AVENUE Child Contact Centres are welcoming places where separated children, parents and families can enjoy time together.
The centres can be used for contact or to pick up or drop off children. Contact can either be supported or supervised.
We ask you to attend a pre-contact visit with a Family Support Worker to clarify expectations. It’s also important that children visit the centre before contact takes place.
To find out more about our Child Contact Centres contact us
Tara and Andy share the same experience but have very different perspectives. Here are their stories.
My partner and I broke up around three years ago. We’d split up before, but in the end I had to face up to it, it was never going to work. He didn’t put up much objection, I think he was relieved really, although he’d never admit it.
We managed to sort out contact arrangements for our two sons, now five and six, without too many arguments. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, I was still hurt and angry about the relationship and why it didn’t work out. But the boys loved their Dad so I was determined not to make it difficult for them.
Then Andy, my ex, got engaged and I found out his partner was pregnant. I knew he’d been seeing someone but had no idea it was serious and a baby! He’d been seeing his new partner for months before telling me or the boys and he’d been seeing less and less of our sons, using work as an excuse. They were both finding it hard to understand why their Dad was always too busy. It was heart-breaking to see their faces every time there was another cancellation and lame excuse.
Andy was putting his new family before his own sons. I was so angry with him and didn’t think he deserved to see the boys, and definitely not with his new woman. He was letting them down so often, it was better he stopped seeing them altogether. He was so unreasonable and wanted everything his way and then the solicitors got involved.
We ended up using a Contact Centre for the boys to see Andy. After a while I could see they had missed their Dad and were much happier because they were seeing him more regularly. I’m still not happy about how Andy handled everything, but after the boys met his new partner things started to settle down. I’m not sure how the future will pan out, but I’m willing to meet Andy half way for the benefit of our sons.
My partner and I broke up around three years ago. We’d split up once before and managed to work things out, but in the end she left me, saying it hadn’t been working for ages and never would. I tried to make her reconsider, it wasn’t just about us, we have two young sons.
We managed to sort out contact arrangements for our sons, now five and six, without too many arguments. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, I was still hurt and angry that she’d left me but I love my children and wanted to see them as often as possible.
About ten months ago I met someone. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for anything serious but we got on really well and it was good to feel that way about someone again. Stephanie, my new partner got pregnant after six months of us being together. I was surprised how happy I was as we hadn’t been together long and my previous breakup had been so hard.
Tara, my ex, knew I’d been seeing someone but I’d put off telling her about the baby. In the beginning, I didn’t tell her or the boys I was seeing someone because I didn’t know if it would go anywhere. Then when Steph got pregnant she said we shouldn’t mention it to anyone for the first three months. It all seemed reasonable, but in Steph’s third month, my Ex found out.
She went nuts, accusing me of not being there for the boys, calling me a liar and then making it really difficult for me to see my sons. After a couple of months of being stone walled, I got in touch with a solicitor. I was keen to try family mediation but she refused so my only option was to see the boys at a contact centre.
It was hard seeing the boys for just a couple of hours every fortnight. At first I was angry and even a bit embarrassed about having to use a contact centre, but the staff were all great and the boys really enjoyed coming. At the end of the day it allowed time for the dust to settle, for the boys to understand I will always love them even though I’m having another baby. Tara could see that our sons needed their Dad and that I was committed to being there for them no matter what. It’s not been easy but the boys have met Steph and I now see them out-with the contact centre.