Harrogate law firm is force behind charity

Stephen Root. (S)

Stephen Root. (S)

A new charity to support children caught in the crossfire of divorce has been set up with the help of a local law firm.

Kids in the Middle aims to support children when their parents separate – and the family team at Berwins Solicitors is now calling for local schools to get involved in fundraising.

With many years’ experience in dealing with family break-ups, solicitor Stephen Root knows that no matter how good the intentions of the parents, sometimes the children can suffer.

“I’ve handled so many cases where the parents have fallen out and the children have been caught in the crossfire,” he said. “One in four under 16s have separated parents now. This charity will give them somewhere to go.”

Kids in the Middle is aiming to get lawyers and mediators to become founding partners, raising money which will be used to set up a website which will act as a forum for children whose parents are separating, as well as a helpline. Children will be able to get advice and support and there will be advice for parents on what can be done to minimise the impact.

Mr Root said: “Our aim is to act as a catalyst for this new charity, raising awareness and linking up with local schools for fundraising projects.

“Separation is something which affects many children, either directly or through their friends or relatives, and we know teenagers across the Harrogate district will be keen to do whatever they can to help other children facing a tough time at home.”

Duncan Fisher, campaign director, said: “It is amazing how children get overlooked during family separation. It is such a widespread and serious problem and yet there is nothing specifically for them. Separating parents need to hear the story from children and we all need to hear what children and young people have to say about their best interests during family separation.”

Kids in the Middle will also produce material for schools and set up events. It now needs to raise money to set up a helpline, establish online forums and publish helpful material for a wide audience.

“This charity is very much needed,” said Mr Root. “There is nothing else like it available, despite the number of children who are affected by divorce.”

To find out more call Mr Root on 01423 543122 or visit www.kidsinthemiddle.org.uk


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