Stafford Ward Lecture 2022 | RSVP

This year’s COA Week lecture will be delivered by Sophie K, TV and radio presenter. Sophie is powerful speaker for those affected by parental addiction, having kept the secret of her mother’s alcoholism from the world for many years, facing traumatic experiences that still affect her today.

Liam Byrne MP will attend to give a special update on the reforming of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children of Alcoholics. Further speakers will include Calum Best, Jane Elson, Josh Connolly, and Arabella Byrne.

Sophie K became a Nacoa patron in 2021

If you would like to RSVP your place for this year’s lecture, please contact us or email admin@nacoa.org.uk.


Calum Best

Celebrity, businessman, and son of footballing legend George Best.

‘It’s so important for me to be a Nacoa patron. If I’d known there was someone I could talk to or even someone to listen it would have helped me understand and cope with my dad’s illness. I hope kids and young people feel they can ask me for help and see that things can be different if you talk about it.’

Arabella Byrne

A prolific journalist and writer, Arabella recently wrote an article in The Mail with her novelist mother, Julia Hamilton, about their shared journeys of recovery.

‘I would spend the next 12 years trying to sate it before I gave in. I grew up watching my mother drink to excess. Beautiful, talented and troubled, she was rarely without a drink in her hand.’

Liam Byrne MP

Liam Byrne is a British Labour Party politician who has been Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hodge Hill since 2004. He served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in Gordon Brown’s Government and is one of Nacoa’s new Patrons.

‘International COA week means children of alcoholics around the world can stand together and say that we are not alone. We are determined to campaign for change that will make our journey easier and put in place the help our loved ones need to recover.’

Josh Connolly

Josh is now a resilience coach who works with global brands and village schools alike delivering training globally around resilience and a better understanding of our emotions with the Nacoa ethos at the heart of all the work that he does. 

“As a supporter of COA Week, I am always so grateful to see the huge impact it has every year. I am even more grateful to be an ambassador for Nacoa, the charity that validated a lifetime of struggles for me and then empowered me to be the person I am today. Their work is invaluable and their reach immeasurable.”

Jane Elson

Jane is a multi-award-winning children’s author, published by Hachette UK. She writes about those children that are not often written about.

‘I support Children of Alcoholics Week with my whole heart. I want to reach out to all those children, who think thoughts like ‘next time it will be different,’ and ‘it’s my fault,’ and ‘if only I behaved differently I could control my Mum/Dad drinking’. I know how that feels. Remember you cannot control it.  I urge you to look after yourselves and remember you are not alone, reach out to Nacoa.’

Sophie K

Radio and television presenter, and a respected presenter in the world of rock. She presents for Kerrang Radio, Absolute Radio and Amazon Music to name a few. 

‘Being a patron of Nacoa is important to me because I want to spread awareness about how the disease of addiction affects children and leaves effects which last for life. However I also want people who are stuck in pain to know that there are places for support, and healing. You are not alone.’