Publicity in 2016
More internet links - from Age UK Berkshire, Grandparents Apart and school websites.
The Silver Line - on their Connects Team list of websites to refer callers to.
A growing number of NACCC Contact Centres (currently at least twenty) telling parents about this website - for example to help them with the transition from supported or supervised contact to "going it alone".
Meetings with Family Support Workers (Reading Borough Council) and their subsequent use of the website with their clients.
More posters and handbills in various locations (see Contact & Resources page)
Publicity in 2015
Internet links established from school and GP Practice websites in the Reading and Wokingham area.
National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC) via Facebook and Twitter - also featured in the Autumn 2015 edition of their regular publication Contact Matters (article headed Centres going "Over and Above" for families) www.naccc.org.uk/what-we-do/contact-matters
Posters and Handbill distribution at various locations (see Contact & Resources page)
Publicity in 2014
1 April 2014 Press Release from office of Alok Sharma MP for Reading West resulting in:
9 April 2014 edition of Reading Post under headline "Website helps create quality time"; and
BBC Radio Berkshire 4 April 2014 9.12 am - 9.30 am
Extracts from live on air discussion between BBC presenter Vernon Harwood (VH) and John (Good Contact Time website author):
VH: Let's talk about a serious topic and something that's faced by lots of people these days - living apart from your children. So how can you make the short time you have with your children valuable? It's something that my next guest struggled with, with his own children, and now he wants to help other parents. First of all just tell us a bit about the website. What does it do?
John: It provides a short guide to what's available on the internet and in various books, intended to enable people to plan and carry out really good contact time with their children........there are so many sites on the internet which are of little use and you've really got to know what you're looking for and have a plan before you go on.
VH: For every brilliant site out there, there's a load of junk as well. The internet is a wonderful resource but you have to wade through it.
John: That's right and that can be quite daunting. A lot of these guys are already in a very emotionally fraught way and almost anything will put them off. That's not being derogatory towards them, it's just the fact they're in such a fraught situation.
VH: So living apart from your kids is often only one of many things that are going on about your relationship and your domestic set-up at the same time. There are other priorities to attend to as well.
VH: I was wondering what's wrong with just a walk in the park or a bike ride or going fishing together, are these just as good as the things we've mentioned (on the website)?
John: I think they are. The problem is what to do like that when it's raining or cold.
VH: Which is about nine and a half months of the year!
John: Yes exactly. And you mentioned getting back to a normal situation. I think that's really important and it's one of the things I'm trying to get people to achieve. If they can plan some really practical useful things for their contact time they will find at least that part of their lives starting to normalise.
VH: And if it's four hours on a Saturday afternoon, start thinking about it on Monday morning.
John: Absolutely, it needs good planning.
VH: Because that's often half the problem as well - they think about it twenty minutes before they're due to pick the kids up.....Good luck with your website. Let us know how it goes, maybe come back in six months time.