Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation boosts schools campaign for children affected by their parent's drinking

News provided by Nacoa on Friday 26th Apr 2024

Embargoed until 30 April 2024

Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation and Nacoa UK are joining forces to boost awareness and understanding in schools about alcohol problems and their impact 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
  • The majority 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 for children affected by parents' alcohol problems and promotes 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. Nacoa’s schools programme has historically relied on the goodwill and initiative of individual volunteers.

By joining forces with Iceland and matching their funding, this moment provides an ambitious focus for Nacoa to accelerate its existing programme. 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 school 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 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 families. That creates a virtuous cycle which breaks down stigma. People affected will feel seen. They will know 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 the lives of some of the most vulnerable young people you can imagine.”

Richard Walker, Executive Chairman of Iceland Foods and Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation Trustee 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.”

Issued by:

Dr Piers Henriques

Director of communications and marketing, Nacoa UK

Notes to Editors:

  • There are an estimated 2.6 million children in the UK living with a parent who drinks too much.
  • Sadly, problems often persist into adulthood. Millions of adults are still affected by their parent’s drinking
  • Children living with parental alcoholism are:
    • Six times as likely to witness domestic violence
    • Five times as likely to develop an eating problem
    • Three times as likely to consider suicide
    • Twice as likely to experience difficulties at school
    • Three times as likely to develop alcoholism or addiction
    • Twice as likely to be in trouble with the police
  • Nacoa helpline analysis of over 20 years of data shows that 55% of children of alcohol-dependent parents describe facing serious mental distress through anxiety (60%), stress (51%), and depression (41%). Also 26% of callers experienced abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect. Over half of callers had not told anyone else about the problem.
  • ONS figures show that alcohol-specific deaths have increased by 38% since 2019, with female alcohol deaths having increased by 42%.

About Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation (IFCF)

IFCF has raised £34 million to date for our charity partners. Our primary focus is on projects within four core areas: Dementia, Environment, Wellbeing and Children. Further details can be found on our website

Examples of our partnerships include £10m to help fund the new groundbreaking UK Dementia Research Institute opening in London in 2024, over £5m to Alzheimer’s Research UK, £1.5m Alzheimer’s Society and over £1 million to The National Brain Appeal – to help create the world’s first Rare Dementia Support Centre

We have co-developed resources with The UK Sepsis Trust to raise vital awareness of Sepsis symptoms, resources now used by companies and schools throughout the UK. IFCF donated £1m to Prostate Cancer UK and recently worked with them to promote their online 30-second risk checker to the public. We have also given over £6m to children’s charities, our recent Action for Children partnership provided urgent support to children in some of the most challenging circumstances.

IFCF inspired a million hours of nature engagement for children in the UK through our Backyard Nature campaign. We fund the SAS Million Mile Clean, seeing thousands of volunteers clean our beaches, rivers, and urban areas.

IFCF’s social channels include:

Twitter: @IcelandCharity

Instagram: @icelandcharity

Facebook: @Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation

LinkedIn: @Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation

About Nacoa UK

Nacoa (The National Association for Children of Alcoholics) is a registered charity (No. 1009143), founded in 1990 to address the needs of children affected by a parent’s drinking or similar addictive problem. This includes children of all ages, many of whose problems only become apparent in adulthood.

Nacoa has four broad aims

  • To offer information, advice and support for children affected by a parent’s drinking
  • To reach professionals who work with them
  • To raise their profile in the public consciousness
  • To promote research into the problems they face and the prevention of alcohol use disorder developing in this vulnerable group.

Nacoa's social channels include:

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter: @NacoaUK

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Nacoa, on Friday 26 April, 2024. For more information subscribe and follow

Addiction PHSE Education Alcohol Iceland Foods Supermarkets Charity Richard Walker Children Of Alcoholics Corporate Social Responsibility Business & Finance Charities & non-profits Children & Teenagers Education & Human Resources
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Communications lead: Piers Henriques, 0785 553 3962

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