Specialist substance misuse charity, Oasis Project, is running a fundraising campaign throughout National Children of Alcoholics Week to support its unique therapeutic services for children and young people affected by a parent or family member’s substance misuse within Brighton & Hove and East Sussex.
Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week (9 – 15 Feb 2020) aims to raise awareness nationally of the needs and vulnerabilities of children affected by parental alcohol addiction. Oasis Project is running a fundraising campaign during this week to share stories of its work, which highlight the need for dedicated services such as Young Oasis.
Young Oasis provides long term, individual therapy to young people in Brighton & Hove and East Sussex, aged between 5 and 18 years who are affected by a parent or family member’s substance misuse. During sessions, Oasis Therapists work with children’s specific needs to enable them to explore their experience of living with substance misuse in the family and build psychological and emotional resilience.
Jo-Anne Welsh, Oasis Project CEO says;
Some families can function quite well where one family member has an alcohol problem – Children might be protected a little bit if this is the case. Every child does not feel the same way or experience the same things, but we do know that alcohol does impact quite negatively in families.
Parental alcohol misuse can have a significant impact on children. Whilst alcohol misuse can affect all sections of society, for some children alcohol use in the family increases already existing vulnerabilities. Many of the children we work with live in poverty and have inadequate housing. We also know that approximately 50% of the children we work with have experienced domestic abuse in the family.
Ceri Walker, Young Oasis Creche Worker, has lived experience of parental alcoholism. She says;
Some children of alcoholics may be feeling quite alone and different to others. They may be finding it difficult to find an adult that they can trust and talk to. They may be trying to hide some of their feelings and appear that everything is fine on the outside, when really home life can be quite difficult; a child of an alcoholic may feel quite protective of their parent.
Through engaging with therapy, young people will be more likely to have increased feelings of hope and see a decrease in feelings such as rejection and shame. Children & young people who complete a full course of therapy will have a more positive sense of themselves and feel more able to respond to adversity than when they began.
Oasis Project is part of a national initiative to improve outcomes for children affected by family alcohol use. Working with partners across Brighton & Hove, the Back on Track project aims to increase support for children and provide new routes into treatment and additional support for parents.
The Young Oasis Therapy service relies on the generous support of donors and Foundations to keep going. It costs over £100,000 to run Young Oasis for 12 months. Please consider donating to the Oasis fundraiser. Every little bit of support makes a difference to a child living with parental alcohol misuse.
You can read interviews with the Young Oasis team as well as case studies from children who have been or are still in therapy, through their website here; https://www.oasisproject.org.uk/latest-oasis-news/