Hi everyone and welcome to Bristol Grandparents Support Group blog. Although we are Bristol based we have grandparents from all over the UK and beyond as members.

It is estimated that over one million children in the UK are denied contact with their grandparents due to family breakdown which may have been caused by divorce/separation, alcohol/drug dependency,domestic violence,bereavement or family feud.
Every child has the right to have contact with their grandparents
if they wish and unless proven unsafe for them to do so. To deny contact from a parent or grandparent has to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
I hope to keep you up to date with what is going on in BGSG and I shall continue to campaign for the rights of children to have a loving and meaningful relationship with both parents and their extended family. So please join in as good to hear your views, not just mine!
I also will support via Skype.
There is no membership fee to be part of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.
Esther Rantzen says, " To every grandparent, links of love can never be broken in our hearts."

Please contact during office hours.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

How to celebrate your grandchild's birthday.

When we find ourselves estranged from our grandchildren it is particularly painful on those special days, their birthdays and at Christmas and other celebrations, times when families should all be together and celebrating and having fun.
Many grandparents send cards and presents, never knowing if the children ever receive them, some will stop sending anything as they  find it too hard not knowing.
I do always send cards and presents, but like many others of course I have no idea if they are received or just put in the bin.
I do think it is very important that we do acknowledge these special days, so what things can we do.
There are several ways of fulfilling the need to do our own celebrating.
One grandparent I know lights a Japanese lantern and sets it off flying high in the sky, similarly you could go to a special place and let off some helium balloons.
If you have some space in your garden plant flowers, plants, different ones every year to have a growing tapestry of memories.
Setting up an account for birthdays is something that lots of grandparents do, or you could make a donation to your favourite charity in your grandchild name.
How about writing a poem, you don't have to be a poet to write one, just write what you feel, when you have a collection print them on good quality paper and get them bound into a book.
I am sure you have your own suggestions, it would be good if you would share them.

Will your political party give rights to grandchildren?



Monday, 1 September 2014

New blogs and website.

My new blogs can be found here www.bristolgrandparentssupportgroup.co.uk just click on the blog tab button.
If you are a web designer, advertiser or just a spammer, don't bother as you will be removed.

Friday, 22 August 2014

1,177 posts!

I obviously don't have enough to do as I seem to have written a ridiculous number of posts!
When you consider that there have also been over 63,000 visits the amount of troublesome comments or rubbish stuff is tiny.
To everyone who has bothered to respond or spent their precious time reading my witterings, thank you very much.

Monday, 18 August 2014

What can I do?

It is days like these when I am supporting a grandparent who is going through such trauma and their grandchildren that I stop and ask myself, what on earth can I do?
Ok so I can be at the end of the phone or email , I can suggest, I can offer my sympathy but it sometimes is just not enough.
I witness injustice every single day, I need to be able to make more of a difference, somehow.
There are grandparents and grandchildren going to hell and back, relationships being trashed, trusts being broken and lives begin put in jeopardy.
How can I help?

Rights for Grandchildren.

For years media  and everyone else for that matter have used the term Grandparents' Rights which I have always worked hard at to try to avoid.
It is difficult to find a different phraseology because it is instantly recognisable, people know what it means, which is one reason why on our new website that will be going live in the next few weeks, it says "Grandparents rights awareness and support across the UK and beyond."
It is what grandparents put into a search engine when looking for help.
In reality the ethos of BGSG has always been the needs of the grandchildren, so a more appropriate phrase will always be "Grandchildren's Rights."
The need to keep it child focussed.
Again for years we and others have been  hopeful that  shared parenting would be legislated for only to have it squashed over and over again.
Children not being allowed a loving and caring relationship with both parents.
Today, David Cameron has delivered his latest take on government and families, https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/david-cameron-on-families but as we are all so aware this government does not stick to its promises, they do not listen to the voices of children, children who want relationships with both parents and the wider family.
Government needs to stop the decline in family breakdown or we will have not only family breakdown but breakdown in society itself.
The government must enshrine in law "Grandchildren's Rights" a law where children have a right to a relationship with their wider family if family breakdown occurs, unless it is proven unsafe for them to do so. The important word is proven, too many times false allegations are made against grandparents and there is  no way of refuting them.
Even if young adult grandchildren tell those in authority that allegations made against their grandparents are totally untrue, they are told they are lying.
And we wonder why our young people don't trust those in authority.
We all know that next year is a general election and it is estimated that there are 14, million grandparents in the UK, a force to be reckoned with I would say.
It is your vote use it wisely.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Cream Teas Success.

This afternoon we had a garden party and sold cream teas in our garden, the sun shone and we raised an extraordinary £420, for BGSG.
Thank you so much for all your help and support.
It takes us a little closer to the magic figure of £5k to apply for charitable status.
Thank you all again.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Esther Rantzen talking about grandparents.

For those who missed it here is link to Radio Bristols discussion about grandparents, with Esther Rantzen, myself and Sam from Grandparents plus.



Monday, 11 August 2014

Radio Bristol grandparents feature.

Radio Bristol is doing a week long feature on all aspects of grand parenting on John Darvalls' programme from 9am-12pm, today was about grandparents using different forms of technology. Tomorrow John will be talking to a family lawyer  re grandparents denied contact and I will also be taking part, should be at 10:30am
You can phone in during the programme.
It will culminate on Friday morning from 9 to 10am in an open discussion on the weeks programme, I will be in the studio, Grandparents Plus I believe will be in the London studio and hopefully others.
Here is a link :
p001d77l you can of course email John Darvall as well.


Monday, 4 August 2014

Aims and Objectives of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.

    TO relieve, for the benefit of the public the hardship and distress of grandparents, their families, and their grandchildren caused by the breakdown of marriage and family relationships;

    To promote, for the benefit of the public their wellbeing and protect their health through, but not limited to, the provision of advice, education, information, support groups, training and other services; 

     To advance the education of the public in relation to the issues faced by grandparents, their families, and their grandchildren caused by the breakdown of marriage and family relationships through, but not limited to, media, publications, public advocacy and other means of communication.

Step 1:
What outcomes the charity is set to achieve?
To provide support.
To provide information.
To promote family well-being.
To provide support to self help groups.

Step 2:
How the charity will achieve those outcomes:
By raising awareness.
By providing booklets, posters, leaflets for information.
By giving information on the phone and website.
By giving support across the UK to local groups.

Step 3:
Who the outcomes will benefit and where they extend to.
Grandparents and as a result grandchildren in maintaining a relationship with the wider family.
Nationally and Internationally.


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Grandparents wanting to end their lives.

I have written before about the desperation felt by grandparents who are prevented from being part of their grandchildren's lives, but I don't think that the general public fully understand if indeed they understand at all.
This week I have been contacted by grandparents who are in such a bad place they are talking about ending their lives, their grandchildren are so precious to them and they have tried everything to try and mend the problem.
They have apologised for anything they may have done to anger the parents of the children, they have asked if they can move forward, only to have abusive responses or no response at all.
When I say abusive responses, responses such as this," I will only talk to you when you stop breathing."
These grandparents are sitting on their own crying non-stop, feeling empty, isolated and afraid of what they might do next.
They have been to their GP's, they have contacted organisations, but they are still in such a dark place, all rational thought is beyond them.
These cases are not unusual.
I have always accepted that we can not possibly get on with everyone, some people may annoy us to distraction but I can not accept that the anger felt by some causes others such pain.
How and why has our society reached such a destructive point?
We live in a blame culture where it is ok to treat people badly if we feel an injustice against us, but where does it get us?
It gets us to estranged parents and grandparents who see no hope, who feel unable to face life any longer without their children/grandchildren in their lives.
If you are feeling that you can no longer carry on please seek professional help, you are not alone there are people out there to help you.
You can ring the Samaritans at any time of day or night on T08457 90 90 90


Friday, 1 August 2014

Support,Lemon Drizzle and Cream Teas!

Many thanks to all the grandparents who attended the meeting this afternoon, as always it was good to see you all.
In particular, thank you to one of our members who travelled 200 miles to be with us and to the two CAFCASS officers who also attended.
So pleased that the lemon drizzle cake went down so well!
Plans for the Garden Party and cream teas are looking great all we need is the sunshine, we will be selling plants, cakes and having a raffle.
Admission is by ticket only.
Thanks also to those who have become 'Friends' of BGSG, donations made this way will enable us to carry on giving support to grandparents across the UK.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Next meeting.

Looking forward to seeing everyone this Friday Aug 1st at 2pm, those of you who have been coming for the last 7 years and to welcome new grandparents some from just around the corner others who are travelling a long distance.
Kettle will be on!

Family Courts at breaking point.

"People are just giving up and not seeing their children because they don't know how to go about it," she said.

Family Courts struggling with people representing themselves.


Monday, 28 July 2014

Simon Hughes Speech, 'voice of the child'


This all sounds great but in reality what does it mean.
We know that an alienated child is taught what to say and who to say it to, and there is already in place 'wishes and feelings' and that certainly has not been a success, so is this any different?


Saturday, 26 July 2014

A 'problem' does not make a whole person-

it is just part of your life you would rather be without.
Lots of grandparents quite understandably are angry. Angry with the adult who is denying contact, angry with themselves for not being able to put things right.
Anger is ok, as long as you are in control of it not the anger controlling you.
Never act when you are angry, you will be irrational and when we are angry physical things happen to us, our heartbeat increases, our pulse rate goes up and adrenaline shoots around our bodies, blood sugar levels increase.
Allow yourself several hours to calm down to get your physical changes back on an even keel.
Everyone has different strategies for dealing with anger, you can tear your copy of yellow pages up ( if you can) go for a long walk, sit and concentrate on your breathing, think of a place you love and imagine you are there, there are many other tactics to use.
Have a go at sketching what you think anger looks like, if it was an animal which one would it be, what would it be made of.
You can write things down, a vent page, and then screw it up and throw it away.
Making bread is a good one as well, you will have the best kneaded bread around!
It may be other people who are causing us to be so angry, but we have the choice not to be. As I have said before it is us that suffers not those we are angry with.
So we need to be part of the solution not part of the problem, we need to care for ourselves and care for our own well-being.
Part of that has to be where do we go from here?
Again we have a choice.
We can continue down this horrible, hurtful road or we can look down the road to the future, if you were driving the car it would be looking into your rear view mirror is the past, looking forward is just that, a clear road ahead.
Keep driving down that road, who knows where it will take you?

Donations via Paypal

I have been asked how people can make donations to BGSG, there will be a donate facility on the new website but you can also donate via our Paypal account by logging on at https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/send-money-online  and clicking on the send money box.
We rely on donations to carry on supporting grandparents from all over the UK and beyond, so thank you very much.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Within 50 miles of Canterbury.

There is a grandparent in the Canterbury area who is prepared to travel maybe 50 miles to link up with other grandparents for support, if you are interested in linking up please contact me.

Monday, 21 July 2014

AGA, Inc.     Alienated  Grandparents  Anonymous     Newsletter
International Headquarters   Naples, Florida   www.AGA-FL.org       info@AGA-FL.org
·         Next  Meeting  September  18th  Saint John the Evangelist –Library   
625   111th Avenue North   Naples, Florida   34108
·         AGA Headquarters is forming a partnership with the David Lawrence Center of Collier County Florida.
Grandparents/Parents in Collier County,  (eventually State of  Florida and the USA )  will be offered professional counseling with Alienation issues.  More information will be coming directly to you in the next several months as the program is established.
David Lawrence Center is the Southwest Florida-based, not-for-profit leading provider of behavioral health solutions dedicated to inspiring and creating life-changing wellness for every individual. The Center provides innovative, comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, residential and community based prevention and treatment services for children and adults who experience mental health, emotional, psychological and substance abuse challenges.
Committed to restoring and rebuilding lives, the David Lawrence Center is a symbol of hope for children, adolescents, adults and the elderly who struggle with mental health and substance abuse problems in Southwest Florida. Through the Center’s work, lives are saved, families are kept together, children succeed, homelessness is reduced, quality of life is returned and dignity is restored to those in need. 

  • Carol Golly, PL,MSW,LCSW,RPTS     Collier County FL       AGA Board of Directors               Carol is currently a candidate for a PhD in Grandparent Alienation.   Her dissertation will be the first world- wide on Grandparent Alienation.   AGA will keep you informed of her publications.                                            

  • James Karl, Esq.    Collier County FL      AGA Board Member  Jim conducted the an AGA Board Meeting on  July 18th  in the drafting of Grandparents Rights Legislation in the State of Florida. AGA will keep you informed of progress.
You Wanted to Know   What is the impact on our children?
PAS   Parental Alienation Syndrome   (Notice the correlation to GA Grandparent Alienation)
Co-Parenting After Divorce   Rising to the challenge
      by Edward Kruk, Ph.D.   Psychology Today
The Impact of Parental Alienation on Children
Every child has a fundamental need for love and protection.
Published on April 25, 2013 by Edward Kruk, Ph.D. in Co-Parenting After Divorce
I offer the first installment of a three-part series examining (1) the impact of parental alienation on children, (2) the effects of parental alienation on parents, and (3) programs, services and interventions that combat alienation and seek to reunite estranged parents and their children.
What children of divorce most want and need is to maintain healthy and strong relationships with both of their parents, and to be shielded from their parents' conflicts. Some parents, however, in an effort to bolster their parental identity, create an expectation that children choose sides. In more extreme situations, they foster the child’s rejection of the other parent. In the most extreme cases, children are manipulated by one parent to hate the other, despite children’s innate desire to love and be loved by both their parents.
Parental alienation involves the “programming” of a child by one parent to denigrate the other “targeted” parent, in an effort to undermine and interfere with the child's relationship with that parent, and is often a sign of a parent’s inability to separate from the couple conflict and focus on the needs of the child. Such denigration results in the child’s emotional rejection of the targeted parent, and the loss of a capable and loving parent from the life of the child. Psychiatrist Richard Gardner developed the concept of "parental alienation syndrome" 20 years ago, defining it as, "a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child's campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent's indoctrinations and the child's own contributions to the vilification of the target parent." Children’s views of the targeted parent are almost exclusively negative, to the point that the parent is demonized and seen as evil.
As Amy Baker writes, parental alienation involves a set of strategies, including bad-mouthing the other parent, limiting contact with that parent, erasing the other parent from the life and mind of the child (forbidding discussion and pictures of the other parent), forcing the child to reject the other parent, creating the impression that the other parent is dangerous, forcing the child to choose between the parents by means of threats of withdrawal of affection, and belittling and limiting contact with the extended family of the targeted parent. In my own research on non-custodial parents who have become disengaged from their children’s lives (Kruk, 2011), I found that most lost contact involuntarily, many as a result of parental alienation. Constructive alternatives to adversarial methods of reconnecting with their children were rarely available to these alienated parents.
Parental alienation is more common than is often assumed: Fidler and Bala (2010) report both an increasing incidence and increased judicial findings of parental alienation; they report estimates of parental alienation in 11-15% of divorces involving children; Bernet et al (2010) estimate that about 1% of children and adolescents in North America experience parental alienation.
There is now scholarly consensus that severe alienation is abusive to children (Fidler and Bala, 2010), and it is a largely overlooked form of child abuse (Bernet et al, 2010), as child welfare and divorce practitioners are often unaware of or minimize its extent. As reported by adult children of divorce, the tactics of alienating parents are tantamount to extreme psychological maltreatment of children, including spurning, terrorizing, isolating, corrupting or exploiting, and denying emotional responsiveness (Baker, 2010).For the child, parental alienation is a serious mental condition, based on a false belief that the alienated parent is a dangerous and unworthy parent. The severe effects of parental alienation on children are well-documented; low self esteem and self-hatred, lack of trust, depression, and substance abuse and other forms of addiction are widespread, as children lose the capacity to give and accept love from a parent. Self-hatred is particularly disturbing among affected children, as children internalize the hatred targeted toward the alienated parent, are led to believe that the alienated parent did not love or want them, and experience severe guilt related to betraying the alienated parent. Their depression is rooted is feelings of being unloved by one of their parents, and from separation from that parent, while being denied the opportunity to mourn the loss of the parent, or to even talk about the parent. Alienated children typically have conflicted or distant relationships with the alienating parent also, and are at high risk of becoming alienated from their own children; Baker reports that fully half of the respondents in her study of adult children who had experienced alienation as children were alienated from their own children.
Every child has a fundamental right and need for an unthreatened and loving relationship with both parents, and to be denied that right by one parent, without sufficient justification such as abuse or neglect, is in itself a form of child abuse. Since it is the child who is being violated by a parent's alienating behaviors, it is the child who is being alienated from the other parent. Children who have undergone forced separation from one of their parents in the absence of abuse, including cases of parental alienation, are highly subject to post-traumatic stress, and reunification efforts in these cases should proceed carefully and with sensitivity (research has shown that many alienated children can transform quickly from refusing or staunchly resisting the rejected parent to being able to show and receive love from that parent, followed by an equally swift shift back to the alienated position when back in the orbit of the alienating parent; alienated children seem to have a secret wish for someone to call their bluff, compelling them to reconnect with the parent they claim to hate). While children’s stated wishes regarding parental contact in contested custody should be considered, they should not be determinative, especially in suspected cases of alienation.
Hatred is not an emotion that comes naturally to a child; it has to be taught. A parent who would teach a child to hate or fear the other parent represents a grave and persistent danger to the mental and emotional health of that child. Alienated children are no less damaged than other child victims of extreme conflict, such as child soldiers and other abducted children, who identify with their tormentors to avoid pain and maintain a relationship with them, however abusive that relationship may be.
In the second installment on parental alienation, I will examine the effects of parental alienation on targeted parents, and suggest a range of strategies for preventing and intervening in these cases in the third.
Baker, A. (2010). “Adult recall of parental alienation in a community sample: Prevalence and associations with psychological maltreatment.” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 51, 16-35.
Bernet, W. et al (2010). “Parental alienation and the DSM V.” American Journal of Family Therapy, 38, 76-187. 
Fidler, B. and Bala, N. (2010). “Children resisting postseparation contact with a parent: Concepts, controversies, and conundrums.” Family Court Review, 48 (1), 10-47.
Kruk, E. (2011). Divorced Fathers: Children’s Needs and Parental Responsibilities, Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.
AGA, Inc. President/Founder
International Headquarters  Naples, FL 
www.AGA-FL.org      Email: info@aga-fl.org
42 states    9 countries

Grandparents must be the voice of our Grandchildren

Shropshire Shout Out.

Are you in Shropshire (Telford or Shrewsbury) area and like to link up with another grandparents to chat over a coffee?
Let me know if you are interested.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Friends of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.

As we move into a new phase of becoming a national charity reaching all areas of the UK and beyond we have decided to incorporate 'Friends of BGSG.'
We rely on voluntary funding as we do not charge a membership fee.
There are grandparents already who kindly donate by standing order, for which we are eternally grateful.
We are suggesting a donation of £10 per year (obviously if you feel able to donate more it will be gratefully received) to become a 'Friend' which will enable us to continue to give support to grandparents who are feeling isolated and alone.
All 'Friends' will be listed at events we are involved in.
Please contact us for further details.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Should I write to my grandchild?

If you are reading these blogs, presumably it is because you have lost contact with a grandchild or grandchildren, we all know that it can happen for so many different reasons but the result is the same.
I have written previously about a variety of things you can do to keep those memories alive, such as a memory box, where you can put perhaps photos of special events that occur in the family, photocopies of cards you have sent, letters, ect.
You can start a blog, like this one, you can use it as an online journal, keep it child focussed, so don't say unkind things about their parent/parents, you may not get on together but they are your grandchild's parents and they love them.
It isn't difficult to set one up.
You can do the same thing only in the book journal way, a book to just jot things down as and when they happen and when you want to say something.
I have mentioned letters and it is something that I am often asked about.
A letter can be very therapeutic and the choice is yours as to whether you actually send it or not.
I would add a word of caution though.
Your letter should be about your grandchild and what is relevant to them, taking their age into account, but be very careful not to bring the child into any conflict that is going on, if it is one of your children who are denying contact don't say inappropriate things about perhaps their partner or other family members.
I know that we think we know our children better than anyone else, and we probably do, but we can't tell them who they should or should not be sharing their lives with, our adult children have to make mistakes just like we did, and hopefully learn by them.
There is nothing worse than your parent telling you are with the wrong man or women, when I was younger I clearly remember that if my parents told me to do something I would do completely the opposite! That is still the case how ever old we are.
It is of course so, so hard to stand by and watch the mistakes being made, particularly if we feel that a new partner is having a detrimental effect on our relationships, but we still can't interfere.
I know that it is extremely hard for some of you.
It may be that whoever is preventing you from seeing a grandchild is indeed saying things about you that are untrue but we still must not involve the children.
The children if old enough, know the truth anyway, but they have to live the life they have at the moment and must be allowed to be children and not to take the burden of adult conflict on their young shoulders.
As I have said so many times before, we can't be responsible for others behaviour but we are responsible for our own.


Thursday, 17 July 2014

We owe it to the children.

Since setting up BGSG in 2007, when contact ceased with my granddaughter I went to all sorts of places for help and support.
If I am honest there was nowhere that I felt actually totally understood and what it meant to be prevented in being part of a grandchild's life, people were good at making patronising, obvious remarks , helplines who made me feel inadequate as apparently I should be able to sort it out. Helplines who never got back to me, operators who were just doing a job, had no experience in denied contact personally. Helplines who told me to contact organisations who deal with grandparents who are looking after their grandchildren 24/7, not helpful.
Our group found its own place very quickly in doing what it does brilliantly, groups of grandparents who know first hand the awfulness of it all, who always listen and who support one another.
It became clear that as I was being contacted by grandparents all over the UK, that this was a huge issue and a global issue, I was hearing from people in America, Australia, Canada, France and Israel, what began as a Bristol group, had now become a national and international group.
In 2010 I discovered the world of blogs and it was the perfect place to reach thousands of grandparents wherever they were and it continues to be.
I have written 1154 posts since I started and looking back at the early posts notice that in all this time nothing has really changed.
There are still many millions of children all over the world who are estranged from family members, all trying to understand why.
It is up to us to continue to raise awareness of this global breakdown of society, a society that is falling apart.
Without the basic family roots framework, where will it end?
It is back to basics, families need to be respected, families need to accept their differences and agree to disagree, to compromise, to care for one another and to be there for one another.
We can't all get on, of course, but that is no excuse for becoming entrenched in hatred and evil actions.
We are the adults, our children are only on loan to us, we do not own them. We need to nurture them, love, them and allow them the wings to fly and make their own way in this world.
They must be allowed to have the love and care of both their parents and extended family.

Increase in parents representing themselves in court.



Monday, 14 July 2014

Long Distance grandparent in the West country?

I know this is a strange request as this is a group for grandparents who are prevented from seeing their grandchildren but I also know that you may well have some grandchildren who you do see.
Is there anyone in the Bristol/West country area who is a long distance grandparent, or do you go to extraordinary lengths to see your grandchildren?
Please get in contact if you do and are willing to share your story, with the media.
Many Thanks

Baroness Sloss stands aside.


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Setting up for a collection day.


Can we let go of our negative thoughts?

I often ramble on about the negativity of revengeful thoughts, anger ect, and know that for some people it is seemingly impossible for them to let go of the thoughts they hold towards whoever is preventing them from seeing their grandchildren.
As with all of our own experiences we must be allowed to feel the emotions we feel and no-one should judge us for the way we feel.
What I do know is that having talked at length to so many of you now, it is clear to me that the damage done to so many of you is so detremental to your physical and mental health.
You will know that I will say, you must self protect, and you must.
To wake up everyday feeling so low, that in some cases people feel unable to get out of bed, as "there is no point."
I have always thought that we have to try and turn a negative into a positive, and thats why I set up BGSG.
Maybe we need to think about how and why we feel the way we do, it may seem simple but bear with me.
When we suddenly realise that we are being denied contact to special little people in our lives, you go through all sorts of phases.
Firstly, we think it is something we can sort out, when we realise we can't we feel bereft. This is not how it was meant to be.
The sadness we feel hurts in exactly the same way as when we lose someone close to us, hence the phrase "A living bereavement."
That tight knot deep in your stomach that churns and churns and won't go away, a deep void.
We then feel angry, furious to think that an adult in our lives is using their children as weapons, knowing that to stop us seeing the children is the most hurtful thing they can do.
And so the circle of sadness, despair and anger continues.
We have to somehow break through this damage, damage that is preventing so many leading a fulfilling life.
All the emotions that I speak of affect us, do they affect the  perpetrators?
Of course we can't forget what has happened, but do we want to wake up day after day thinking our lives are over, we have no reason to carry on.
If we do feel that, how is it affecting everyone else in our lives?
Our families or friends are still here, they still love us and want us to be who they remember, someone who makes a difference to other people.
This is obviously my personal opinion, when I reach the end of my life whenever that may be, I want to be able to think I made a difference, I am and will be heartbroken that I have not been part of my beautiful granddaughters life since 2007, but I owe it to her to be the person she remembers,  a person who loves her family and friends and want to enjoy the life I have been given and to be thankful for the 7 years I did have her in my life, memories in my heart forever, no-one can take that away. A person of hope, waiting for the day she can return to her Dad and to us and her aunts,uncles and cousins.
I heard this quote today: " Anger is like an own goal. You hold a hot coal of anger in your hand ready to throw, its burns a hole in your hand."



I would like to thank all of the grandparents who have linked up with one another, several are now meeting up regularly and just sharing their thoughts over a cuppa.
I know so well that meeting up with others who are in the same situation as yourself is so helpful and long friendships begin.
There is no doubt at all that it is a two way benefit.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Fund Raising Events.

We have some exciting events happening over the next few months to raise funds for the charity.
In August we are hosting a Garden Party serving cream teas. Cakes/plants/our personal greetings cards suitable for every occasion, will be on sale and a raffle.
Later in the Autumn a music concert, more info to follow.

Australian Judge says" incest, pedophilia may be accepted in society."

It is difficult to put into words my feelings on this as they are unpublishable.


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Collecting Day.

Off tomorrow to Asda Filton Bristol  to try and raise funds.
We appear to have everything but the kitchen sink, that may well find itself in the car in the morning!
Posters, leaflets, badges, cards, a Christmas tree with messages on, yes I know a Christmas Tree in July,  just to show people about our Tree of Hope.
Tables, chairs, table cloths, roll up banner, that should do.
Will take a photo when we have set it all up, and let you know how much we raise.

Monday, 7 July 2014

North Wales Support

Is there anyone in Conway North Wales willing to link up with other grandparent?

Legal Aid: Children and the residence test.



How to make a donation.

As you know we are still trying to raise funds and I have been asked by people how they can make a donation to the charity.
You can do so by cheque payable to Bristol Grandparents Support Group, if you contact me I will give you the address to send it or you can give via electronic transfer again I will give you details if you email me.
We will be having a donate button on the new website that is being done at the moment.
We rely on voluntary donations.
Many thanks.

Over 60,000 hits to blog.

Thank you for all your visits to the blog.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Just trying to make a difference.

When we give to charity we all give in good faith, in a hope that our money will find its way to the appropriate place.
There is a myriad of charities to choose from the national well known ones, to local good causes and small charities all doing their bit.
I for one know how difficult it is to raise funds, and it costs money to run a charity just posters, information basic marketing is hugely expensive, phone calls on the helpline, postage ect.
I spend hours filling up funding grant application forms, I have had three rejected this week alone.
As you know we are desperately trying to raise the amount necessary to obtain charitable status, you have to have a guaranteed annual income of £5k to even be considered.
Then I read  negative articles about charities, talking about the politics involved, the money wasted and apparently individuals who have  dubious motives for being involved in such charities.
I have written about this before, but I still don't get it.
All I know is that we run our support group to support grandparents who are denied contact with their grandchildren for a variety of reasons, we are independent, we are not associated with any other organisation, just ordinary people trying to make a small difference.
Oh, and if you feel the desire to donate I would be delighted to hear from you!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Children Screaming to be Heard Conference.



What if the memories are false?

We all know as we get older our memories are not a sharp as they used to be, but what about when someone says things about us that we know are absolutely untrue and yet a family member or friend insists that certain behaviour occurred, particularly when we were children.
Is it actually possible that they have false memories?
Recently people who are seeking support from 'experts' have begun a series of sessions of regression. My understanding is that it is it involves looking at things that may have happened earlier in your life which causes problems in present life.
I have my own person views on this, which I will keep to myself, but is it possible that it is responsible for families being accused of things that they absolutely refute?
Here is a link which you may find interesting.


Privacy Settings.

When I get emails from people I do reply as soon as possible, certainly within 24hours.
Sometimes when I reply they bounce straight back, this could be because the email comes from my website address and if your privacy settings are high you won't receive them.
If you have contacted me and have not had a response that could be why.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

San Diego California.

Ok so this is a long shot, but I know we have grandparents all over the world who read this blog so, if you are in San Diego can you get in touch as have a grandparent who would like some support.


Monday, 23 June 2014

Your sunshine journal.

Grandparents who find themselves being denied contact with their grandchildren are in turmoil, not knowing what to do.
After the initial shock of it all comes a feeling of numbness and disbelief.
As time moves on feelings change and we all find different ways of coping with our grief.
As I have written before you can keep a memory box, write a blog to your grandchildren, keeping a journal of your feelings will sometimes help.
It can be very easy for everything we write to be negative, so why not along side your journal of innermost thoughts you write a journal of all that is positive in your life.
We can become consumed with the heartbreak of it all, and the continuing desperation, but I will  almost guarantee that something good and positive happens to you every single day, by recording the great things it empowers us to carry on.


Grandparents are seen as an afterthought.

According to cloudBuy a social care marketplace provider, 2/3rds of people admit that they could do more to look after elderly relatives.
Many said that their parents and grandparents are an afterthought and they often cancel visits if something more exciting comes up.
I think that rather says it all.
What society are we living in when parents and grandparents are seen as an after thought, I despair.


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Not all publicity is good publicity.

Over the last 7 years I have learnt a thing or two about working with all forms of media.
Newspapers and magazines are looking for sensationalisation, true life stories are what they are of course interested in, it is what people buy the tabloids and mags for, to read about people and their stories.
They tend to be the sort of mags that you pick up in the hairdressers, for a quick flick through.
In my experience most journalists are not actually interested in you they are just trying to sell a story, the more anger, tears emotional turmoil the better it sells.
Often there are mistakes, artistic license and in some cases total untruths.
When you embark on the rocky road to of telling your story, be prepared for many phone calls, emails all going over the details only to be told at the very last minute that they have changed their minds.
Always start your conversation by saying, "You have checked this with your legal dept have you?" if they say no, then say,"Well when you have and got clearance then I will talk to you."
I have lost count of how many hours I have spent over 7 years, going over and over our story, it takes its toll, it is hard to keep on talking about such a difficult situation.
If you are approached either directly or indirectly, be prepared.
Also be prepared for the horrible comments that people write about you, I learnt very quickly never to scroll down to comments, people who had never met me, wrote serious personal insults, not only about me but my whole family.
Do your research into the particular journalist you are talking to, are they freelance? Do they work for a reputable paper or magazine?
Not all publicity is a good thing.
Be cautious.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Revenge is never sweet.

When we find ourselves in a situation where we have been hurt so dramatically by being denied contact from our grandchildren, it can become so all encompassing that we think revenge is the answer, taken over by the red mist affect.
Everyone deals with this in different ways.
Many people think that Karma will prevail, that you get back what you give out and that can be interpreted to mean that bad things will happen to the perpetrators, is that what we really want?
Here is a scenario to think about.
If it is your daughter/son who has chosen to deny you contact and you hear that they have become ill or are in trouble in some way, what would you do?
As  Mum or Dad will you ignore them, cast them aside, give them no help in other words allow their bad Karma.
Does that make us happy, to think of them suffering?
Or do we do what parents do, love them unconditionally, forgive but not forget the hurt they have caused, support and help them during their tough time?
It may well be that after their crisis, we find ourselves back where we were, with conflict rising its ugly head again, but you did the right thing, you did what being a parent is all about, we can not be responsible for other peoples actions and behaviours but we can be responsible for our own.


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Your grandchildren will not forget you.

There are many things that grandparents tell me they are worried about, one of the things that almost every single grandparent I speak to say is, "My grandchildren will forget us."
Please be rest assured that they won't.
Having worked in education for over 15 years, working with children, I can honestly say they will not forget you.
Whilst a child is going through all of this conflict and uncertainty, they will protect themselves.
They know that if they say what a good time they had with granny and grandpa, they will often get into trouble for even mentioning them.
So they don't.
The children have to deal with the cards they are dealt, so they will adapt and if you like 'tow the party line' it makes it easier for them on a daily basis.
I know of some children , as they have got  older,  go to some extremes to get what they want.
They do and have put  enormous pressure on a parent/parents to make it clear that they want a relationship with their grandparents.
The children do remember the times you took them to the sea side and went rock pooling, the times you showed them how to plant things and how to look after them.
It is not the materialistic things they remember with affection but it is the time you spent together just doing stuff.
So please never ever think they will forget you, they won't.


Sign petition for charter for Children and Fathers.

You do not have to live in wales to sign.



Penelope Leach 'expert' ,disgraceful.

This is one of the most damaging, despicable thing I have read for a long time, I am referring to Penelope Leach's remarks.


Asda Filton Bristol charity collection.

Thanks to Asda Filton Bristol who have chosen BGSG as one of their community charities for July.
If you are in Bristol and shop in that branch picking up a green token and popping it in the charity box in the foyer would be great.
We will also be doing a charity collection day at the branch on Thursday 10th July from 10am-4pm, do stop and have a chat with us.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

To forgive and forget are two different things.

We all find ourselves in this living bereavement of lost contact constantly asking ourselves questions. Why? How? What did we do?  There are so many more.
Of course we can go on and on asking these questions, perhaps never finding the answers.
Grandparents will often say, I will never forgive and forget, either my son/daughter or son-in-law/daughter-in-law for what they have done.
Ok, so if we carry around this thought what is it doing to us?
Firstly, for me, forgiveness and forgetting are two completely different things.
To forgive someone for their actions, in fact can release us from those thoughts that eat away at us daily, hurting us, it has no effect on the perpetrators.
We will never forget what has happened, it is part of our life.
So how do we start the forgiveness process?
In the book by Desmond Tutu, below, it is suggested that we use a fourfold path to help to heal ourselves.
This is my slant on it.
We need to look at what has happened in the form of it being our story, so get yourself a book or journal to write in, begin your story as you would when writing any story, with a beginning a middle and an end.
It can be as long or short as you like, it is your story so it is personal, don't think about spelling, grammar ect just write it down as it is, be truthful and honest.
So you will have characters, places and events.
Once that is done, then write down how everything in your story is effecting your life.
This part may be the most difficult part, I didn't say it was easy, time for the forgiveness part. The problem of not forgiving in our own minds, has such a detrimental affect on us all, we become almost governed by it. We might be constantly angry looking for retribution of some sort.
But is that the answer, to wish the perpetrators of this harm?
When we reach the place that we can say, "Ok, I forgive you, and wish you no harm." ~ I don't mean that you have to actually say this to them, it is about you, and what is going on inside your head~
you can then mentally be released from all of the hurt.

Now I know that many will read this and shout very loudly at their computers, it is just an idea that I think is worth thinking about.

I speak to so many grandparents who are ill, have considered ending their lives because they can't face life without their grandchildren, people who are desperately looking for something to hang on to. I always say that we have to self protect this is just another tool that might help someone.

As I say at the beginning of this post, we may be able to forgive, for us to move on, but we will not forget.
Ask any of the old soldiers who were recently involved in the D Day commemorations, they forgive but they never forget.

( Must just apologise, as it has been noted that I get my grammar, spelling, effects and affects muddled up, in the nicest possible way, but I write as thoughts come into my head!)

here is the link to Desmond Tutu book:  The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World


Friday, 13 June 2014

AGA's latest newsletter. Is Grandparent Alienation/ PAS Child Abuse?

Alienated Grandparents Anonymous Incorporated
International Headquarters    Naples, Florida  USA
AGA   June 2014   Newsletter
YOU Wanted to KnowIs Grandparent Alienation / PAS Child Abuse - Elder Abuse? 
Glenn Ross Caddy Ph.D., A.B.P.P., F.A.P.A.     AGA Consultant       drglenncaddy@mind-experts.com
There is no question but that unless there is legitimate reason to prevent the grandparents and children from enjoying a complete family life together [such justification may be the true psychological pathology or physical abuse of the children be the grandparent[s]], that the alienation of children from their loving parents by one or both parents is pathological and constitutes child abuse. This is simply because grandparents play an important role for the children in defining the depth and family and the support system of love inherent in the family just as uncles and aunts and cousins contribute to the breadth of the family surrounding the support, love, and well-being of the children. These people are far more than friends, they are blood and they are love. 
Tragically, it is common with alienation that when one set of grandparents or both sets are the victims of alienation the entire family on at least one side is estranged and splintered. The children who suffer this alienation have no context of cohesiveness or normalcy in of extended family life. They do not learn or know normalcy and they suffer profound emotional consequences therefrom. I have treated people in their 30's and 40's who came to realize in the context of the therapy that they were the victims of parental [and grandparent] alienation and their suffering has ranged between confusion and unimaginable psychic pain and psychopathology. 
Joshua Coleman, Ph.D.   AGA Consultant   www.drjoshuacoleman.com
Small children often form attachments to their grandparents that are as significant, if not more significant than those they form with their own parents. In many cases, grandparents—even those who were an intimate and involved part of their grandchildren’s lives—are suddenly denied contact because of a conflict between the parent and the adult child or the spouse of the adult child. 
Currently in the US there are few ways to successfully remediate this situation once it occurs. This is because parents in the US have complete authority over determining whether or not a grandchild can have contact with a grandparent. Children, from this perspective, are viewed as a kind of property over which the rights of the individual parent are ascendant over the rights of the grandparent. While most people would be sympathetic to a parent’s decision to restrict or deny contact with an abusive grandparent. My clinical experience shows that most grandparents are denied contact, not because of their abusive behavior, but because of a recent or longstanding conflict between the parent and adult child or the adult child’s spouse. However unfortunate and painful those conflicts, the decision to end an attachment to an otherwise loving and involved grandparent is something that should be considered in a far broader context than the rights of the parent. If parental neglect can and should be considered a form of child abuse, certainly a parent’s decision to end a loving and attached relationship between a grandchild and grandparent should also be considered a form of abuse.
Jerome Singer. M.D   Pediatrician      AGA Board Member
We all recognize child abuse?  Or, do we? 
A child came into the hospital with bruising on the head and torso.  Another child had x-rays that showed multiple old and new fractures.  And still another, an infant, had bleeding inside the skull from being shaken.  These are the kinds of histories that the hospital Child Abuse Committee I chaired reviewed.  It is easy to recognize this kind of abuse.
We know that children will all experience pain whether form an accidental fall, sports injury, auto accident, or the myriad of ways that kids get hurt.  But, when the pain is inflicted willfully we call this child abuse.  Society sometimes goes so far as to view corporal punishment or spanking as abuse. 
So, we can safely say that intentionally causing a child pain is abuse.
Not all abuse is so obvious.  Emotional abuse is not captured on a physical examination or x-ray.  When a close loving grandparent is removed from a child's world, the child feels emotional pain.  We all age, and we all die.  Grandparents die everyday.  If their grandchild was close, we see the emotional pain this causes.  We can try to explain death to a child.  We can tell them about the "cycle of life". 
When the loving close grandparent is still alive and purposely extracted from the child's world, and this separation is intentional, in inflicts pain.
Why isn't this a form of child abuse?  It intentionally inflicts pain on a child.
We must protect our children and respect parents' rights.  But, we must also recognize child abuse in all of its many forms.
John Killinger    AGA Consultant     drjohnkillinger@gmail.com
I agree that Grandparent Alienation is BOTH child abuse AND elder abuse.
The parents of this country would rise up en masse if they suddenly learned that the government had passed rules limiting the amount of vitamins and nutriments children can receive in their food or the number of books they can read in school.  Yet parents who keep their childrenaway from the grandparents are limiting by 50% the amount of grandparent love, knowledge, and interest those children are going to receive in the most formative years of their lives.
Citizens  would be angry with a neighbor they learned was keeping an elderly person locked up in a room in their home and limiting the food, water, and company that person received.  Yet parents who prevent grandparents from seeing their own grandchildren, their flesh and blood, are seriously delimiting the joy, happiness, and well-being of those grandparents.
Annie died on March 1, almost 3 months ago.  My life would be vastly different — I would be comforted — if I had regular access to my grandchildren and could SEE with my eyes the future of our progeny.  But alas. . .
J. Michael Bone, PhD  AGA  Consultant   www.jmichaelbone.com
If there is any tragedy that has befallen life in the modern world, it is the loss of the extended family.  In the mid 1940’s an excess of 85% of families were extended families, meaning that there were three generations of a family living under one roof or very nearby.  As we fast forward to as long ago as the mid 1970’s this number falls to only 11%, meaning that grandparents are only an every day part of children's’ lives in very small numbers.  While I do not know the exact statistic of the disappearance of the extended family in 2014, I would guess that it must be less than 3%.  What does this mean?  Unfortunately, this means a great loss of sharing of life experience   as well as a loss of wisdom that only this experience can yield.  When we add to this the fact that marriages are as likely to end in divorce as they are to survive into the senior years, one can easily see how the fragmentation of the family has led to an overall loss to our young people.  
It is well accepted and understood that grandparents provide a perspective and balance that only experience can yield.   While the world has changed and continues to change at unprecedented speed, it is the wisdom of experience that can best provide balance to this change.  Therefore, when parents divorce and children find themselves suddenly in two households, very often the resources that grandparents bring to grandchildren are diminished, or in the case of parental alienation,  destroyed altogether.   I am a strong supporter of Alienated Grandparents Anonymous (AGA) for this very reason.  AGA has committed itself to addressing this tragic loss directly.   I believe that the State of Florida can potentially lead the rest of the country in addressing this problem by seeking to restore the rightful and important role that grandparents can play in a child’s life.  I am proud to be associated with AGA.
Retired Psychotherapist  ACSW, DCSW    AGA Consultant-Grandparent
This is actually a deeper question than it initially appears on the surface. It entails the understanding on what is abuse and who is in question of being abused.  Abuse means that a person is treated regularly and repeatedly with cruelty and/or violence.  The effects of Grandparent Alienation/PAS is cruel to the actual child touched by alienation and also the 'child' that lives in every person within this sad and painful interaction.  The grandchild suffers the sadness of not knowing the gifts of the absent grandparent or at least having the opportunity to sort through and ultimately benefit from healthy resolution of the family emotional quagmire.  The inner child of the controlling or controlled adult child suffers from the loss, whether conscious or unconscious, of their biological parent, their accurate history and the ability to create internal peace and harmony through resolution. Step-grandparents suffer from their social/familial dismissal and the accompanying negative impact on their identity, loss of a dream and the budding awareness of their personal powerless position.  Lastly, the estranged grandparent's inner child suffers from the sense of rejection and abject sadness at losing their relationship with their biological child, as well as their grandchild, and the dream of a close parental/child connection with all.  Their history is in question and at risk for distortion and their inner child is in turmoil at the upheaval. Grief is everywhere! Therefore, the answer to your question is, "Yes", cruelty in so many forms and effecting child aspects of everyone involved.

Pascal J. LaRuffa, MD, FSAHM    (Fellow-Society for Adolescent Health & Medicine)  AGA Board Member                                            
Over many years as medical director of two boarding schools, an inpatient treatment center for addicted youth, two universities, and all the public schools in our suburban community, I was often faced with the responsibility of guiding many teenagers and young adults through their emotional pain.  Most of those frustrated and depressed students were faced with the monumental task of dealing with their education and the demands of everyday life.  It was upsetting to realize that the majority of their problems centered around the perceived lack of love and encouragement from home.  This fomented their feeling of helplessness to cope - without the armamentarium needed to survive in our complex world.  Many had turned to alcohol or drug abuse to ease the pain, or sexual promiscuity to feel wanted, physically and emotionally.  This behavior did not cure the problems, but intensified them.  Often, the situation would escalate to the point of self abuse.
I saw many cases where grandparents blamed the son-in-law (or daughter-in-law), and the other set of grandparents laid the blame in reverse.  Sometimes, it was the adult parent(s) who blamed one or more grandparents.  Try to imagine the feelings and confusion in the child (or children).  Now, they had to deal with arguments and attitudes from one set of parents - two sets if divorced - and four grandparents - maybe six.  How can the child be expected to deal with all this, and try to make the best of life on his own?  This is abuse of the worst kind: mental, emotional, and social.  That's where I would work with the children, as their coach and mentor.  The adults - I referred to family therapy.  It was crucial for the son or daughter to have someone on their side, who would be non-judgmental and keep everything strictly confidential.  
Vickijo Letchworth  AGA Board Member   Elder Abuse Response Advocate-Instructor    FL Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Grandparent Alienation is abuse.  No one, including Grandparents deserve the abuse caused by alienation.  The grandparent relationship is vital for a healthy childhood. 
AGA, Inc. President/Founder
International Headquarters  Naples, FL 

Grandparents must be the voice of our Grandchildren