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Star Calum joins campaign to help kids of alcoholics.

Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Political Editor @jonathanwalker121

CELEBRITY Calum Best is backing a new campaign to help the children of alcoholics.

The model and reality TV star, son of legendary footballer George Best, is joining politicians including Birmingham MP Liam Byrne to demand support for children affected by having an alcoholic parent.

Also taking part are Kim Woodburn, presenter of Channel 4 show How Clean is your House? and Lauren Booth, the sisterin-law of former Prime Minister Tony Blair and daughter of actor Anthony Booth.

They are all the children of alcoholics.

George Best, best known for playing for Manchester United and Northern Ireland, was an alcoholic for most of his adult life and famously appeared drunk as a guest on Terry Wogan's BBC One chat show in 1990.

Mr Byrne is leading a crossparty group of MPs and peers to begin work on an action plan to help Britain's 2.6 million innocent victims of drink - the one in five kids who live with a mum or dad who drinks too much.

The initiative comes as a Freedom of Information request reveals that 84 per cent of councils have no plans to put in place a strategy to help children in need - despite a 30 per cent surge in alcohol-specific deaths and rising A&E admissions due to alcohol harm.

Mr Byrne revealed last year that his father Dermot Byrne was an alcoholic in a highly personal Commons speech in 2015.

He said: "I know the pain of having loved and lost a parent to alcohol when my own dad died last year. Lots of us like a drink but, when parents drink too much, it's often the kids that pay the biggest price.

"Worse, nearly half of children of alcoholics go on to become alcoholics themselves, so the problem is cascading down the generations. We've got to break the cycle - and that's why we've got to break the silence about this taboo subject and get some practical help in place."

The cross-party group on Children of Alcoholics will hear from the celebrities at a House of Commons hearing.

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 16, 2016
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