The Women Walking 1 Million Steps for Nacoa

To kick off 2020, a team a ladies from across the UK are embarking on a challenge to complete 1 million steps each for children affected by their parent’s drinking from 1st Oct to 31st Dec to raise money for Nacoa.

A few of these wonderful women have decided to share their stories and reasons why they chose to get involved and what Nacoa means to them.

Gemma’s Story
Both my parents were alcoholics and I didn’t have a positive role model growing up, I was father and mother to my three younger siblings and tried to shield them from the physical and emotional abuse on a daily basis.

Nacoa is more than just a charity it’s become a lifeline for so many in my situation I’m surrounded by a positive network of people who I know are always there if I need them, I’m walking 1 million steps to raise awareness of this charity and the amazing support they give to children and adults all across the country.

Sarah’s Story
My dad has been an alcoholic all my life and I really struggled with sharing how I felt with people close to me as I thought I’d be judged and I felt as if no one could ever understand.

Finding Nacoa and talking to people who understood helped me so much, I still have my days but the group and everyone in it help me so much. Thank you Nacoa time to give something back

Julie’s Story
3 years ago I lost my Mum & brother within 2 weeks of each other, both due to many years of alcohol abuse. My heart was broken & always hoped that one day things would change and we would become a happy family once again.

I heard about Nacoa on the program This Morning & got in touch straight away. The care & support given was something I had been looking for most of my life & suddenly I was heard & understood with a great network of people who as time has gone on I am very happy to say have become friends. Nacoa has most certainly changed my life for the better & will always be a safe place I can go to.

Jess’s Story

I am walking for Nacoa because this year the charity and community it has created have been invaluable for me. My father was a wonderful man full of intelligence, humour and adventure however he also used alcohol to escape reality and unfortunately often prioritised alcohol. As a child I felt quite alone, guilty and like I wasn’t enough a lot of the time, this year my father passed away and the grieving process was very complex, but Nacoa seemed to sum up everything I was feeling, gave me a place where I could relate to others and learn to not be ashamed of my story.

As a child you learn to ring an ambulance if you fall, ChildLine if you’re being abused, to tell teachers if you’re bullied but nobody tells you what to do if your parent is an alcoholic, who to ring if they’ve passed out or drunk and I really feel that everybody should know about Nacoa so no child has to go through this in silence. My dad loved walking and nature so I partly want to walk one million steps in memory of him, but I believe something positive can come out of trauma and I am finally not ashamed of my story and want to raise awareness of alcoholism and the support NACOA provides.

Ceri’s Story
Nacoa means everything to me, the help they have given to me since finding them, a real support network and I’m ready for a new challenge. I feel so motivated knowing that with each step I could help a child feel less alone, a little me somewhere will be able to release that secret!

My poor Mum missed so much of my life, and the gap is always there, but I’m doing well, thanks to Nacoa, and their amazing support to all Children of alcoholics. I can live my life in the present, and I hope to help children and adults affected so that they can too, as it still affects us whatever our age, but we can still do amazing things, and learn to love our broken bits!


Kate’s Story
My dad would have been 53 year however sadly he didn’t make it past 46, he didn’t get to watch his children grow up into adults that he could be proud of. Sadly, alcohol extremely shortened his life, leaving me with a lifetime of unanswered questions. Having an alcoholic parent is like living with two very different people. You never know what chaos you will come home from school to find, you walk around holding in this secret through fear of bringing shame upon your family. It damages your self-worth, your emotional development & your mental health.

I choose Nacoa because they are the second family, one I never knew I needed, I’ve met so many wonderful people who’ve been through what I have. We share stories, we rant about day to day life, we support each other, and we feel each other’s pain. Nacoa are a vastly underfunded charity that provide vital support to often “forgotten children” all over the UK every day of the week.