Following an article in Probation Magazine outlining changes brought about by the 1989 Children Act, some members of St Andrew’s United Reformed Church visited a pioneer project in Nottingham. After this visit in 1989, the St Andrew’s Family Contact Centre was set up to provide a neutral setting where the children of divorced or separated parents could meet the parent or family member with whom they did not live, when other arrangements could not be made. The principal object was for the parent with whom the child lives to leave him/her in a child friendly environment to help form a relationship with the non resident parent, or family member, away from arguments or family rows.
Volunteers originally came almost entirely from St Andrews or St Peters church. Over time, new volunteers have been recruited from many other sources following interviews and DBS checks.
Fund raising provided age appropriate toys and office supplies.
For the first few years St Andrew’s Church premises were not always available and on those occasions St Peters Church hall was used. Since refurbishments and the formation of the church centre , contact sessions have taken place at the St Andrew’s site.