VOLUNTEERS at a contact centre that allows children points of contact with their parents during family disputes were thanked by the city’s MP last weekend.

The Salisbury Child Contact Centre, based at St Osmund’s Preschool, opens on two Saturday mornings each month.

Centre co-ordinator and city councillor Liz Sirman said: “The contact centre is needed by families because when parents end their relationship often the children stay living with their mum, and the dad moves out of the family home, and at this point there is a very good chance that the dad will lose contact with his children.

“Many family disputes do end up in court, with courts trying to decide what is best for the parents and the children.

“In most cases the courts want both parents to be involved in their children’s lives, and research has shown that if both parents stay actively involved the children will do better in later life.”

Courts will often direct parents to a neutral contact centre that allows a safe place for interaction.

Mr Glen visited the centre on Saturday, November 17, where he met with volunteers who explained their role in the project and why the centre is a valuable service for the city.

Mrs Sirman said: “He listened to some of the stories of the families that have used the service and he gave a heartwarming thank you to all of the volunteers for giving up their time to help the community.

“Here in Salisbury we are very lucky to have such a centre and many, many families have benefited from the service.”

Salisbury Child Contact Centre is one of many projects managed by Wessex Community Action.

Chief executive Amber Skyring has secured funding from various trusts including BBC Children in Need, Wiltshire Community Foundation and CAFCASS, but lack of funds limits the centre to opening just twice a month.