Simpson Millar Celebrates the Bristol Child Contact Centre: 25th Anniversary
Our Family Law team in Bristol were excited to have been invited along to the party celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Bristol Child Contact Centre (BCCC).
Child contact centres provide a safe mutual environment for non-resident parents to have contact with their children. These centres depend heavily on the hard work of the volunteers and donations that make this support possible. They make all the difference in helping to build family bonds and ensuring children with separated parents are still able to maintain a relationship with their children where this might otherwise not be possible.
The Hard Work of the BCCC
Carol Chrisfield, a Solicitor specialising in Family Law, attended the anniversary party. Carol explains why the Bristol contact centre and other child contact centres are so important:
"They indicated that the number of referrals to the centre has reduced since the withdrawal of legal aid and the perception is that without access to legal advice parents often don't know about this very valuable service."
"Personally, I can say that contact centres, and in particular the ones we work with in Bristol, have always provided a helpful means for safe contact to take place or for contact to be restarted."
John Pratley, our Head of the Family Law team in Bristol has a similar view:
"I have to admire child contact centres. They were pioneers 25 years ago and have been there every Saturday since then facilitating contact for children."
Looking Forward to Helping More People in Future
The Bristol Child Contact Centre was the 15th centre to join the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC) in the early 1990's and there are now around 400 centres. Sadly, many centres are now being forced to close due to funding cuts and a drop in referrals. The centre in Bristol strives to avoid this, they say:
"In an ideal world child contact centres would not need to exist. But while they do, we hope to continue to thrive as a local, free and inclusive service to parents of children in Bristol and around."