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!
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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."

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Thursday 10 March 2011

A Young Soldier not allowed to say Goodbye to His Daughter.

When you read or hear cases of non resident parents do you really think how appalling The Family Justice System is?

I am disgusted at the case I have just heard, and I hope you will be as well.

This week a soldier who is about to go on his tour of duty to Afghanistan went to court to ask the judge for permission to see his daughter before he goes, his request was rejected.

The background is that Mr. has a six year old daughter and the daughter lives with her mother. Court proceedings were kicked off last year and contact was occurring until January this year. There was a hearing in January 2011.


Mr ... is a serving solider and is being deployed to Afghanistan at the end of March. This was raised at the January hearing. CAFCASS said they could not do anything in the time available and suggested that the case was deferred until October 2011 after Mr ... tour of duty in Afghanistan was completed. The Court agreed, said that no Order would be made and that it should all come back to the Court at the end of the year.

The mother has prevented any contact since January because she doesn't want it to happen. Mr .. feels that it is important that his daughter gets to see him before he goes to the front line in Afghanistan. He acknowledges the very real possibility he may be killed in action and wants to see his daughter before he leaves.

Mr ... applied for a Specific Order Issue at court this week. It was an ex-parte hearing to seek an Order for some contact this coming weekend, his last in the UK before deployment.

The Judge refused the application saying that it was inappropriate to ask for an ex-parte hearing as it had been known since January that Mr ... was going to Afghanistan. The Judge further said that it was unreasonable for Mr ….to ask for his daughter to see him and that he should wait until October 2011 before asking the Court to resume proceedings.

Mr ... was clearly heartbroken on leaving the Court having heard that his daughter was being denied the opportunity to say goodbye to her father, solely because the Court system was unable to deal with matters in a timely fashion.

Mr… said today " I just went to her school for parents eve and I went well early, my baby saw me and ran over with tears in her eyes and wrapped her arms around me kissing me non-stop. She said she thought i was already in afgan as thats what her mother said. She was so so happy to see me and even i was crying. I had taken my camera and one of her christmas presents with me but before I had a chance to give her it or take the photo, my ex pulled her out my arms and forced her to get in the car. She was crying her eyes out bless her. "

We are expecting this young man to go to Afghanistan to fight for his queen and country and yet our Family Justice System has no compassion at all.


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