The Conclusion of My Great North Swim

Tracey Smith, author of The Book of Rubbish Ideas in The British Gas Great North Swim at Lake Windermere
A bit of a clingy number, I grant you

Not the most fetching of outfits I know, but here’s me in my neoprene wetsuit, getting ready to depart for Lake Windermere to take part in the second Great North Swim.

It was the inaugural GNS at Windermere that took place last September that first hooked me in.

In 2008, around 2,000 competitors swam a mile around the edge of the stunning lake, many raising money for charity and others simply doing it for personal achievement.

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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.

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Comic Relief Plunges Children of Alcoholics into a Welcome Spotlight

bw11Friday the 13th March will certainly be lucky for some, especially a tiny Bristol based charity called Nacoa.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics have been around for 19 years and calls to their helpline have grown steadily over the years; in 2007 18k, in 2008 36k.

Comic Relief are about to give them a welcome boost of publicity when they air the short film shot in their volunteer helpline room this coming Friday night.

Viewers will hear from Emma Spiegler, a Nacoa Trustee, founder of COAP and once the child of an alcoholic mother (now thankfully now in recovery and doing well). But Emma’s story wasn’t always so happy. She faced many of the typical problems experienced by thousands of children of alcohol dependent parents and often felt very isolated, at times shrouded with guilt that she had somehow been responsible for her mothers drinking, until she found Nacoa.

Hilary Henriques, the charity co-founder is also featured in the film and interviewed in this weeks Radio Times on page 22. She talks reveals the shocking truth about many of the callers to Nacoa, some as young as 7 years old.

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Celebrities Speak Out for Children of Alcoholics

Being a child of an alcoholic is rubbish...
Being a child of an alcoholic can be rubbish...

STOP PRESS:  Tuesday 10th February – I’ll be on BBC Somerset just after the 11am news talking about COA Week.  Tune in on www.BBC.co.uk/somerset

What do Elle Macpherson, Geraldine James, Marco Pierre White, Belinda Carlisle, Lauren Booth and Abi Roberts  all have in common?

They are uniting to raise awareness of the inaugural Children of Alcoholics Week, (COA Week) which takes place between the 8th and 14th February 2009.

The event was created by myself and a dedicated team of staff and volunteers at Bristol based charity The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa).  They run a vital helpline and website for the estimated 3.6 million young and adult children of alcohol-dependent parents in the UK, many of whom live in confusion and isolation.

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