In Impact Stories, Reducing isolation & disadvantage, Chiltern

Grant: £1,500
Fund: B P Collins
B P Collins objective: Provide better futures – support and encourage vulnerable young children to prosper

The Chiltern Child Contact Centre (CCCC) is based in Amersham and aims to facilitate children living in separated families to have regular contact with the parent they no longer live with.

CCCC provides a reliable, safe, friendly and neutral place where children can spend time with the non-resident parent and sometimes other family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, etc.), in a setting where families are supported by trained volunteers. It is a child-centred environment that puts the needs of children first.

The Centre does not charge for the service provided as CCCC strongly believe a parent’s financial situation should not impact on whether or not they see their children.

CCCC were awarded a grant of £1,500 from the B P Collins Stewardship fund which paid for comprehensive insurance, without which the centre would have been unable to provide its services.

Speaking about the impact of the funding Mary Pond, trustee for CCCC said:

The provision of a safe, child-centred environment has enabled separated parents, who no longer live with their children, to meet and enjoy spending time with each other and build up relationships. This in turn has resulted in improving mental health and wellbeing for both child and parent.

The support from trained staff and volunteers has helped separated parents to better understand their children’s needs, resulting in improved communication between the parents which enables many of them to eventually make their own arrangements for contact and no longer needing to use the centre.

Case study

A separated and very distressed father, who had been using the centre to meet with his child for a year, was able to maintain contact with his child and with support from the staff and volunteers, he was able to come to terms with his situation and improve his relationship with his former partner. As a result of this, the two parents were able to make their own arrangements for contact to continue without needing to use the centre.

Below is an extract from a card the father sent expressing his appreciation for all the help he had received from the centre:

“This past year has been the most difficult time for me and you guys have probably seen me at my worst. I have been upset, angry, confused and throughout all of these emotions I have been supported by everyone at the centre, so I would like to thank you all for the understanding compassion and overall support and thank you for helping dads like me to see their children.”