West Wiltshire Child Contact Centre is currently situated in Trowbridge, Wiltshire providing supported contact (previously being located in Melksham). The centre accepts self-referrals from family members and also receives referrals from solicitors and social services. Trowbridge is near the border with Somerset and lies 8 miles southeast of Bath, 31 miles southwest of Swindon and 20 miles southeast of Bristol. Within the town there are shops, cafes, parks, and a cinema. Families are well catered for and if the centre chose to do supported handovers, they would be in a good position to do so, being only 10 minutes’ walk from the town centre. There are local rail and bus links, and for parents driving to the centre there is ample parking across the road which is payable within the centre. Families that use this centre tend to be local (coming from Trowbridge and Warminster areas).
The front of the building is clearly signed for the purposes of contact. The centre has no steps on the approach and so is fully accessible to all service users. There are steps within the building, but these are accompanied by a ramp. The reception area is set up with a table and chair for the volunteer who ensures family members sign into the building. The room used for contact is large and light and can accommodate up to six children and their parents. There is a range of toys, books and craft materials for children to use during their time at the centre. The toilets need maintenance and are on the list of jobs that will be done in the near future by the owners of the building. The bathroom is equipped with equipment to assist children in using the toilet and sink. The kitchen is large, with the contact centre using one end which is equipped with a kettle and sink. The centre brings their own refreshments each session.
Pre-visits are completed with family members and the centre operates on a staggered arrival and departure time, using different entrances/exits when needed. The centre’s co-ordinator has been in post for three years and is a retired local authority worker, with previous experience working in a children’s centre. The co-ordinator manages the team of volunteers who all have an in-depth induction.
West Wilts Child Contact Centre has been affected by Covid and at the time of the report was re-establishing its place, both within the community due to the change in venue and in terms of referrals. The co-ordinator is well experienced within their role and their local authority links are worthwhile. It is clear that the team works well together, safeguarding children is of priority and health and safety is good. Policies are to a good standard, as is the paperwork for the centre. Any recommended actions following the visit are now complete meaning the service meets the standards for supported contact re-accreditation.