Partnering Voices in the Middle to support children and young people experiencing parental separation.
In the week that Resolution’s national family law conference comes to Newcastle/Gateshead David Gray’s Family Team has become a sponsoring partner of Voices in the Middle.
Voices in the Middle is a campaign/project of Kids in the Middle, a charity initiated by Duncan Fisher in 2013 in response to his first-hand experience of a child’s experience of their parent’s divorce and the realisation that there was online information for separating parents about how to help their children but none actually aimed at the children and young people themselves.
Mary Shaw, family lawyer and mediator here commented
“Separation from a spouse/partner is one of the most stressful life events for anyone. It is normal to be sleepless, lose weight, have wildly fluctuating feelings and be scared for one’s future. But the children in the middle of a divorce experience the emotional “weather” of their parents’ conflict, fear, grief usually without access to any help or support, other than that which their parents can offer. And this at precisely the time when a parent’s own capacity to function as a parent is usually compromised.
Importantly, how you and your former partner handle your own and your children’s feelings through this crisis can affect the rest of their lives – how they get on at school, how they behave towards you and others, how likely they are to get into trouble with alcohol and drugs, whether they can form happy relationships, how they will behave as parents.”
Voices in the Middle is a website resource run by young people for children and young people and features video information and on line media information to meet the information needs of children of all ages in separating families.
“Voices in the Middle is a great resource for children and young people to learn and gain support from each other and to normalise their own experience, make sense of it and even get some positives out of it.
It also aims to be a campaigning charity to
• uphold the right of the child of separating parents to be listened to,
• promote ways to do this in family law and mediation and
• obtain Legal Aid funding to cover the costs to do this where parents qualify for legal aid”
Lucy Mead, Head of the Family Team said
“David Gray is delighted and proud to become a supporting Partner of Voices in the Middle and the timing of this felt right as 6 of our team will be joining 400 delegates at the Resolution national family conference this week on the banks of the Tyne. We hope that this timing will raise the profile of the charity to gain more support for it.”
Duncan Fisher, founder of Kids in the Middle and Voices in the Middle said.
“I am delighted that David Gray Solicitors has lent its Partner support to Voices in the Middle and also provided us with 15 new members. We have made huge progress since 2013, but to get to the next step we need 500 members each contributing a small amount monthly (only £8!). Then we will be able to market the service systematically and develop strong routes through to one-on-one help for young people. Our Youth Council is organising a campaign to encourage family lawyers and mediators to join: Emily is running a marathon, Mia is running £5km through mud, and Abi is doing three cross-country runs in three countries in one day.”
You can join and offer member support on the Voices in the Middle website here.