Avenue Child Contact Centre
“Thank you for your help. I was really nervous when I came here today, but you have made me feel welcome.” — A father who attends the Centre
Child Contact Centres are child-centred environments that provide toys, games and facilities for the diverse needs of children affected by family breakdown. Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Avenue Child Contact Centre facilitates contact between non-resident parents and their children in a safe and neutral environment; this allows children from separated families to spend quality time with one or both parents.
Originally, the Centre was established by the Leigh-on-Sea Salvation Army to help separated families. However, after the organiser’s retirement, a new group of volunteers took over in April 2004. The Centre is currently located at the nearby Avenue Baptist Church
Families are referred to the Centre by solicitors or by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. Following the referral, appointments are made for the children and parents to meet at the Centre.
For the volunteers, the experience of having to deal with solicitors and with those parents who do not wish to be at the Centre, the role can prove to be challenging. However, every volunteer aims to be diplomatic and supportive at all times and hope to continue and improve in the future.
The volunteers are currently fundraising to buy newer toys and computer games for the children and parents as most activities are held within the Centre.
The Centre is staffed entirely by 22 volunteers, with some of whom dedicating a lot of time at the centre by helping at every session. The Centre is open on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month.
“I am pleased to help with Contact Centre and hope to help within the team to improve the quality of contact in a warm, calm, atmosphere.” — Volunteer
“Through volunteering at the Contact Centre I have become aware of how much hurt and sadness separation brings to individuals and their children.” — Volunteer
Created 19th December 2012
Avenue Child Contact Centre benefits from Attend membership, which includes comprehensive charity insurance cover. For more information, or to join, please click here.