The Jigsaw Family Support centre in Ryde welcomed Graham Biss, Deputy Lord Lieutenant, to take a tour and find out more about the charity’s vital work supporting families on the Island.
The visit was part of a series being undertaken by the Lord Lieutenant and her deputies to community groups to thank them for their ongoing work.
Jigsaw offers help and support to families that are going through the process of separation and divorce, and afterwards if needed.
The main aim of the charity is to bring the best outcome possible for all children involved, while assisting parents in building a respect-based, co-operative relationship.
During the visit, Graham was shown around the centre by Jigsaw chief executive, Tina Maretic, who started the charity in 2012.
She said: “We were thrilled Graham visited Jigsaw Family Support centre to see just how vital our services are to the many families who are struggling on the Isle of Wight.
“Jigsaw Family Support and child contact centre are the only registered and accredited children’s contact centre on the Island. Therefore, it is imperative to continue providing all the services that Jigsaw offer to parents and their families when separating, which is very often a very traumatic time for the whole family.
“Our services include reunifying children with their parents, many of whom have had no contact at all with them for months, even years.”
The charity’s services for families include:
- supervised/supported child contact arrangements and handovers;
- counselling (children/adults/as a family);
- parent support groups;
- family courts — assisting with all the complicated forms;
- free food/toiletries packs for families struggling;
- sensory sessions for children with additional needs;
- drug/alcohol testing;
- workshops (managing family separation);
- reunification and early intervention sessions.
Graham, who was recently awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community, said: ‘’It was a privilege to visit Jigsaw and see the fantastic work they are doing. The coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges and the Island is so fortunate to have such a service.
“Jigsaw relies on donations and obtaining grants to continue their important work.”