COVID-19 – What AFA members are doing to support families and the sector
This page is listing everything Alcohol and Families Alliance (AFA) member organisations are doing to support families affected by alcohol misuse, other vulnerable groups, as well as the charities and organisations supporting these vulnerable groups.
This includes information and guidance, telephone and online support, and resources to help organisations.
We will do our best to keep this page updated with all the latest developments.
To alert us of any new developments or updates please email Rob Stebbings: firstname.lastname@example.org
Families affected by alcohol misuse
Adfam has launched two new resources - 10 Top Tips (pdf) and 6 Ideas for Emotional and Mental Wellbeing (pdf) for families affected by a loved one's substance use to look after themselves during the current covid-19 pandemic. Find out more here.
They've also launched #lockdownstories, for families to share their experiences of lockdown creatively by writing a poem, letter, diary entry, or by drawing or painting a picture, and collating people's entries in a gallery on their website. Find out more here.
Adfam, with Alcohol Change UK have endorsed a briefing on alcohol and domestic abuse in the context of Covid-19 restrictions (pdf) written by Dr Sarah Fox & Professor Sarah Galvani from the Substance Use and Associated Behaviours Research Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University.
Adfam has also released a message on its website, outlining where families can get online information and advice, as well as access their online peer support forum.
BottledUp is a free resource for families of drinkers that includes articles and videos to help them cope with their situation. There is a membership area (membership is free) that contains a program to help empower them to promote change in their situation, and ultimately their drinker. The website now contains a separate membership section for drinkers containing assessment tools and a program of change.
They have published an online blog piece on how families affected by someone else’s substance use can cope in the current climate.
During these are unprecedented times with vital public services being forced to close, many families are left to fend for themselves. Nacoa anticipates that given the insecurity and dislocation of current events, children living with parents who drink too much will be especially burdened during the forced closure of public services and social isolation.
Nacoa have written to Local Authorities and other agencies asking them to think about these children when planning social distancing and to ensure their staff and clients are aware of services that are available.
The Nacoa helpline will be open throughout the closure period:
- 2-7pm via phone 0800 358 3456 and
- 12-9pm via email email@example.com
Nacoa have also produced a Covid Online Resource Pack and are asking members of the AFA to share on social media so that children of alcohol-dependent parents know they are not alone and that the Nacoa helpline will continue to help and support them when so many other agencies have closed their doors.
Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (SFAD)
SFAD have created a resource page on their website for families affected by coronavirus which has information on what SFAD are doing and links to a number of useful resources: https://www.sfad.org.uk/support-services/support-for-families-about-coronavirus
They have also put together a 'FAQs' page which will be updated regularly with the questions they are being asked by families on a daily basis about coronavirus, and their answers to those important questions.
SFAD’s helpline will remain open by phone, email and webchat: 08080 10 10 11 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.sfad.org.uk
SFAD CEO Justina Murray has released a video message for family members on Twitter, whilst the SFAD team are running regular #ConnectingConversations chats with Scottish Families over Zoom, as well as posting clips and videos of them doing different things around keeping busy, working from home and self-care - check out their Twitter page for more!
Alcohol Action Ireland
Alcohol Action Ireland have released a list of facts and healthy coping tools to help people look after their mental health whilst observing a low-risk relationship with alcohol, both during and beyond the current pandemic.
Their colleagues at Mental Health Ireland have shared five simple actions people can take to protect their mental health and maintain positive wellbeing during uncertain and challenging times.
Alcohol Change UK
Alcohol Change UK have put together a coronavirus information and advice hub on their website including tips for managing your drinking, links to support you can access even while self-isolating, and guidance for professionals.
They've also uploaded a piece on their blog on how people can help look after their mental health while keeping a happy, healthy relationship with alcohol, as well as this piece from the Alcohol Change team on how they are adapting to life working from home along with personal tips for keeping your drinking under control.
Kinship carers can receive support by contacting the Grandparents Plus advice service via this form or by calling 0300 123 7015. Please note their advisers are handling an unprecedented number of enquiries at the moment, but they will help you as soon as they can.
Kin carers can also join Grandparents Plus’s 6,500-strong Kinship Community and their Facebook community so that kinship families can connect nationally and locally.
Finally several Kinship carers have got in touch to provide a series of tips for other kinship carers.
A number of Agenda Alliance members are providing vital online support to women experiencing domestic abuse forced to isolate with their partners amid the coronavirus outbreak: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-isolation-domestic-abuse-help-charities-a9407716.html
Agenda have also launched a new campaign, #VoicesFromLockdown, to highlight the experiences of women and girls during the coronavirus outbreak.
Substance use treatment
Action on Addiction
Action on Addiction have released a statement on their website outlining the implications for COVID-19 on their service, including how they will continue to support families that are engaged in treatment: https://www.actiononaddiction.org.uk/news/latest-news/our-response-to-the-coronavirus-outbreak
Collective Voice are regularly updating their website linking to a wide range of information and guidance that has been produced for organisations and charities, as well as setting up a match-making scheme for larger treatment and recovery providers to support smaller ones.
They're also launching a new #COVID19 bulletin with news and guidance for alcohol and drug services. Sign up here.
Follow their Twitter page, where they are sharing all the latest updates and developments.
WDP has put a message up on their website for all service users, outlining some of the things they’re doing, online support available, and ways to stay safe: https://www.wdp.org.uk/article/message-our-service-users-about-covid-19.
We are with you have released an update on their current service provision, as signposting to where people can chat to someone and get advice online, receive advice on staying safe from coronavirus if you’re using drugs, and information for commissioners on how they are dealing with coronavirus.
CGL, Compass-UK, Cranstoun, Humankind and Turning Point have also all released statements to provide an update on their current service provision for people with a substance use problem.
Children, young people and families
Action for Children
Action for Children have released information on their website, including how to speak to children about coronavirus and how families can cope at home.
BECOME have produced a series of top tips for children and young people in care or care leavers, to calm their anxiety and feel less isolated, as well as answers to some questions you might have around coronavirus as someone in or leaving care.
Children’s Society have released 7 tips for staying connected and showing support to young people as well as general coronavirus information and advice.
Early Break CEO Vicky Maloney has released an update including information on how they are moving to a virtual service for children, young people and their families and can get in touch via email@example.com.
Family Action’s support service FamilyLine supports adult family members via telephone, text, email and web chat.