What is BCCC?
Our centre first opened in 1990. Today it is one of about 350 centres in the UK, accredited by the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC) (www.naccc.org.uk).
We are independent of any other organisation, and though the venue for our sessions is a church hall, we are not part of that church.
We welcome families of any faith or none, from all of Bristol’s communities.
Our sessions are run by experienced, fully trained and DBS checked volunteers, led and supported by the part time Coordinator of the Centre.
We operate as a charity and have to raise money ourselves to keep the service going.
We aim to provide a safe, neutral and comfortable place for children to see their non-resident parents or family. We do not take sides, nor do we offer counselling or mediation. The part we play is to put into practice agreements that have been made elsewhere, e.g. in family mediation, via solicitors, or the Family Courts.
Please note that all requests to use our service, regardless of the originator, must go through the secure online referral system, details of which are provided on the Referrals page of this website.
What, when and how often
The Bristol Child Contact Centre offers supported contact, so it is suitable for families where no significant risk to the child or those around the child has been identified.
It is open on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 10.00 – 1.00 and 2.00 – 5.00. Please refer to our Calendar Page for exact dates – note some months have 5 Saturdays! This leads to a three week gap between contact sessions.
Most contacts happen once or twice a month and last for one and a half hours.
It is helpful to know whether families could attend either morning or afternoon.
For more general information about attending the BCCC please open the following printable leaflet parent-leaflet-2018
For people that are not familiar with the local transport, please refer to our Visit Us page for more travel information
If or when there is agreement for children to be taken out of the centre, we can provide a neutral ‘hand over’ point for the family, either within a session, or across the morning and afternoon.
Where parents come from
We serve all communities in and around Bristol, also accommodating a parent visiting from another area, or occasionally two parents each living at a distance, where Bristol may be a convenient ‘mid-point’ for contact.
Attending the centre
There may be a short waiting time before a new family can be fitted in. Then both parents are invited to attend the Centre separately on a Saturday for a preparation visit before the first contact visit. The non-resident parent is invited alone and the resident parent is invited with the child(ren).
There is no charge for this service after the initial £20 registration fee for online referral is paid.
The key elements of our service are:
• Impartiality – i.e. we do not ‘take sides’ between the parents.
• Staff and volunteers are available for assistance but there is no close
observation, monitoring or evaluation of individual contacts/conversation.
• Several families will be together in one large hall.
• Encouragement for families to develop mutual trust.
• No detailed reports made unless risk of harm.
There needs to be at least one parent with the child at all times while at the Centre, but volunteers can deal with the hand over of children so that ex-partners do not need to meet, if they do not wish to. There is a separate waiting room for resident parents.
There is no charge to parents to use the Contact Centre. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, fruit and biscuits etc are available.
Images from our Centre
Below are a sequence of images from the Bristol Child Contact Centre at Leonard Hall, Trinity-Henleaze United Reformed Church.
Bristol Child Contact Centre has achieved accreditation from the National Association of Child Contact Centres. It is a Company Limited by Guarantee, Number 3096959 and a registered charity, registration number 1049867
Bristol Child Contact Centre fully supports the NACCC Campaign #Lostparents. Click on this link to their website to see full details and view the video.