We have a board of trustees and sub-committees of team leaders & a fund raising team and we are a registered charity and a Limited Company.
We are open twice a month for 6 hours on a Saturday and offer a safe, neutral place where a non-resident parent can have contact with a child they no longer live with. At any time we might have up to 14 families using the centre. The importance of having both parents in a child’s life is well documented.These families come from all over Bristol and sometimes further away. They come to us either via a Child Arrangement Order from court or via a self referral application to the National Association of Child Contact Centres.
We make no charge to the families so that it remains inclusive of all regardless of their financial situation.
As part of the National Association we have to pass an accreditation process which includes the obligation to carry out mandatory training. There are 10 modules which we do over a 3 year rolling programme. As coordinator it is my responsibility to en-sure these training sessions are provided to all the volunteers. With no expertise in training then I sometimes struggle with providing an interesting session. Any help with training would be very welcome.
To reach more families that need our services we would like to have a city wide mar-keting initiative which would include children’s centres, libraries, doctor’s surgeries, schools and other family organisations. This requires expertise in the marketing field which none of our volunteers have and any help with this would be greatly appreciated. This also has a cost implication.
As with all charities we struggle for funding. Our overheads are in the region of £12,000 and the only grant that we receive is £2.750 from CAFCASS. The balance has to be raised by fundraising initiatives. Grant applications have been made to a wide variety of funders but again with no background in making applications we sometimes feel that we are not receiving positive responses from these trusts be-cause the application is not comprehensive enough. We have however managed to win the Tesco Bags of Help over the last 2 months and have held a Spring Fair which raised over £1,100 as well as smaller amounts from various concerts and sponsored events. We have been fortunate to have been promised sponsorship from a few fami-ly law firms in the amount of £250 per year each for 3 years but even with all of these we will have a shortfall year on year.