Since the centre’s opening in 1993, the centre has expanded their services from opening fortnightly to weekly.
Neutral Ground is situated in South East London, where there are very limited services that provide the kind of service they offer. The nearest similar centre that offered Supported contact sessions was in Bexleyheath but this has since closed and Neutral Ground has taken many referrals from this area.
The Centre has diverse mix of volunteers that represent the community and the families that attend the Centre.
The additional advantage of Neutral Ground over other supported contact centres is that the centre has an outdoor area that is private to the public and has a soft play surface.
The centre had demonstrated that all have worked hard to encourage parents to use the centre as a steppingstone to enhance the quality contact time children have with their absent parent and to improve their own communication between each other.
The volunteers are very experienced and are always available to discuss issues that may arise in a non-judgemental way. The families stated that the volunteers are approachable and when their children have been reluctant to see their absent parent volunteers will nurture them and go at the child/rens pace to reintroduce them.
The coordinator and volunteers through their training events, look at ways of assisting parents to start talking to each other, supporting them in a safe and neutral environment. Strategies used have moved families on that as previously mentioned, get parents who have found it difficult to focus on their children and not be hindered by outside influences.
It is clear from the assessor meeting parents, children and volunteers that Neutral Ground offers an invaluable service for those families that have attended and presently attend. Due to the demand of contact being requested the centre has extended their opening hours and frequency
A great amount of commitment and hard work by the coordinator, volunteers and committee members have ensured the centre is well staffed, supportive, available, welcoming, inviting to all who use the service.