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.

Friday 31 December 2010


So at the end of 2010, time to once again thank everyone for their support.
I am never sure that looking back is a good thing, as in any year you have good times and bad,happy days and sad ones.
I have certainly done things this year that I never thought I would, experiences that have come from something so tragic , not being able to see my granddaughter, the people I have met have been wonderful and my life is richer for knowing them.
And so to 2011, I will continue to raise public awareness on behalf of the million children in the UK who are denied contact with grandparents.
I will support non-resident parents with gaining contact with their children.
The children must have their right to access both parents and all extended family , recognised.
I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Monday 27 December 2010

Keep Believing.

When you look up into the sky,
Whether the sun is shining or the rain is pouring,
If I had wings that I could fly,
To see you, to hug you and stop this mourning,
The sky that you can see,
The birds that are flying and singing near you,
Is the same sky, are the same birds,
You have to believe because its true.
It is just one blue or grey sky,
Birds chirping and swooping high and low,
Lets close our eyes tight, you can if you try,
The earth is covered white ,where you are and here, with snow.
One day, we will look up at the sky ,together.
Watch the birds, flying high,
No longer alone, with your family forever,
So close your eyes tight, and do not cry.

Jane Jackson 
copyright 2010

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Global Interest.

According to the 'stats' on this blog it shows that people from the UK,United States,Germany,Slovenia,Belize and Norway are visiting the site.
The marvels of the internet.
If you are visiting my blog from afar I would love to hear your views and comments.
Thank you for your interest and I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

They are not with their families.

As we begin to countdown to Christmas and those who are going to be with their families, remember the children who will not be seeing both their parents,due to conflict, or their grandparents,uncles,aunts or cousins.
The reality is that over one million children who are denied access to their families, over one million children unhappy,sad confused and isolated.
So just one minute of your time,to send your thoughts out to those children.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

What Do You Deserve As Children?

"As Children..........

We deserve a family that we can look up to,to love us unconditionally,
We expect our Mum and Dad to bring us up equally, our grandparents to love us , and our sisters and brothers to always be there for us when we need them.
Our family are our blood,our identity our history.
Sometimes our family doesn’t live up to out expectations, we are mistreated, we are not respected, we are not loved.
When any member of our family puts their needs first, they have let us down, we are isolated and alone.
And you wonder why we feel sad,angry and confused?
You are the adults, we are children.
Listen to our voices."


Top 10 Family Law Issues in 2010

Sunday 19 December 2010

Messages 2010

These 2 girls come every year to put messages on the tree for children who won't be seeing their grandparents.
They also gave me a Christingle candle from the service they had just been to. Thank you girls,you have no idea how much it means to me.

Thank you to everyone who has come and put messages on our 'Tree of Hope'.

Saturday 18 December 2010

What are you doing to the children?

As grandparents denied contact due to family breakdown, our wish is only to be part of our grandchildren's lives, but have we thought further than that?
I have always said that this is not about grandparents rights it is about grandchildren's rights, I don't apologise for repeating that, what effect does being parted from both parents and grandparents have on over one million children?
Children who have not had any contact with members of their family for, in many cases ,over a period of 4/6 years are effected so badly, children who we remember as little people with the rest of their lives in front of them, full of excitement and promise only to have that dashed by adults who can't agree to put differences behind them for the sake of the children.
The children are used as weapons they have no say in the matter.
Children who plead with their parent they are living with, to be able to see their other parent and grandparents, are told that their family don't want anything to do with them and that they don't love them anymore.
So when they reach an age when they can make their own decisions, so much damage has been done, children who are so angry have problems at school and in some cases, find themselves excluded and are unable to interact socially with others as they don't trust anyone anymore.
How can we allow this to happen to our young people?
Those of us who are still waiting for that knock on the door, need to be aware that there is a long journey to take place, building up trust with sensitivity and patience.
And the 'Every Child Matters' agenda, I don't think so, we have over a million children who are and have been so unhappy some have contemplated ending their lives, and they have been let down by adults.


Sunday 12 December 2010

The true meaning of Christmas.

I have just opened the door to 2 little girls and their mum, who wanted to put messages on the tree.
This is the 3rd year they have called, I don't know them, except as my 'Christmas cheer', they have just been to the local church to the children's Christingle service and they bought me my own Christingle.
How fab people can be and their kindness means such a lot.
Also local paper have rung and are coming in to take a photo this evening.

Our Tree of Hope Star- Designed by Paul Jackson.

My Christmas and New Year Wish.

As we all approach Christmas it is a time for reflection for many of us. As the song says 'What have you done today to make you feel proud?'
That can be quite an uncomfortable question,if I am honest, how many times do I do things for me,not actually for others? Mmm.
It has been a busy year, laughter,tears and support.
The Bristol Grandparents Support Group has continued to grow, I have mixed feelings about that because it shows how many grandchildren and grandparents are going through such sadness and at a loss to know what to do. The unexpected occurrence is that I have made some very strong and true friendships for which I am very grateful.
I have been able to be a part of several grandchildren being reunited with their grandparents, and that is the goal.
So as I move forward towards another New Year I hope to be able to support grandparents in anyway I can and to rejoice in families who reconnect.
Do I feel proud of what I have done today? Do I need to feel proud? I am not sure. What about you?

Thursday 9 December 2010

Messages come rolling in.

The Tree of Hope is up, so if you want to put a message on it for the grandchildren who won't be seeing their grandparents at Christmas due to denied contact please let me know.
It is looking amazing already.

Local Mp's Response

Monday 6 December 2010

Christmas Present.

Today, I wrapped up my granddaughters Christmas present , it is a lovely warm coat for her and snuggly scarf that I knitted for her.
This is the 3rd Christmas that I have sent a parcel off, I never know if she gets it, or if she is told it is from someone else which happened in the past.
On Christmas morning if I close my eyes tight I can just see her smiling face , ripping open the pretty paper with excitement.

United Nations Children's Rights

What is the UNCRC?

All children and young people up to the age of 18 years have all the rights in the Convention. Some groups of children and young people - for example those living away from home, and young disabled people - have additional rights to make sure they are treated fairly and their needs are met.

The UK ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on 16 December 1991. That means the UK government now has to make sure that every child has all the rights outlined in the treaty except in those areas where the government has entered a specific reservation.

A convention is an agreement between countries to obey the same law. When the government of a country ratifies a convention, that means it agrees to obey the rules set out in that convention.

What the treaty means

From 15 January 1992, when the treaty came into force, every child in the UK has been entitled to over 40 specific rights. These include:

the right to life, survival and development

the right to have their views respected, and to have their best interests considered at all times

the right to a name and nationality, freedom of expression, and access to information concerning them

the right to live in a family environment or alternative care, and to have contact with both parents wherever possible

health and welfare rights, including rights for disabled children, the right to health and health care, and social security

the right to education, leisure, culture and the arts

special protection for refugee children, children in the juvenile justice system, children deprived of their liberty and children suffering economic, sexual or other forms of exploitation

The rights included in the convention apply to all children and young people, with no exceptions.

For more detailed information on the treaty and the rights included in it, and to find out the reservations entered by each country, click on the link below.

Sunday 5 December 2010

Aims and Objectives of The Bristol Support Group.

I was asked on Friday by a new member of the group what were the aims and objectives of the group.

: To give support to others who are denied contact with their grandchildren due to family breakdown.
: To share experiences and ideas.
: To continue to raise public awareness.
: To continue to put pressure on government to make changes and to stop grandparents being called 'irrelevant people' in the eyes of the law.
: To eradicate the phrase Grandparents Rights, to be replaced to Grandchildren's Rights.
: To lobby our MP's

Our objective is to see our grandchildren.

Saturday 4 December 2010

Denied contact messages to grandchildren, on our 'Tree of Hope.'

I have removed names etc, just for the blog. Grandchildren's names are on the messages on the Christmas tree .

‘Dearest S and R, I will always love you and hold you close to my heart. I am your Nannie for ever.’

"We love you with all our hearts D and T" love Nana and Grampy xxxx

‘To my darling grandson W who I have missed every single day for the past four years.

Wishing you a happy 14th birthday on th December and a lovely Christmas.

I long to know what you look like and what you sound like and hope one day to catch a glimpse of you - as you live only two miles away.

And my wish is also for ALL grandparents who have to weather this daily grief.

With fondest love,

Grandma xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


‘For E

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

I Still Love You Wherever You Are

No Matter If We Are Near Or Far

I Love You You’re My Little Star


‘Dear M, all our love Nannie A and Granddad G we love you and miss you so much, have lovely time. Xxxxxxx’


‘Happy Christmas, Darling,love Granny B.’

‘To L and K, I hope you both have a Happy Christmas,with all my love, granny.’

‘With my love to E,L,R,and J, Grandma R.’

‘To H and S, Merry Christmas,always thinking about you both so much. Nan and Grandad.’

So sad that so many grandchildren not going to see their grandparents this Christmas,please change the law.’ X

‘Happy Christmas, L, lots of love from Daddy,Nanny, Greatgrandad D, H,R,and N.xx’

Friday 3 December 2010

Tree of Hope Messages.

Email me your messages for your grandchildren so that I can add them to our ' Tree of Hope', the Christmas Tree will be in my front garden, as it has been for the last 3 years.

Thursday 2 December 2010

End of year round-up.

Yet another 12 months has passed and it has certainly been a busy time.
Here is a list of what has been going on:
Interview on Radio 4.
Mature Times print my letter, several responses.
Facebook group set up.
Letter to local paper.
Bristol City Council response. On Purple pages data base.
Judith Masson, Bristol Uni came to talk to support group.
Letter from Dawn Primarolo MP
Seminar to be held in Bristol, asked to be involved-sadly never took place.
Probably as organisation concerned set tickets at £25!
Monthly adverts in local mags.
Attended a conference in Bristol on the affects of drug and alcohol on families,met lots of organisations who were very interested in The Bristol Grandparents Support Group, contact details given.
Posters in libraries, shops health centres etc.
Start hiring a hall for meetings.
Contacted by a counsellor, wants to give groups details.
Wrote to local MP, after she was elected.
Wrote Sarah Teather MP new minister for Children.
New government announced review to family law.
Wrote article for local paper, on grandchildren's rights.
Government setting up task force to look at contact and non resident parents and grandparents.
BBC rang for my reaction.
Daily Express article.
Went to London to do a podcast.
Presentation for using in schools, request to go and talk to teachers.
Social Services rang wanting groups details.
Letters to newspapers re The Family Justice Review.
Asked to do article for Take-a-Break mag.
Reply from Lambeth Palace giving support.
ITV Daybreak item.
Reply from Bishop of Bristol.
Charlotte Leslie MP attended our meeting ,very supportive.
Lord Chief Justice calls for reforms.
Trustee from Families Need Fathers contacted me.
TV True Vision rang ,re future programme.
Radio Bristol interview.
Bristol Kingswood MP backs motion in 10 minute rule for a Bill for grandchildren's access.
Aled Jones on Radio 2 read out a piece I wrote about our Tree of Hope.
3rd Dec last meeting of 2010.

There are so many people to thank for their wonderful support over the last year, without them I would not be able to carry on. So thank you to all my family,all the grandparents and friends.
Things are moving forward, but we need to keep the pressure on.
There are still OVER ONE MILLION children in the UK denied contact with their grandparents, and we must keep working for them, every child has the right to contact with non-resident parents and grandparents.

The most important thing of all is that 6 grandparents in The Bristol Grandparents Support group have regained contact with their grandchildren. Thats what this is all about.