Somerset

Family contact centres re-open after funding crisis

Image caption The centre helps parents stay in contact with their children after acrimonious break-ups

Family contact centres in Somerset that were shut because of the collapse of Relate Somerset, have re-opened.

The centres in Taunton, Chard, Wincanton are used for parents to spend time with their estranged children.

Centre co-ordinator, Jane Day said: "Some families haven't had contact at all over the entire months of April, May and June."

The National Association of Child Contact Centres paid 25% of the costs needed to keep them open for one year.

In April, the government funding body Cafcass, agreed to pay 75% of the running costs for one year - previously the service was entirely funded by Relate Somerset.

Despite the funding crisis, the centre in Yeovil has managed to stay open for the past three months.

"It's taken a huge amount of work to re-establish these centres and most of that has been done, what we need to do now is secure funding for the long-term," said Mrs Day.

Each centre costs about £5,000 a year to run and helps around 20 families in the county.

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