Author Tackles Great North Swim for Children of Alcoholics

Would You Like To Sponsor My Wetsuit? (that'll be an attractive little number...)
Would You Like To Sponsor My Wetsuit? (that'll be an attractive little number...)

Morning all!

Just a shortie to bring you a pressing news item from my local paper.

Please find the following article by Joanna Davis printed in today’s Dorset Echo.

A DAUGHTER of an alcoholic will be taking the plunge into Lake Windermere to help the children of addicts.

Busy mum-of-three, author and broadcaster Tracey Smith will swim a mile at the beauty spot on September 12 as part of the Great North Swim.

She plans to raise £18,000 for the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) to mark the charity’s 18,000 phone calls it has fielded from troubled children of alcoholics.

Thorncombe resident Tracey, 43, wishes the charity was around while she was growing up.

Tracey said she has only felt ready to talk about her mum’s alcoholism since she died three and a half years ago.

She said: “People seem to hide it under the carpet and don’t talk about it.

“I wish I had NACOA when I was a young thing.

“I couldn’t see an end to my darkness and I took an overdose at the age of 11.

“I remember waking up the morning after in a white bed in a white walled hospital room feeling so relieved and thinking I was in heaven.

“That’s a ridiculous thing for someone who’s 11.”

The author of The Book of Rubbish Ideas has since become a trustee of NACOA.

She said: “Alcoholism is a terrible disease but little thought is given to the children of alcoholics. There are 3.6million people in the UK who have one or two alcohol dependent people living at home.

“NACOA helps children to see that there can be a different future – that there is hope, belief in them, acceptance, empathy and understanding at the end of a telephone.”

The Lake Windermere challenge will be something of a shock to the system for Tracey.

She said: “I haven’t done any sport since I was in green PE knickers at school. I’m deaf in one ear and have really bad balance and co-ordination – I’m rubbish!

“This is going to be the biggest thing I’ve done in my life.”

Tracey is appealing for someone who can donate or sponsor a protective neoprene swimming suit to help her tackle the chilly deep water of Lake Windermere, currently estimated to be around 17 degrees celcius.

She can be contacted via her website and can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/greatnorthswim2009

So there you have it folks, that’s what I’ve been up to!

I would be incredibly grateful if you could lift this story and reproduce it on your website to help me spread the word.

If you’d like quotes or pictures, just drop me a line and I’ll be happy to help.

Thanks in advance of anything you can do to help.

Rubbishly yours,

TS x

(Currently quaking in her wet boots…)