Twenty-five-year-old Emma Spiegler has received a national honour for her work with children of drug or alcohol-addicted parents.
Miss Spiegler picked up the award — and a £1,000 prize — at the recent Young People of the Year awards, which recognise and reward positive role models in the community. Organised by SkillsTrain, its judges included the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown.
Miss Spiegler, the daughter of an alcoholic mother, was inspired to set up coap.co.uk in 2006 — a website offering support to young people living with drug-addicted parents.
“Winning means a lot to me,” she tells People.
“I hope I can help other young people realise that they are not alone in experiencing addiction problems in the family.”
Miss Spiegler, who lives in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, intends to put £500 of the prize money towards getting counsellors involved in the website. The rest will go towards the Family Carers’ Service at Jewish Care, where she works part-time.
She adds: “Growing up with an alcoholic mother was extremely painful. I used to think that no one else knew what I was going through.
“The website has a forum where young people can communicate with their peers about their feelings and concerns.”
Miss Spiegler is author of a poetry book, Missing Mummy. She goes through to the grand final of the Young People of the Year awards in May.