In Funding Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety

Project: Contribution to Coordinator salary and running costs of the centre
Grant: £5,000
Fund: Comic Relief Local Communities

Aylesbury Vale Child Contact Centre is a place of safety where children who have lost contact with a parent, usually as a result of family breakdown, are able to see, play and try to develop a relationship with the non-resident parent.

Often families are unable to resolve access arrangements themselves, because their relationship is so poor or violent, or a court may make a referral to a Contact Centre so that a parent who has had criminal or addiction issues in the past, can see their children in a safe place. The centre also provides resident parents with the reassurance that their child will be safe when being seen by the other parent.

This grant was primarily spent on supporting the Coordinator, who is pivotal to the running of the centre and ensures that families who live in crisis and unhappiness can reinstate relationships with their children.

Veronica Corben, Chair of Trustees for the centre said:

Without the Coordinator, the centre would not exist. The volunteers rely on her specialist experience and ability to work with damaged or fraught parents and unsettled children to try and put some love and laughter back into these families.

By enabling children to develop relationships with both parents they are able to operate as a happier person, and are more likely to achieve in life and be fulfilled. We see children grow emotionally and become more stable mentally when they know and have a bond with the non-resident parent.

The Coordinator possesses the knowledge and skill to manage parents in crisis, liaise with courts and the probation service, and mediate between feuding parents and is the only paid member of staff at the centre. The rest of the workforce is made up of a team of dedicated volunteers who help to keep the running costs of the centre as low as possible.

The grant also partially contributed towards the centre’s annual rent, enabling them to continue offering their free service to families in Aylesbury Vale.

Thank you very much for enabling us to continue to provide this niche but desperately needed service for families in crisis.

– Veronica Corben