A HELENSBURGH group aiming to help children affected by their parents’ separation held a fund-raising coffee morning in the town recently.

The money raised at last weekend’s event, held at Helensburgh Parish Church, will be used to help meet the Helensburgh Child Contact Centre’s annual running costs.

The group is one of 44 across Scotland affiliated to Relationships Scotland, who provide training and enhanced disclosure checks to all the Helensburgh group’s volunteers.

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The centre’s volunteers arrange supported and supervised contact, depending on the requirements of the parents and the referring agencies.

Diana Macintosh from the centre said: “The coffee morning was very well attended by people wanting to support the Child Contact Centre and the excellent sum of £665.90 was raised.

“We are very grateful to all who contributed in any way, including helpers not directly involved with the centre.”

The Helensburgh Child Contact Centre was set up in 2007 by a group of people from local church congregations.

It is now staffed by an experienced co-ordinator and 12 dedicated volunteers whose remit includes setting out toys suitable for the age of the children attending, ensuring that parents do not meet each other unless they wish to, and helping, where necessary, to facilitate a smooth contact by assisting the non-resident parent relate to his or her child or children.

It operates every Saturday in Helensburgh Parish Church, and also serves as a neutral place where children can be picked up or dropped off before or after a few hours or an overnight stay with the non-resident parent.

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The centre focuses on reducing the emotional distress felt by children whose parents are going through a painful divorce or separation.

Most referrals to the centre come from solicitors, although social workers, other agencies and parents themselves can also apply.

It does not qualify for any local or national government funding so is very dependent on charitable donations and fundraising.

You can find out more about the centre and its work by emailing coordinator@helens burghcontactcentre.org.uk.