Around 2.6 million children in the UK are affected by their parent’s drinking.
In Brighton & Hove alone there are at least 1700, but unfortunately there could be many more children that feel unable to ask for support.
#HereToListen is a new campaign to let children and young people who are affected by their parent’s drinking know that support is available.
After the success of a similar campaign in Bristol, Brighton & Hove City Council’s Back on Track project and national charity Nacoa have worked with renowned street artists The Postman and Broken Hartist to launch #heretolisten in Brighton & Hove.
The campaign features striking images of Nacoa volunteers Ceri Walker and Beckie Burkhill when they were children with the words; ‘some mums and dads drink too much, Nacoa are here to listen’.
The message is a simple one that will hopefully catch the attention of the many children who are currently getting no support. We hope they look again and realise that the helpline is there for them.
Ceri Walker works with both Nacoa and Back on Track and organised the campaign. She explained: “When I was a child I thought I was the only one struggling with my mum’s drinking, keeping it a secret at any cost in order to protect my mum, now I hope children see my face and realise they aren’t alone, support is there for them, and getting support can be a positive step for the whole family.”
The partnership between Nacoa and the Back on Track project is to help reach more of the hidden children in Brighton & Hove. If they don’t feel able to speak at school or to another adult yet, maybe calling Nacoa’s confidential helpline could be their first step, and in time hopefully they will feel able to get support from local services.
The campaign runs from March until June. Posters can currently be seen all along the seafront and large billboards are on display on London Road and Sackville Road. Over Easter they will pop-up on 150 digital screens, and on more bus stops as schools return after Easter.
If you are struggling during this pandemic
It can be really hard if you're worried about your parent’s drinking, or you think they might have a problem with alcohol. It can be even harder if you and your family are at home together most of the time due to Covid-19.
- You may want to hide it and not want anyone to know.
- You might be scared and worried about what is going to happen to you or your parent.
- You might feel angry about what is happening or confused if you can't understand why your parent is drinking like this.
- Some children worry that it's their fault, but it's really important you know that this is not the case.
Please know that you're not on your own and there is support available. You may worry about asking for help but it really is a positive step
Get support in Brighton & Hove with Back on Track
The Back on Track project can support families when a parent or carer drinks too much. It can help children, young people or adults to find the right support for them, whether that’s one to one support, therapy, emotional support or advice.
Back on Track is made up of partners Oasis Project, RUOK, Young Carers Project, and works closely with Nacoa.
Get support from Nacoa
Nacoa run a confidential helpline, offering free advice and support to anyone, of any age, affected by their parents drinking. They also work with professionals. Nacoa.org.uk has message boards, others personal experiences, research and resources.
- Find out more about the #hertolisten campaign from Nacoa UK and download your own versions of the posters
- Ceri Walker, featured in this artwork, has also shared a letter written to her younger self.