New scheme offers help for drinkers

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AN alcohol support service in Wigan is relaunching its course for struggling dads.

The Willow Project, which is aimed at helping women battle their demons with drink, is reaching out to men through its Dads Support Service.

Carole Johnston, parent support service co-ordinator, said: “If you are a dad and concerned about the amount you are drinking and thinking about how your child is affected by your alcohol use and want to find out how to reduce your alcohol intake, Willow can help. 

“The Parents Support Service is offering weekly support sessions to parents with children under five. 

“This support service is for dads who are drinking above the government’s recommended guidelines - more than 21 units a week, equivalent to more than nine pints of beer, eight pints of cider or two litres of wine. 

“People may be unaware of how to reduce their alcohol use and struggle to cut down on their drinking due their lifestyle or personal circumstances.

“The course will offer information on the consequences of alcohol misuse, help to reduce drinking and awareness of the effect their drinking has on their children.

“Sessions will look at enjoying family life and the importance of getting involved with activities which do not revolve around alcohol use.

“Parents will have the opportunity to share their concerns, difficulties and personal experiences throughout the course.

“We also provide support when dealing with child protection issues or help people identify when they are in trouble.”

Previous users who attended the course have cited how useful it was and how their family lives have improved.

One dad, who did not wish to be named, said; “This course made a difference to me and my wife - we are a family again.”

Another added: “Being on the course has given me a lot of support and encouragement.

“I feel I have more confidence and I will take the positives to use it for myself and be a good role model for my children.”

The next weekly sessions will start on Thursday, February 7, at 6.30pm.

If any dads are interested in the course or want to know more about the Willow Project, contact Willow on 01942 679300 or email