GWENT will host the first branch in Wales of a church-based organisation helping people who are separated or divorced come to terms with relationship breakdown.

The Aquila Care Tr-ust, which has branc-hes across England, is coming to Wales 14 years after it began as a voluntary group at a Sussex church. Since 1991 it has helped thousands of people.

"Practically everyone in society is touched by divorce or separation, either themselves or in their family or among friends," said Christine Birkett, one of three co-ordinators for the Gwent Aquila group.

"Often, people do not realise the scale of the issues that divorce or separation can throw up. Aquila aims to help them, to give them the opportunity confront these issues."

An eight-week course addresses a wide range of issues that people often have have trouble facing up to in the fall-out of a broken relationship.

Confidentiality and trust, facing reality, adjusting to changes, learning from mistakes, coping with loneliness, regaining self-esteem and confidence, and setting goals and moving forward are among the topics.

The course also looks at the effect of separation on children, how any damage this causes can be limited, access issues, financial situations, and rights and responsibilities.

Once members complete the course, they are able to use the network of social activities and meetings that Aquila supports.

Aquila has been endo-rsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Revd Dr Rowan Willi-ams, and the Bishop of Monmouth the Right Revd Dominic Walker has supported the setting up of a branch of Aquila in the Diocese.

Further information from Aquila's central office on 01892 665524, or from the website: