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Contact group’s funds cut plea

A CENTRE aimed at helping reunite estranged fathers in Solihull with their children has put out an urgent plea for donations after reaching its “last dregs” of funding.

A CENTRE aimed at helping reunite estranged fathers in Solihull with their children has put out an urgent plea for donations after reaching its “last dregs” of funding.

Anne Ryder, Solihull Child Contact Centre Co-ordinator, said their centres in Solihull, Smith’s Wood and Hall Green provide “crucial stepping stones” for non-custodial parents to have contact with their children.

However, with Solihull Centre’s start-up grants coming to an end, Ms Ryder said the lack of funds were forcing her to make decisions that were not in the best interests of the crucial centres.

One first-time dad, who did not want to be named, said he owed his whole relationship with his one-year-old daughter to the Solihull Centre.

“It’s an uphill struggle for access, with the law biased in favour of mothers, but the contact centre was just amazing, ” he said.

The young dad first attended the weekly sessions at Solihull Centre in April and only left this week, now being able to take his little girl to his own home twice a week.

The Solihull Centre recently accepted a £1,000 grant from the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service as many of their cases, until the government’s recent cuts in free Legal Aid, came from the court.

But Ms Ryder is concerned the money could have “strings attached”, such as enforced social services supervision on meetings, and has appealed to the local community to help the independent, volunteer-run centre in the future.

For more information, call Ms Ryder on 0121 705 3067 or email anne_ryder@blueyonder.co.uk.

 

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