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.

Saturday 30 October 2010

Do I have to pay membership money to pay someones salary, to be heard?

All grandparents voices should be heard, the statement below infers that grandparents are only listened to if they are paid up members of an organisation.

Please don't forget that everyone can get free 20 minute legal advice.

Is this a true statement?

"The ...(named charity).............. is the only membership organisation for grandparents and as such is often consulted by local and national government on the needs and views of grandparents in all situations."

Friday 29 October 2010

Commissioner for Children, are you fulfilling your role?

I didn't know until today that there was someone who is the commissioner for children, I have just read their mission statement ,here it is:

Our vision

Children and young people will be actively involved in shaping all decisions that affect their lives, are supported to achieve their full potential through the provision of appropriate services, and will live in homes and communities where their rights are respected and they are loved, safe and enjoy life.

Our mission

We will use our powers and independence to ensure that the views of children and young people are routinely asked for, listened to and that outcomes for children improve over time. We will do this in partnership with others, by bringing children and young people into the heart of the decision-making process to increase understanding of their best interests.

Great words and exactly how it should be for ALL children, but what about 'their rights' when it comes to contact with non-resident parents and grandparents when a family breakdown occurs?

Thursday 28 October 2010

Christmas Tree Messages

This will be the third year that I will have a Christmas Tree in my garden, for grandparents to write messages on.
Email me messages and I will write them and put them on the tree, it will shine out filled with love and good wishes to all our grandchildren.

A Promise.

I promise that I will not in any way put my children in the middle of any dispute I may have with their mother/father, and that I will put my children’s best interest above everything else. I will not make disparaging comments to them about their mother/father, use my children as pawns or leverage, or try to turn my children against their mother, no matter how angry I may be. I will focus on enjoying and making the most out of the time I have with my children, and will encourage my children to have a good relationship with their mother/father. I will keep in mind that my children are innocent bystanders in this process, and it is up to both of us to protect them. I will remember that my overall goal is to raise happy, well adjusted children who have a healthy relationship with both parents.

Monday 25 October 2010

Daily Telegraph-Compulsory mediation.

Family Justice Review to report in early 2011


The Daily Telegraph reports that a government review is to recommend the introduction of a compulsory mediation stage before any financial or custodial dispute is heard in court. 

David Norgrove, the chair of the Family Justice Review panel, is quoted as saying that a new mediation stage could reduce the legal aid budget by £100 million. 

The plan, which it is said will be published early next year, will also introduce briefer and simpler hearings for cases that cannot be resolved by mediation. 

The Daily Telegraph article can be reviewed as follows:

Lawyers to be kept out of divorce battles
Lawyers will be kept out of thousands of family dispute cases every year in a shake-up of divorce laws. 
Published: 7:30AM BST 18 Oct 2010


Sunday 24 October 2010

'I don't want to join a group that will make me feel worse than I do already!'


If that's your cry, read on!
When you decide to join a support group for grandparents who have little or no contact with their grandchildren, something must have happened in your life for you to be looking for other like-minded people who are suffering as you are.
There's no need to make excuses about why you may be tearful or angry or have feelings of hopelessness. Everyone there just knows exactly how it is.

Negative into positive

Generally speaking, the issue that leads you to look for a 'no contact' support group is very likely to be a negative occurrence, so how do you turn a negative into a positive?
How do you deal with your feelings when a group might make you feel worse rather than better? This is, in fact, exactly what a grandparent said to me the first time I spoke to her. She had contacted me after seeing in the local press that I wanted to set up a group for grandparents who have no contact with their grandchildren. What she said has become something of a motto for our group.
Choosing a group where everyone takes part is a good way to start. If a group is run by all its members, they determine in which direction that group goes. The group might agree to write to MPs demanding changes in the family law process or it might want to write to the local press or national magazines and other media contacts.

Memory box

Regular meetings with everyone enjoying each other's company, asking their advice, listening to different ideas, are very positive. One idea we each adopted was photocopying all letters and cards sent to grandchildren and photos of family events such as weddings or birthday celebrations, and keeping them in a memory box to show our grandchildren one day.
The important word is 'support'. We're there to support each other in any way we can, and to rejoice when our goal is reached: being in contact with the future, our grandchildren.

Saturday 23 October 2010

Support Group Diaries.

Over 12 months ago I was asked to be involved in a new website for grandparents, one of the things I was asked to do was to write a diary on setting up a support group.
I am no longer involved in any way with that website or the organisation so I have posted my diary on my Facebook page.

Friday 22 October 2010

Plea to Government

When are the powers that be going to consult and talk to grandparents who are denied contact rather than celebs or staff who are on payroll and charities who are government funded.
It is us who are suffering the torment and heartbreak of not being part of your grandchildren's lives, no-one has any idea how we feel and how helpless we feel.
Time is ticking away we are getting older and our grandchildren are drifting further and further apart.

Thursday 14 October 2010

MP's visit

Charlotte Leslie MP will be attending meeting of group on Saturday November 13th.

Monday 11 October 2010

Charlotte Leslie MP

Charlotte Lelie MP wants to come to one of our meetings, so am trying to fix a date for everyone.

Friday 1 October 2010

Meeting update venue

After discussion with group members we have decided to have meetings at our house, as we did in the beginning , get in touch for address etc.