoa’s schools programme has historically relied on the good will and initiative of volunteers.

This moment provides an ambitious focus for Nacoa to accelerate its existing programme into the future. In the long term, the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation funding will leave a legacy through a full update of materials and an emphatic example of success for subsequent future projects, demonstrating the impact this investment in schools support for children of alcoholics can achieve. This work will make a real difference to the children that Nacoa was established to support.

The Nacoa schools campaign boost will commence late Spring of 2024.

Hilary Henriques MBE, Nacoa’s Chief Executive, said: ‘The power in this project is the partnership. When Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation came to us with an idea to collaborate, we quickly came to the same conclusion: more needs to be done to support children of alcoholics in schools. This is not about swooping in and targeting particular young people, it’s about generating healthy conversation amongst all students and teachers about the impacts of alcohol on individuals and the family. That creates a virtuous cycle which breaks down stigma and will lead to individuals affected feeling seen and knowing that they aren’t alone and that there are ways to protect themselves and feel better. With Iceland Foods, we are starting on a journey that will change lives of some of the most vulnerable young people you can imagine.’

 Richard Walker, Executive Chairman of Iceland Foods and Chairman of  Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation said: “The wellbeing of children and families has always been a priority for Iceland, especially during times of financial strain or uncertainty. The work that Nacoa are doing is vital and provides children with the education and resources they need to feel supported and to make healthy choices for themselves.”

“This historic partnership will enable Nacoa to reach more children than ever before in schools across the UK and start life changing conversations, laying the groundwork to help prevent future mental health problems and alcohol addiction.”

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