Harpenden Child Contact Centre
Without the services of Harpenden Child Contact Centre, many separated families would be unable to meet their children after a relationship breakdown. So local volunteers were delighted to meet Hitchin and Harpenden MP, Bim Afolami, when he dropped in at one of their fortnightly sessions at All Saints’ Church Hall in Harpenden recently.
‘Our charity provides support to families by facilitating contact between children and their parents, or other adults from whom they are separated,’ said Chairman, Brigid Brennan. ‘The Centre is entirely free for users and relies on members who pay an annual subscription, as well as an annual grant from the Government, and donations. It was a wonderful opportunity to show Mr Afolami how our funding is spent and to know that he is supportive of the work we do.’
Mr Afolami met a number of volunteers and talked to the joint Co-ordinator, Ken Brennan, about the challenges of running the sessions that take place on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, and the rewards of seeing children interact with estranged parents in a safe and friendly environment. He had fun looking at toys provided for various age groups and enjoyed the opportunity of talking to some of the parents.
‘I was delighted to meet the volunteers and hear about the fantastic work they do. The Centre provides a safe haven for children in often very challenging and confusing circumstances. More than just a play group, it facilitates stronger relationships with parents they are separated from. The compassionate work of Brigid and the team of volunteers has a healing impact that will resonate in the lives of these children and their families for years to come.’
Launched in 2006, and since then running twice monthly without interruption until the Centre had to close during the recent lockdowns, the Centre reopened for business in August 2020 and April 2021 subject to COVID risk assessments and standard precautionary measures (e.g. bubbles). Further to the latest government and health authority guidance, the Centre looks forward to returning to pre-COVID functioning and numbers of attending families imminently to service a growing demand.
For further information on the work of Harpenden Children Contact Centre, either to use its services or to find out how to support its work, please contact Ken Brennan or Sam Cooper on 07842 167767 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.