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.

Sunday 29 August 2010

Independent Group.

I would like to make it clear that The Bristol Grandparents Support group are totally independent and are not affiliated to any organisation.

Parental Responsibility.

If your son or daughter are non resident parents this document is very useful in telling you the schools responsibility to whoever has parental responsibility.


Monday 23 August 2010

Grandparents or Grandchildren's Rights?

I have always disliked the phrase 'Grandparents Rights,' it is banded about by the media when discussing denied contact.
It is guaranteed to antagonise any resident parent, it is the grandchildren who are the important people who find themselves, through no fault of their own,slap bang in the middle of a horrible situation. The phrase needs to be , 'Grandchildren's Rights' every child has the right to be allowed contact with their grandparents, if they wish to and it is safe for them to do so.
If a couple decide to part then it should be mandatory for them to undertake mediation, and at this stage is when contact must be legally agreed with the children being part of the process.
If the agreement is not adhered to then there must be consequences.



Memory Box.
If the lines of communication have broken down and you feel that items such as cards and presents are not actually getting to your grandchild then setting up a memory box is a good way of keeping a record of all the things you have sent.
It is also a very good way of recording family events such as weddings, specials birthdays ,anniversaries etc.
Every time you send a card, letter or parcel photocopy them or take a photo , to put in the box.
Your memory box can be whatever you want it to  be and can contain anything that you feel is relevant, to your grandchild and a way of them being able to see that you  were always thinking about them .
You may want to write poems or stories for them, its up to you.
Just a couple of tips when sending things, send postcards, as they can be seen openly by anyone, and sending cards by internet companies such as www.moonpig.com  is a good idea as you can personalise them and they can be sent direct so the card will not show your postmark.
Setting up a blog.
All the young people today use the internet at school and at home, so it is a good place to start to try and make contact. Setting up a blog is easy and very effective you can write things on it ,put photos on it and other family members can also write on it. All you need to do is to go onto  the internet and type in www.blogger.com which will open a page for you called Blogger and you follow the on screen instructions.
My son has set up a blog for his daughter which all the family can post on .The idea of course is that your grandchild will at some stage type their names into google, as they all do, and up pops their blog.
When you are writing on it be careful, keep it newsy stuff about the family and what you have been doing, don’t fall into the trap of venting your feelings on it, because not only can your grandchild see it, it is possible so will the resident parent.
Whatever we may feel you don’t want to say anything that could be detrimental  to your grandchild in any way,

The Bristol  Grandparents Support Group.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Call For Evidence.

The government have issued a document called 'Call for Evidence,' it is the consultation document set up by the task force for the review of The Family Justice system.
You have until Sept 20th to send in your responses to the questions.
It is your opportunity to have your say.



If you don't know where your grandchild/grandchildren are here are some ideas.

· If you suspect they might be in any form of danger, or is very young, contact the police.
· Check phone books or online phone lists to see if the person is listed.
· Are they still using their mobile phone, old or new?
· Are they still using their e-mail address?
· Contact the Salvation Army Family tracing service.
· Check electoral rolls in the area you suspect the person may have moved to.
· If it is a child, they should be registered in a school; if you have joint parental responsibility, the school in the area you suspect the child is in, should tell you if they are on the register, you would probably then need to go to the police to proceed further.
· Are there any joint accounts (credit cards / bank accounts) that the person may be using and having mail redirected to them.
· If it is a child that is missing, you can contact the child protection team (social services) in target areas that you think they may have gone to.
· They should register at Health centres, Doctors and Dentists.
· Does the missing person or child have strong ties to the church, an organisation or clubs?
· Could they be on a council or a housing trust list in a target area?
· Use family links to try and get information about the missing person.
· Ask family friends if they have any information.
· Do they have overseas connections, which they could have used and gone abroad?
· Does the person have a medical condition that may require specialist help in a specific area of the country?
· You could use a private investigator to try to find the person. (cost a major factor)
· Can you use internet methods to trace them.Are they still putting comments on Facebook /Twitter /etc ? If they have blocked you from contacting them, can you get someone else to contact them to see if all is fine?
· Contact other organisations such as Families needs fathers, etc for their advice.
· Place adverts in local papers in target areas for information.


Press Release-The Alliance for Families

30 July 2010
A powerful Alliance of eighteen legal, medical and child care organisations have come together to issue the attached joint position statement which sets out their grave concerns about the services currently being provided by the Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS).
The Alliance questions whether the CAFCASS model of service delivery is either the most effective in terms of outcomes for the vulnerable children involved or the most cost effective use of all the available resources both human and financial.
This week’s publication of the results of a National Audit Office review of CAFCASS and the announcement of the referral to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee reinforces the concerns of the Alliance. The Alliance calls on the Government to act quickly as matters are now too serious to await the outcome of the forthcoming Family Justice Review.
The Alliance offers to assist the Government in initiating a constructive exploration of possible alternative arrangements which do not pose a serious threat to the statutory framework protecting children’s welfare and rights - painstakingly developed through research and evidence- based clinical practice over the last four decades.
For media enquiries contact:
NAGALRO - ALISON PADDLE (Press Officer) 01539 737 232 (mobile 07789 252453) or NAGALRO office, Karen Harris - 01372 818504, or ALC - BARBARA HOPKIN (Press Officer) (m) 07970 620156, or ALC office, Julia Higgins - 0208 224 7071

Always remember.

Gran and Grandpa, please
Remember me?
Alone I am,
No-one to listen,
Daddy has gone.
Perhaps they do remember me,
Always my family,
Remember me?
Endless love, for me
Never forget,
To be in your life, I want to be.

Jane Jackson
Copyright 2010


Saturday 21 August 2010

Fingers Burnt

I have been busy doing stuff for various organisations over the last year and have had my fingers well and truly burnt.
So I am going it alone, where I am able to have freedom of speech and focus back on why I set up a support group in the first place, to be able one day to say to my granddaughter 'I did everything I could think of, to try and make things better.'