One of our trustees Lucy Glass attended a wonderful event last Sunday celebrating the 25 years of service given by volunteers at Jimmy’s Contact Centre, in Buckhurst Hill. Jimmy’s closed in March 2020 and so this was the first opportunity where people could gather to celebrate the contribution of the centre over the previous 25 years.

Our trustee Lucy, who is also Director of Swan Family Contact Services shared her appreciation of being invited to unveil the commemorative plaque alongside a beautiful peace rose that was planted last year:

The plaque will forever remember over 300 families which Jimmy’s contact centre helped and supported between 1995 – 2020 through the generosity of St James’s and of course all the hard work, dedication and compassion of all those who came together and volunteered here. Our vision is to keep children in touch with parents in a safe environment following family separation. This is exactly what Jimmy’s contact centre provided for so many families that walked through their doors throughout the 25 years they supported the community here at St James’s church. NACCC is a charitable organization and supports hundreds of centres around the United Kingdom including Jimmy’s to ensure that children and their families are receiving the best possible service in what can be an exceptionally difficult time in their lives.

From its inception by Ros Mills, the hard work of Margaret, Pat and Isabel and all of the volunteers that maintained the safe environment at Jimmy’s; a huge difference has been made to the lives of hundreds of children and their families.

If it hadn’t been for the volunteers’ support, so many children would have missed out on building, re-building and maintaining their family relationships. It is with this in mind that on behalf of the NACCC and Jimmy’s Contact Centre I would like to thank everybody for coming here today to commemorate the wonderful work that was achieved here helping so many children in need.

Rory and Margaret pictured here also spoke of their time volunteering at Jimmy’s and what it meant to them.

Get involved. Could your organisation provide contact services to your local community?

The volunteers at Jimmy’s are testament to local people meeting a service that wasn’t being provided in their area. They saw the need and for 25 years made it their mission to meet that need. We are conscious that there are areas of the country that desperately need more contact centre provision. Children sometimes have to travel 30 miles or more to see a family member who they no longer live with. Sometimes there just isn’t a centre at all that the child is able to access. The impact of not keeping in contact with these family members is huge. Could this be something your organisation would be interested in providing? NACCC provides accreditation, training and a realm of support to organisations wishing to set up contact services. Please do check our website for more information https://naccc.org.uk/open-a-centre/

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