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 27 February 2011

Dads on Birth Certificate.

Single mums will no longer have to put fathers name on birth certificate.

A real Gran.

Tomorrow would have been my mums birthday, even though we lost her some years ago, we all miss her just as much today.
My boys were so lucky to be able to live with her and have her in their lives, to share her wisdom,her support and her fantastic humour.
She was the epitome of a true Gran, her family was her life, everything she did was for her family,they always came first. Her family was her reason for being.
It was a privilege to have been her daughter and my boys fond memories of her will live with them forever, we are all better people for knowing her.
Thanks Mum.


Friday 25 February 2011

Accessing information.

If your son/daughter who has Parental Responsibility is having trouble accessing information about their child at school, this document is very useful.

A red rose for his lady.

This is such a happy story I wanted to share it with you, on what is a very grey and wet Bristol afternoon. Oh and it is true!
Last week a 72 year Gran was in her local florist when a young man came in wanting a red rose for his lady, he also bought one for the 72 year old.
If that doesn't brighten your day, I don't know what will.

The real victims-The children.

I was so pleased to read the comments under The Sun's article about Dads not seeing their children included several from the real victims in this despicable state of Family Justice, the children themselves. Their voice is what we want to hear, it is their life that is being abused by ill judged decisions.

Please note that the 'Jane' mentioned in these responses is not me! Its Jane Moore, journalist responsible for the article.

"Thank you for your article, my parents divorced when I was 4 years old, it took me until I was 16 to see my dad and get know him, my mother claims that my father wasn't interested in us but wasn't true at all, so many things went wrong to put the situation right, My mother tried to talk me out of going out for a pub lunch with him and my boyfriend now husband I am glad I did that now he has met his oldest grandson when he was baby but tragically died in 1997 which devastated me, It is unfair how dads are treated in court when the relationship fails with biologiical mother, I am worried that my mother is trying break my family up by saying my husband is a bad dad and doesn't help out at all she hastried to poison my children against him, but she seems like the type that prevent him from visiting in the event of a relationship break up."

"My dad had cutsody of me & my brother from when I was 2 years old (My dad was 24) and we were subject to a court until we were 16. My mother had access yet inconsistantly exercised the right until I was 11-12 years old when we were old enough to ask to go visit ourselves. She lived 300miles away. When I got older I discovered that her new husband regularly visited his children who loved not far from us, yet she didnt visit us. My dad never said a bad word about my mother and only expressed a dislike for her when i was 26. But still 33 years after my dad won custody, she is still bitter and loves telling stories of how he wouldnt buy my brother shoes when he was one?? I grew up a rounded individual and dont feel i missed out at all. My dad wasnt perfect but he did well for us and he is my life and I know I was better off with him than my mother. I wholeheartedly know my mother would of instilled her bitterness about my dad into us and for that I am truely grateful to the courts! My dad, however, enabled me and my brother to form our own opinion of our mother. He didnt need to influence anything, because eventually kids will always be able to see people for what they really are."

"I have also seen the struggles of men trying to just gain access to their children. The law is a farce and women get all the support where men are seen as ****. Its a disgrace. In 1977 when my dad got custody of us it was extremely rare, but men make just as good lone parents as any woman. Its about time things changed! Well done Jane for fighting for this!"

"I feel so sorry for these children. My mother and father split up and she tried her hardest to keep me and my sister away from my father. In the end, it hurts the children, and these mothers need to stop thinking about themselves. I have seen my father regularly, and am grateful that the courts allowed my father to see us."

Wednesday 23 February 2011


I have always said that compulsory mediation must take place when a couple decide to part, and from April that is going to happen.
I am dismayed that the reports I have heard this morning have not mentioned children, it may be in the small print, maybe???
It is absolutely vital that during the mediation process contact with non resident parents and grandparents is agreed and a consequence if it is not adhered to, the children must be part of this process, it is their lives and futures that are being discussed.

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Update of Countries.

This is a list of all the different countries who have looked at this blog, I find it amazing.

United Kingdom

United States









Monday 21 February 2011

Concern of Children's Commissioner on proposals to change legal aid.

Children’s Commissioner concerned ‘proposals will deprive children of the right to be heard in judicial and administrative proceedings’

Dr Maggie Atkinson’s response to legal aid proposals concentrates on education, immigration and private family law

Describing her response to the government's proposals on legal aid reform, Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children's Commissioner for England, said:

"My response to the consultation focused on the scope of what is proposed to be taken out of legal aid and highlights three areas of particular concern - education, immigration and private family law. Our concern is that the proposals will deprive children of the right to be heard in judicial and administrative proceedings affecting them either as litigants in their own right or through their parent's solicitors. The right of the child to be heard in such proceedings is established by Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"The proposals are therefore potentially devastating for some of the most vulnerable children in our society, those with special educational needs, children subject to deportation or removal or whose parent may be removed, unaccompanied children applying to remain, and children caught up in divorce proceedings or in the care system. I'm asking the Ministry of Justice to look again at these proposals from a child's perspective and to acknowledge that our international obligations require us to ensure that all children have access to justice."

Radio Bristol

I am doing an interview this afternoon on Radio Bristol at 5:30pm.

Sunday 20 February 2011

Extracts from UN report.

MEN IN FAMILIES and Family Policy in a Changing World

Fathering across generations

Fathering occurs across generations. Grandparents, for example, apart from fathering their adult children, are increasingly involved in the support and care of their grandchil- dren as a result of labour migration, women’s participation in work outside the home, and mortality resulting from violence and HIV/AIDS. In addition, a body of research indicates that patterns of fatherhood recur across generations. For example, in the United States, early fatherhood, both during the teen years and in early twenties, was much more likely to occur if young men had not grown up with their own fathers. Young fathers were also less likely to be living with their children if their own fathers had not lived in residence with them throughout childhood (Furstenberg and Weiss, 2000).These find- ings have also been reported in South Africa (Swartz and Bhana, 2009).

We review below some of the reasons for increased involvement in children’s lives among grandfathers, the roles grandfathers play and some of the potential benefits of grandfather engagement with children.

In addition to fathers providing for their own children over a longer period of time, there is a growing trend for grandparents to support grandchildren. In the United States in 2000, for instance, 4.5 million grandparents were in charge of grandchildren in the absence of parents. This was up from 2.2 million documented in 1970 (Bullock, 2005). The presence of grandparents in the lives of grandchildren has been an added advantage in underprivileged families in the United States and Europe (Gerard, Landry-Meyer and Roe, 2006). Bullock (2005) noted that children from single-mother families who lived with at least one grandparent did as well or better than children from married- parent families and that, in particular, the presence of a grandfather is associated with the availability of better economic resources to grandchildren, compared with families where there are only grandmothers.

Grandfather care of younger generations

Grandmothers generally provide more care than grandfathers to grandchildren. For ex- ample, cross-national European survey research showed that 26 per cent of grandfathers provided childcare almost weekly or more in the last year in contrast to 34 per cent of grandmothers (Hank and Buber 2009). Grandparent care is most common in areas where co-residence rates are high. Grandfathers are more involved when their spouses are in- volved and grandsons aged 12 years or over are more likely to choose the maternal grand- father as the favoured grandparent in some Societies (Mann, Kahn and Leeson, 2009).

Full report http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/doc ... milies.pdf

Saturday 19 February 2011

Grandparents and Grandchildren.

Grandparents and Grandchildren,
Together they make a chain of love,
Their history is our future,
Always a lap, a hug, a smile,
Stories to remember, stories to treasure,
One day to tell their children.

Grandparents and Grandchildren,
A whisper in their ear,
Where is that special box with ribbon tied around it?
Your memories are now our memories,
Will always be in both our hearts.
Wrapped in love, always forever, always true.


Thursday 17 February 2011

Constitution. (Draft)


Suitable for small charities with an annual income under £5,000 that don’t own a building or employ people and do not intend to register with the Charity Commission.


The charity’s name is The Bristol Grandparents Support Group, henceforth known as the BGSG for the purposes of this document.


To give support and advice to grandparents who are denied contact with their grandchildren.

To raise public awareness by talking to the media, writing to Members of Parliament, and talking to groups/schools etc.

To promote the phrase Grandchildren’s Rights.


Jane Jackson

Marc Jackson

Sue Allen

Ann Green.


( The group will consist of a chairperson, a treasurer, trustees and members of the


In order to carry out the charitable aims of the BGSG, the trustees have the power to:

(1) raise funds, receive grants and donations

(2) apply funds to carry out the work of the charity

(3) co-operate with and support other charities with similar purposes

(4) do anything which is lawful and necessary to achieve the purposes


There will be no membership fee, trustees have the right to refuse or remove membership.


Meetings of the group will take place every 2 months.

A minimum of six members should be present.

A list of meeting dates will be available to members on application by post or by attendance at one of the meetings.

All members are entitled to vote where a vote is required at an AGM or at one of the 2 monthly meetings, members will be required to be present for that vote to count, unless specifically agreed otherwise.


(1) Money and property must only be used for the charity’s purposes.

(2) Trustees must keep accounts. The most recent annual accounts can be seen by anybody on request.

(3) Trustees cannot receive any money or property from the charity, except to refund reasonable out of pocket expenses.

(4) Money must be held in the charity’s bank account. All cheques must be signed by

2 trustees.


If the Trustees consider it is necessary to change the constitution, or wind up the charity, they must call a General Meeting so that the membership can make the decision. Trustees must also call a General Meeting if they receive a written request from the majority of members. All members must be given 14 days notice and told the reason for the meeting. All decisions require a two thirds majority. Minutes must be kept.

(1) Winding up - any money or property remaining after payment of debts must be given to a charity with similar purposes to this one.

(2) Changes to the Constitution - can be made at AGMs or General Meetings. No change can be made that would make the organisation no longer a charity.

(3) General Meeting - called on written request from a majority of members.

(4) Trustees may also call a General Meeting to consult the membership


An Annual General Meeting will take place.


This constitution was adopted on April 4th 2011 by the people whose signatures appear below. They are the first members of the charity and will be the trustees until the AGM, which must be held within one year of this date.

Signed Print name and address

________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

All systems go............ hopefully.

Looks as though I now have everything in place to be able to apply for funding, for printing leaflets etc.
So many hoops to go through, quite right there are, but it all takes so much time.
I will post up the constitution, you will notice not signed yet but will be, soon.

Tuesday 15 February 2011

How to follow blog.

How to follow The Bristol Grandparents Blog:

Go to http://bristolgrandparentssupport.blogspot.com/

Scroll down on the left hand side of page click on follow box, it will open another page, just click on the Google box.

On the left box it says ,’Do you have a Google account?

Click onCreate an account, don’t worry no money involved!

Type in your email address in first box, choose a password, something you will remember easily.

Then re-enter password in bottom box.

Scroll down to word verification, copy the letters you see.

Then click on I accept, create account.

That’s it.

Everytime you go onto the blog you will be asked for your email address and password.

To make comments you just click on the comment box which is underneath each article and just type away.

Monday 14 February 2011

‘Child support fees hurt children,' says Gingerbread

Gingerbread launches campaign

Gingerbread, the support group for one parent families, is warning that government plans to charge for the child support scheme will leave many single parents without money for their children. Current statistics, it says, show that over 1.1 million single parents currently depend on the state to get maintenance from their former partners but under new proposals they could be set adrift to cope on their own.

Government research shows that 64% of parents caring for children and using the Child Support Agency are not confident that they could make private child maintenance arrangements with their ex-partner, even with the promised improved information and guidance services. Even where single parents are able to negotiate an informal arrangement with their ex, Gingerbread warns that they will be at risk of low, sporadic and unenforceable private payments.

Gingerbread's Chief Executive Fiona Weir said:

"The government wants parents to make their own child maintenance arrangements but for many families that just isn't possible. Informal agreements can be scuppered by conflict, lack of trust or a non-resident parent's reluctance to pay. While Gingerbread is in favour of providing greater support to separating parents to help them cooperate over arrangements, imposing charges on those who can't will only end up hurting children."

Gingerbread has already received calls and online comments from many single parents who are outraged at these proposals, and is launching a campaign to encourage single parents to take action and make their voices heard.

More information can be accessed on Gingerbread's website.

Sunday 13 February 2011

Granddaughters blog.

I have just written on my granddaughters blog, and it makes me so sad, just so grey inside and out.
Does she read it?
I wonder what she is doing, is she laughing, is she listening to music, watching TV, out with friends?
I miss her so much, all of our lives have a huge space in them.
Being denied contact is heartbreaking and no-one understands how it hurts, unless they have experienced it themselves.
All we want is to be part of our grandchildren's lives, to know they are happy and safe.
We are all still here with arms open, just waiting..................

Saturday 12 February 2011

Valentines Day

Just a thought, how about sending your grandchild/children a Valentine card?

Thursday 10 February 2011


Last night I had an email from a grandparent to say that she and her husband have been reunited with their grandchildren, she thanked The Bristol Support Group for their support and advice, and that our 'Tree of Hope' had been a contributing factor, for the rebuilding of their relationship.
So thanks to everyone.
I am delighted to hear another good story, so those of you in despair take note it does happen, keep believing.

United Nations Convention on Children's Rights.

Article 1 (definition of the child) Everyone under the age of 18 has all the rights in the Convention.

Article 2 (without discrimination) The Convention applies to every child whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say, no matter what type of family they come from.

Article 3 (best interests of the child) The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all actions concerning children.

Article 4 (protection of rights) Governments must do all they can to fulfil the rights of every child.

Article 5 (parental guidance) Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents to guide and advise their child so that, as they grow, they learn to apply their rights properly.

Article 6 (survival and development) Every child has the right to life. Governments must do all they can to ensure that children survive and grow up healthy.

Article 7 (registration, name, nationality, care) Every child has the right to a legally registered name and nationality, as well as the right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for by their parents.

Article 8 (preservation of identity) Governments must respect and protect a child’s identity and prevent their name, nationality or family relationships from being changed unlawfully. If a child has been illegally denied part of their identity, governments must act quickly to protect and assist the child to re-establish their identity.

Article 9 (separation from parents) Children must not be separated from their parents unless it is in the best interests of the child (for example, in cases of abuse or neglect). A child must be given the chance to express their views when decisions about parental responsibilities are being made. Every child has the right to stay in contact with both parents, unless this might harm them.

Article10 (familyreunification) Governments must respond quickly and sympathetically if a child or their parents apply to live together in the same country. If a child’s parents live apart in different countries, the child has the right to visit both of them.

Article11 (kidnappingandtrafficking) Governments must take steps to prevent children being taken out of their own country illegally or being prevented from returning.

Article12 (respectfortheviewsofthechild) Every child has the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously.

Article13 (freedom of expression) Every child must be free to say what they think and to seek and receive information of any kind as long as it is within the law.

Article14 (freedom of thought,belief an religion) Every child has the right to think and believe what they want and also to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Governments must respect the rights of parents to give their children guidance about this right.

Article15 (freedom of association) Every child has the right to meet with other children and young people and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.

Article16 (right of privacy) Every child has the right to privacy. The law should protect the child’s private, family and home life.

Article 17 (access to information from mass media) Every child has the right to reliable information from the mass media. Television, radio, newspapers and other media should provide information that children can understand. Governments must help protect children from materials that could harm them.

Article 18 (parental responsibilities; state assistance) Both parents share responsibility for bringing up their child and should always consider what is best for the child. Governments must help parents by providing services to support them, especially if the child’s parents work.

Article 19 (protection from all forms of violence) Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and mistreatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.

Article 20 (children deprived of a family) If a child cannot be looked after by their family, governments must make sure that they are looked after properly by people who respect the child’s religion, culture and language.

Article 21 (adoption) If a child is adopted, the first concern must be what is best for the child. The same protection and standards should apply whether the child is adopted in the country where they were born or in another country.

Article 22 (refugee children) If a child is a refugee or seeking refuge, governments must ensure that they have the same rights as any other child. Governments must help in trying to reunite child refugees with their parents. Where this is not possible, the child should be given protection.

Article 23 (children with disability) A child with a disability has the right to live a full and decent life in conditions that promote dignity, independence and an active role in the community. Governments must do all they can to provide free care and assistance to children with disability.

Article 24 (health and health services) Every child has the right to the best possible health. Governments must provide good quality health care, clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment so that children can stay healthy. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.

Article 25 (review of treatment in care) If a child has been placed away from home (in care, hospital or custody, for example), they have the right to a regular check of their treatment and conditions of care.

Article 26 (social security) Governments must provide extra money for the children of families in need.

Article 27 (adequate standard of living) Every child has the right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical, social and mental needs. Governments must help families who cannot afford to provide this.

Article 28 (right to education) Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free. Secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s human dignity. Wealthy countries must help poorer countries achieve this.

Article 29 (goals of education) Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.

Article 30 (children of minorities) Every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family whether or not these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where they live.

Article 31 (leisure, play and culture) Every child has the right to relax, play and join in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.

Article 32 (child labour) Governments must protect children from work that is dangerous or might harm their health or education.

Article 33 (drug abuse) Governments must protect children from the use of illegal drugs.

Article 34 (sexual exploitation) Governments must protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.

Article 35 (abduction) Governments must ensure that children are not abducted or sold.

Article 36 (other forms of exploitation) Governments must protect children from all other forms of exploitation that might harm them.

Article 37 (detention) No child shall be tortured or suffer other cruel treatment or punishment. A child shall only ever be arrested or put in prison as a last resort and for the shortest possible time. Children must not be put in a prison with adults and they must be able to keep in contact with their family.

Article 38 (war and armed conflicts – see ‘Optional protocols’) Governments must do everything they can to protect and care for children affected by war. Governments must not allow children under the age of 15 to take part in war or join the armed forces.

Article 39 (rehabilitation of child victims) Children neglected, abused, exploited, tortured or who are victims of war must receive special help to help them recover their health, dignity and self-respect.

Article 40 (juvenile justice) A child accused or guilty of breaking the law must be treated with dignity and respect. They have the right to help from a lawyer and a fair trial that takes account of their age or situation. The child’s privacy must be respected at all times.

Article 41 (respect for better national standards) If the laws of a particular country protect children better than the articles of the Convention, then those laws must stay.

Article 42 (knowledge of rights) Governments must make the Convention known to children and adults.

The Convention has 54 articles in total. Articles 43–54 are about how adults and governments must work together to make sure all children get all their rights, including: