Helping Families in their Hour of Need

We are in the midst of Horsham’s Fairtrade Fortnight and after a week of events hosted by “FairKind Child” in Piries Place, a Fair Trade coffee morning will be held in St Johns RC Church Hall this Saturday.  This is one of many local events in the coming week including the launch of the new Billingshurst & Horsham Chambers of Commerce,   Horsham’s marking of “National Apprenticeship Week” with the Apprenticeship Fair at the Drill Hall on Saturday and on the same day Billingshurst’s regular Dementia Café in the URC.

It was a pleasure to revisit recently the The Horsham Child Contact Centre. The Centre, operated by professionals and volunteers at the Kingdom Faith in Foundry Lane, Horsham, offers a neutral place for children to meet with a parent or other family member in a safe and supervised setting.  Now in its 10th year the Centre has done a lot of good work for local families going through a particularly challenging time and this year has significantly expanded its range of services. According to the National Association of Child Contact Centres, over one million children do not have any form of contact with one or both parents after a separation. Clearly this can be extremely upsetting and unsettling and the Centre helps prevent this by creating a special place for children to engage with the non-resident parent. New services include being able to provide supported contact.  Further information can be found at  No one wants their family to need this kind of support but having access to it locally can be invaluable.  

I raised in the Commons last week the chaos at Redhill Station on 25th February.  While not perfect (the phrase “bus replacement service” is never exactly encouraging…) the situation on the line was much improved last weekend.  I await this final weekend of the current engineering works before passing judgement but with a huge amount of investment in the line Southern needs to get alternative provision, where it is required, right first time.  On a happier note I am meeting them shortly to hear about the new timetable where progress has been made and I look forward to reporting back.

Photo caption: Meeting professional staff and volunteers at the Horsham Child Contact Centre.