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 April 2011

Allegation or Fact?

Definition of allegation is: a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically made without proof.
Fact: a thing that is indisputably the case, a piece of information used as evidence.

Anonymous Comments.

I always like to have comments on my blog.
I understand that it is sometimes easier for people to leave comments anonymously, but I am suspicious of some.
My blog was started because we are denied contact with our granddaughter, and to support those of us who are going through this heartbreak, and to give support to our son whose daughter is refused the right to BOTH parents, which is the right of ALL children.
I have said this before, as adults we are responsible for our behaviour and bad mouthing one another is totally unacceptable, it is not for children to be part of adults issues, and I know as it happens over and over again the children make up their own minds as to what is right and wrong and if adults have lied to them or misrepresented the truth they will turn their backs on the adult.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Successful bid for funding.

I have just heard that we have been granted funding of £300 from Quartet community foundation for the south west of England from their express fund.
Thank you so much as this will help us publise our group and enable us to reach even more grandparents who are denied contact with their grandchildren in Bristol and the surrounding area.

Monday 25 April 2011

Gagging the media and everyone else.

This why cases in the family courts are so rarely known, child protection is vital of course, but this gagging of anyone being able to discuss what goes on, enables the courts to make drastic and tragic decisions.

Friday 22 April 2011

Please sign petition to help serving soldier to see his daughter.


T C is at the moment serving his country in Afghanistan and he needs our help, please sign this petition to help him to gain contact with his daughter.


Thursday 21 April 2011

Debate the Family Justice Review Report

Forwarded message.

As many of you are aware, the Family Justice Review panel has launched its interim report and invited responses to its proposals for reform. The panels' interim report sets out proposals to tackle problems faced by the family justice system.

Its recommendations aim to bring greater coherence through organisational change and better management, making the system more able to cope with current and future pressures, reducing duplication of scrutiny and diverting more issues away from court.

As part of the consultation process, we are holding four open discussion events in England and Wales to provide an opportunity for individuals to hear more about the review and debate and discuss the proposals set out in the interim report. Details of these events are below:

Wednesday 18 May (approximately 2pm – 4pm) London
Tuesday 31 May (approximately 2pm – 4pm) – Cardiff
Wednesday 1 June (approximately 2pm – 4pm) – Manchester
Tuesday 7 June (approximately 2pm – 4pm) – Birmingham

Please register your interest at partners@justice.gsi.gov.uk stating what date you are interested in. Further details about the venue and times will be sent to you closer to the date.

The interim report and online survey can be found at:www.justice.gov.uk/publications/policy/ ... review.htm

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Soldier refused permission to say goodbye to his daughter- update

This morning l/Cpl T C who is serving his country in Afghanistan had an email to say that his ex has contained a Residence Order for his daughter and that if he try to contact his little girl he will be arrested.
To say this young soldier is devastated is an understatement.
In this country we have secret courts for Family Justice, of course child protection must be upheld, but cases like this must be out in the public arena, we are supposed to be a free democratic country and there must be an end to secret courts.
Please write to your Mp's ,this is a subject that must be aired.


Daily mail article.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Daily Mail.

Hopefully in the Daily Mail tomorrow, but not holding my breath!

Response re shared parenting.

Please click to make bigger.

Would you say that it public?

How freely we all write on social networking sites, chat rooms on websites etc.
The internet is a public forum , it is out there, whether we like it or not, so caution is required.
I was on a site recently where someone was concerned about who was visiting the site, and if they would be reading items that could be quite private!
If its on the web, it is not private.
Of course we have to also be aware that some people may not be who they say they are, we worry about our grandchildren on the internet, we need to remember what we say to them.
My view is if you write something or comment that you wouldn't be prepared to make public, or to say to someone face to face, then DON'T WRITE IT.

Sunday 17 April 2011

We owe it to the children.

If you have not sent in your response to the Family Justice Review Interim Report, now is the time to do so.
There is no point grumbling about the system if ,when given the opportunity, you don't respond.
We owe it to the millions of children who are denied contact with both parents and grandparents.

To do interviews or not?

It is so disappointing when you do interviews for TV at their request and interviews for national papers,at their request and nothing happens.
For anyone who is denied contact with their grandchildren, you will know how difficult it is to keep going over it again and again, the only reason that we do it is to raise public awareness and the hope that it may prevent other children being denied the love and care of both parents and grandparents.

Friday 15 April 2011

Thank you.

Just to say thank you so much to a couple of people who have so kindly donated to the group, hopefully I will now be able to get leaflets printed etc.
I really can't thank you enough.

It is all about control.

You will often hear the phrase, 'its all about control,' when you start to discuss why a resident parent decides that you can no longer have contact with your grandchildren, but what does that mean?
Control over who and about what?
The definition of control is somewhat varied: sway,power,command,rule, charge,authority,supremacy,management,constraint,limitations, curb,check, brake,regulations,suppress, repress, rein in, thats just some.
The resident parent is controlling their child's right to have contact , a right to their identity, their history and right to be cared for by BOTH parents and extended family.
Why? Actually I don't know really.
Even if grandparents have at some time spoken out of turn, overstepped the mark, what sort of person allows this to fester and become entrenched, grandparents are in some cases dying without being able to tell their grandchildren how much they love them.
What will happen to resident parents when their children start to ask questions about their family and they realise that they have been lied to?
The resident parent will lose their children themselves.
Life is so short our children and our grandchildren are on loan to us, they soon go their own way and make decisions for themselves.
Is your grandchild asking, 'Where did Gran and Grandpa go?'

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Only half a response?

I had a very interesting response from my MP this morning re-fathers names no longer having to be on the birth certificate.
As I was trying to understand all the jargon etc on the first page, and apparently it was all down to media misrepresentation, I eagerly turned over to the next page for more enlightenment and what do I find?
The second page is a response to someones complaint, Mmm, good job it was not sensitive information, or maybe it is, who knows as I can't understand it anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So sadly I am bereft as I do not have my complete response, what to do, I wonder.
Put the kettle on to think about it.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

A fathers love for his absent daughter.

I wanted to share the post that my son put on his daughters blog last night.
Knowing Me, Knowing You
Yes, your blog is now orange. I thought I'd change it over from the nice girly pink to something that was a bit more hip and trendy for you. The blog rework was quite difficult for me to handle though. As you get older I know that the things that you loved as a small child will not mean the same to you. It is a sad effect of life that we all grow up at some point and although you will always be my little girl, you are a fair bit bigger than when I last saw you.

When you were 7 I felt like I knew you so well; better than anyone in fact. We could draw and paint and play with flowers and you would delight in telling me all about the latest TV programmes you were watching or things your friends were doing whenever we spoke. As Easter approaches I think of you more and more and realise that I don't know you as well as a father should anymore and that makes me extremely sad. It will be four years soon since last we saw each other and a lot happens in that kind of time. One thing you learn as you grow is that the younger you are the more happens in any given period of time so if things have changed so much for me then I expect that things for you are drastically different from how I remember them and I long to know what you're up to, what you like to do, what you watch on TV and what you like to have for tea.

I think all parents have to go through this realisation at some point but, for those that manage to maintain contact with their children, this happens at a much later point in their relationship, when the child becomes a teenager or a young adult and begins to rebel in order to establish their own independence.

The truth of the matter now is that, no matter what happens, I shall always love you with all my heart and, to me, you will always be my special little girl; forever. As far as this blog is concerned I am now going to write from my heart, in the best way I can express as I am no longer writing to a small child, but to a strong little girl just getting ready for secondary school.

I love you Liandra, sleep tight; always,
Dad xxxxx


Another year without her.

I can't believe that it has been 4 years since we saw our granddaughter, she was 7yr ,a little girl full of fun, now she is a young lady of 11....in June, moving on to her secondary school in September.
It feels me with despair to think that she must think we no longer love her , that I can't reach her to be able to be part of her life, all that time has gone, we can't get it back.
Before I leave this earth, I want to see my son reunited with his daughter, for her to be able to see what a great Dad he is and that he has never forgotten her, not for one second. I would do anything to make that happen.
"If you are reading this Liandra, we love you always have ,always will and think about you every single moment in time, I am so sorry that you have had to go through this, as your Gran I should be able to protect you, but I let you down.
We are here if you need us, any time, any day, any year, it hurts so much not to be able to hold you in my arms, to listen to your laughter and to support you when you need it.

We heard that you are expected to do very well in your SATS in May, predicted level 5, gracious me, you must have worked so hard at Primary school. Well done you, after all you have been through that is some achievement, we are so proud of you."


Friday 8 April 2011

Response re T C.

A response re :T C

Dear Jane
Thank you for your email of 13 March regarding Mr T C and his request to see his daughter before leaving to serve with the Army in Afghanistan. Your email has been passed to the Department for Education as we have policy responsibility for family law.

I must begin by explaining that Government Ministers and officials are not able to comment on or intervene in individual cases. This is not because of any lack of concern for the issues raised, but so that there can be no risk of perceived or actual interference in the independence of the judiciary, or other agencies involved in a particular case.

However, the Government is aware of the challenges faced by many families involved in family law cases. When dealing with these cases, all judges and holders of judicial office are expected to display tact, sympathy and understanding. In the longer term the Government will be drawing on the recommendations of the Family Justice Review Panel (whose interim report has just been published) to improve the experience of children and families involved in family proceedings.
I gather from the Bristol Grandparents Support Group's website that Mr C did get the opportunity to see his daughter briefly before leaving for duty. I wish him the very best of luck while serving his country, and a safe return from Afghanistan.

Lesley O'Connor
Public Communications Unit

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0024049. To contact the Department for Education, please visit www.education.gov.uk/contactus

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Message from serving soldier.

You will remember me telling you about the young serving soldier who was not given permission to say goodbye to his daughter before he embarked for his tour of duty, in Afghanistan.
He says he his safe and well and is serving his country as well as fighting his own very personal injustice.
He has asked me if there is any publicity in papers etc could I send them to him, which of course I will.
I would be grateful if you could let me know if your local papers have featured this young mans heartbreak.
It is up to those of us here, to keep up the pressure.

Tuesday 5 April 2011

If a judge has read it wrong, I despair.

After last weeks interim report for FJR, we had misleading headlines all over the papers and the BBC, the next day a judge wrote to the paper saying,"Sir,The headline"New Divorce laws will guarantee grandparents access to children." is misleading. The proposals will do no such thing.]Grandparents will no longer have to apply for permission to make an application for contact to a grandchild.[Whether or not they see their grandchild depends entirely on whether it is in the childs best interest for them to do so. Parents and grandparents have no rights over children,only obligations.It is the welfare of the child that is the paramount consideration.In practice many grandparents are granted residence orders where the parents are unable to cope,and without them many more children would end up in care. Many grandparents lose touch with grandchildren for the same reasons that parents lose contact with their children: because of hostility,distance,financial reasons or simply because they are inadequate."
District Judge,Slough County Court.

This is actually what the report says;
The need for grandparents to apply for leave of the court before making an application for contact should remain. (Paragraph 5.82)

For ... sake, what an utter disgrace the entire letter is for everyone not able to be part of their children/grandchildren's lives.
I don't want rights, I just want to know my granddaughter is safe and happy.


Sunday 3 April 2011

Being Denied Contact Is Not Always As a Result Of Divorce Issues.

It needs to be said that being denied contact with your grandchildren is not by any means always when sons/daughters relationships with their partners breaks down.
Within the Bristol Group there are many grandparents who are not allowed to see their grandchildren because their sons or daughters ,fall out with their family and decide that they no longer want the children to have any relationship with their grandparents.
It is difficult to know how this situation can be resolved.
There are also cases where a son or daughter dies prematurely and the parent left behind wants to cut all association with the husband or wife they have so tragically lost.
Of course every story is different, but the end result is always the same, the children are being denied their human right to have contact with their extended family, if it is safe for them to do so.
What happens when children are old enough to make their own decisions?
Will they turn their backs on adults who have not been truthful with them?
Will they resent the lost years of having a loving relationship with their grandparents?
Time will tell.
I would ask anyone who is preventing their children from having contact with their grandparents to think to the future, don't burden the children with this,you may not see eye to eye with other family members but allow your children to make their own mind up.
Who is the winner in all of this?
Absolutely no-one.
In these unsettled times we are all seeing and experiencing around the world, we must get back to valuing families and the importance of families in our broken society.
Our children are the future of this world, we owe it to them to put this right.


If you haven't already have a look at this website www.grannynet.co.uk lots of friendly Grans, good advice and forum, and Bristol Grandparents has an article on their homepage.