North Somerset Child Contact Centres’ centre in Nailsea provides supported contact, is situated within the building of Christ Church, Nailsea and is managed by the Mothers’ Union Diocese of Bath and Wells. The families who come to the Nailsea centre also use the centre in Clevedon (which is 15 minutes away by car), enabling contact to take place twice a month. Nailsea is 8 miles from Bristol and 11 miles from Weston-Super-Mare. Nailsea has shops, cafes, play parks and garden spaces making it an ideal location for parents accessing the centre for supported handovers. Nailsea is served by main roads and is easy to get to by car, there is a train station and buses run regularly. The centre’s building is accessible by sat nav and is a few metres away from the shopping centre and precinct in Nailsea.
The front of the building is clearly signed for the contact centre and has easy, flat access up to the double doors at the entrance. The terrain is flat with a large pavement to the gated entrance with parking opposite the premises which families can use. From the gated entrance there is a wide, flat path through the churchyard and a stone ramp to the entrance of the building. There are not any steps in the building and all doors are wide enough for wheelchair access.
The main door opens into the foyer area where parents register in and out of the building. From the foyer there is a door on the left to the church, on the right a corridor to the disabled, ladies and gents toilets and straight ahead double doors into the hall used by the contact centre. The main hall doors are glazed and are fitted with blinds so that the parents do not have sight of each other on arrival and pick up. Separate exits/entrances can be used if needed with a staggered arrival and departure system always in use.
The main contact room is light, with ample space for families, and has child sized tables and chairs, plus bigger adult sized furniture. Since reopening after Covid closure, non-resident parents have been providing toys or children have brought their own toys etc with them. The centre has access to a small kitchen which is only used by volunteers to offer refreshments to families using the centre. The kitchen appears well maintained, cleaned and a safe space. The toilets are clean and maintained and have equipment to assist children. Toileting is well managed, with non-resident parents taking their own child to the bathroom with a volunteer accompanying them. There is a disabled access bathroom which also contains a baby change table. There is no outside area.
Referrals for supported contact come via solicitors and social services but most families refer via NACCC’s Safe Referral System which the co-ordinator appreciates, as they are new to their role. The pre-visit meeting is completed for all resident and non-resident parents and each family has a risk assessment and in time, a review will take place. Children are also invited to look around the centre before coming to a contact session. At the time of the report the centre can have four to six families in at one time, with the volunteer team on hand. Supported handovers are also available at the centre and these are treated in the same way, from referral to risk assessment and review.
The co-ordinator of this centre has been in post since 2020, is knowledgeable about their role and works well in partnership with the co-ordinators at the Clevedon and Frome centres which are also Mothers’ Union run organisations. The building is well maintained and is set up appropriately with toys available and a range of furniture for adults and children. Health and safety standards are met and at the time of the report Covid precautions were in place. Safeguarding policies are in place and the procedure is well known. Recruitment and induction is robust and volunteers are supported in their role. The assessor has also recommended that the co-ordinator would benefit from the NACCC peer support coffee shop forum and is happy that any recommended actions following the visit are now complete meaning the service meets the standards for supported contact accreditation.