Sharing stories for COA Week - Children of Alcoholics Week 11-17 February 2018

Added on February 10th, 2017 4:18 am

Event Info

Elle Macpherson – Businesswoman, Actress and Model


This is not my life but the life of a five year old girl who reminds me why Nacoa’s work is so close to my own heart.

Orla began the first call to Nacoa asking why her Mum is angry with her, why does Mum drink and how can I stop her drinking. She said that she was worried about her Mum as she had locked herself in the bathroom the previous night and was still there.  Her Mum had said that she wanted to die and would be dead in the morning and told her to use the green button on the phone to call for help (Mum had programmed the Nacoa Helpline number on her mobile).

Orla said she did not want to call an ambulance as they would bash the door down and her Mum would be cross with her. Our Volunteer Helpline Counsellor, Ann-Marie explained that calling the ambulance would be the best decision at this point and told her we would be here for her if she wanted to ring back. The caller said that she would call the ambulance.
She called again when the Emergency Services had arrived and the bathroom door was forced open.  Orla said that her Mum’s nose and mouth were blue and that she was not breathing. She had touched her hand and it was cold.  She said ‘Mum’s not breathing and they want to take me away’.

Orla ran into her Mother’s bedroom and locked the door so the police could not reach her. She wanted to stay in her Mum’s room and did not want to let them in. Anne-Marie said that she would stay on the phone with her. She was crying and repeating that she did not want to go with the police. Anne-Marie was saying: “we are here for you and want you to be safe”. Orla said “I’m going to run when the door opens” and hung up.

Our Volunteer Helpline Counsellors were able to guide Orla through this devastating time.  Although sadly we could not change the events of that day, we were able to support her to call the Emergency Services. With careful training and working as a team, our volunteers are able to be there for children like Orla; offering ongoing support whenever they need it and wherever their paths take them.

This story touched my heart, and is just one of many, and why this crucial service is needed – it’s a safe place for some of the most vulnerable and invisible children in the UK today.