Helping children and parents stay in touch
25th April 2017
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Many children nowadays come from broken homes, and many of those children lose all contact with the parent they don’t live with.  This is a sad loss for both parent and child.

Contact Centres help children and parents stay in touch after a family break-down, by providing a safe and friendly environment for them to meet.  Freshwaters Contact Centre in Harlow has been helping parents and children for more than 20 years.  In 2016 it helped 43 children from 29 families.  


A safe and friendly place to play

Freshwaters is open every Saturday morning in a family centre.  There’s lots of space, and lots of toys and activities.

The parents don’t need to meet if they don’t want to.  Volunteers welcome the guests, and provide support when required.  There’s always a volunteer in every room, making sure everything is ok.

Freshwaters is free, so that anyone who needs it can use it.


Moving on

Families stay with Freshwaters for as long as they need to. Often find that, after a time with Freshwaters, the parents feel able to arrange handovers outside the centre, and so move on. This can be a gradual process taking weeks or months. Freshwaters is always sorry to see people leave, but more importantly pleased that parent and child are back in regular contact, and building a strong relationship together outside the Centre.



Freshwaters relies on volunteers.  Volunteers do as many or as few sessions as they want.  The sessions start at 9:00am and finish around 12:30pm.  There’s no need for specific skills or experience, just for a heart for helping children.


How you can help

If you are interested in volunteering, or in support Freshwaters financially, please visit to learn more.  Plus, if you know anyone who could benefit from a Contact Centre, please do let them know about the service.

About the Author

Victoria H

Member since: 11th March 2014

My name is Victoria Hunter and I'm a true Hertford person - I went to school in Hertford and grew up here. I understand the importance of bringing trusted businesses and the community together, and believe...

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