A NEW campaign to help divorced parents in Dorset, has been launched by Relate Bournemouth following a dramatic increase in calls to the charity’s helpline this month.

Being Parents Apart will offer guidance and support to families across the county, helping to make sure that children and young people cope with any heartache and changes in the best way possible.

Latest figures reveal that calls to the national helpline rose by 53 per cent on the first Monday of January 2014, with appointment bookings increasing by 86 per cent.

Angela Craven, chief executive of Relate Bournemouth, said new year is always a busy time as many couples and families spend concentrated time together during the holidays, which can highlight underlying issues.

“Deciding to separate is never easy, particularly when children are involved. But for some people it’s the best thing to do and the next step is to work out how to go about it,” she said.

“Heightened emotions can cause arguments and ill-feeling in a home before, during and after separation and kids often pick up more than we realise. This process can have knock-on effects for some children. But having strong relationships that go the distance in good times and bad and knowing how to manage the separation process can improve outcomes for everyone.”

In a national poll of separated or divorced parents, six in 10 (60 per cent) of those surveyed in the South of England do not believe in the idea of a ‘good separation’.

Visit relate.org.uk/ separation for guidance on managing the realities of separation.