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, 27 May 2014

The unpleasant side of running a support group, yes there is one.

I set up BGSG in 2007 when I lost contact with my granddaughter, she is my focus.
I endeavour to support and help others who are living this heartbreak, it is inevitable that some people won't like the way I do it, the way I run my blog, the way I run my website ect.
All I can say is that I do honestly do the best I can and my best is not always good enough.
Over the last 7 years I have talked to over a thousand grandparents, the blog has had over 55,756 visits, and I have had the privilege to witness the joy of reconciliation's.
During those 7 years I have experienced the down side of running a support group.
Personal insults, threats and intimidation.
Sometimes it is inevitable that as admin of a blog or group you have to make some difficult decisions, and it rebounds on you. If  members raise worries and concerns about someone, I will remove perpetrators from the group.
BGSG is a support group, and with that support comes I hope trust. Trust to be able to share our feelings with one another, to become more confident in ourselves and to "look after" each other.
Over the last week my trust has been stripped.
I have been accused of making the group "all about me."
If that is what people think then I have failed.
To be told that I need to watch what I write, here, on my FB private group or website is intimidation.
This is my blog, they are my thoughts they are not affiliated to any other group or organisation.
Whenever these situations arise,  (this is the 3rd time in 7 years), it affects so many people, me, my family, friends, parents/grandparents people who are facing this living bereavement, who are vulnerable and desperate.
When a grandparent contacts me, and I suggest they might find our FB group helpful it takes a long time for some to gain the confidence to join us, so if someone suggests that anyone can join, you can imagine how that worries people.
It is worth reiterating that some grandparents are in a very bad place and in some cases are suicidal or have been, just imagine the enormous damage it does if they feel exposed as a result of that sort of remark.
All I can say is that it is a private group, it cannot be found via search engines and I vet people as much as is humanly possible.
If at any time any one is feeling uncomfortable with another member please let me know.
I actually can't believe I am writing this.



  1. Well said Jane you do a great job. x

  2. Jane -don't let the critics get to you.You (and Marc) .have given us fantastic support and help in the last 3 years. Don't know how we we would have got through without you ..-Lots of love to you

  3. Jane you have been my lifeline the day I picked up the phone was the best thing I have done. The support from you and members is wonderful.

  4. Sadly this happens a lot in all kinds of blogs and indeed anywhere reviews are invited, the ease with which people can hide behind an alias does empower a certain type of person who probably would not stand up and be counted in public. Try not to let these things get to you, we found your blog from the One Show and it has given us great comfort to find out we are not alone. All the best and keep up the good work.

  5. Jane we are all here for you when you need support too. No one should forget your own loss and the positive way you have channelled it. A powerful thing. Thank you xx

  6. Being with like minded people does help. I have to say but outsiders just don't understand people say to me why don't you go and just knock on the door well you can't! This group and others is a life saver , well to me anyway!!

  7. please believe how much you help others I was in a desperate place when I contacted you it has helped me knowing there is someone I can turn to. I wish there was such a group in my area. I would love to come and see you x keep up the good work and keep strong x we all have one aim on life and that is to see our beloved granchildren again x