Making Memories… Giving Hope

Children of Alcoholics Week: Tom's Story


1 in 5 children in the UK are affected by their parents' drinking.

That's around 2.6 million children in the UK with a alcohol-dependent parent. 

Last year, 18.6% of children referred to CHICKS were living in families where one or more parent was alcohol or substance-dependent.

At CHICKS we provide respite breaks for children who are living in families where alcohol and/or substance abuse takes place.

Tom's story

11-year-old Tom has a difficult home life. His parents separated a few years ago as a result of his father’s alcohol dependency. Whilst Tom still has some contact with his father, his mother has limited this in an attempt to protect her children from learning of their father’s alcohol addiction which has left him in a great deal of debt and forced him to live in a hostel.

Recently, however, Tom and his sister became aware of some of the details of their father’s condition and have, understandably, been very upset by this. Tom’s mother is now supporting the family on her own and, whilst she does work, she only receives a low income meaning that there is never any money for days out together as a family or for a holiday. Tom’s school referred him to CHICKS as they knew he would have no other opportunity for a break away from his difficult home life and hoped that the positive and supportive environment at CHICKS would help boost his confidence and self-esteem.

When Tom first arrived at CHICKS he was incredibly nervous, becoming upset when his mother had to leave him. The Respite Break Leaders offered him plenty of reassurance and support throughout the week, introducing him to the other children and helping him to make friends with some of the other boys on break who loved football as much as he did! With their support and encouragement Tom gradually grew in confidence throughout the week, taking part in activities that he was initially nervous about, such as horse riding and swimming, and building some great relationships with the adults as well as his peers.

Tom was extremely appreciative of the support he was given by the adults on break and took great comfort in knowing that they were always there for him to talk to if he was feeling nervous or homesick.

He received lots of praise from everyone on break for his efforts during the week, both for his determination to overcome his anxieties and his kindness to others. At the end of his time at CHICKS Tom was incredibly proud of all he had achieved and said that he would definitely like to come to CHICKS again!

Please support us during Children of Alcoholics Week by donating here so we can provide respite breaks for children like Tom.



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