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.

Wednesday 31 August 2011

Monday 29 August 2011

Quote of the Day.

Grandparents make the world...a little softer, a little kinder, a little warmer. -author unknown.

Dates of meetings- only 2 more this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dates for meetings of The Bristol Grandparents’ Support Group.


Friday February 4th at 2pm.

Saturday April 2nd 7pm.

Friday June 3rd 2pm

Saturday August 6th 7pm.

Friday October 7th 2pm

Saturday December 3rd 7pm.

On the subject of dates for meetings, as you will remember some grandparents said that it was difficult for them to come to a meeting during the day, this year I staggered them so one month would be a Friday the next month a Saturday. Actually it has made little difference so when I do the dates for next year, which I shall be doing shortly, they will all be on a Friday, unless I get enough responses asking for some to be on a Saturday.


Saturday 27 August 2011

Beware forums.

After joining a grandparent forum, I posted re denied contact and about our support group, I had several people comment and I posted supportive information.
Yesterday I received an email from the site to say that I had to stop 'advertising' the support group and that they had received complaints.
Seem to have been at the receiving end to something like that before.
How on earth is supporting grandparents advertising?
As you know this is and has never been a support group that involves a membership fee of any sort. Just advice and support from each other.
I don't know why this sort of thing gets to me, but it does.
So a word of warning, if joining a grandparents forum, beware.
I must point out this was not http://www.grannynet.co.uk/, they have been very supportive and it is a good site.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Is it my fault that Dad doesn't love me?

A scenario of a child who is involved in Parental Alienation.
'When I was little I had a Mum and a Dad and a brother and we all lived together in the same house. We would go to the park and feed the ducks, have pizza and go to the cinema. We had a house and I had my own room.
We had fun.
We would go and spend time with granny and grandpa and do painting and stuff. They had a secret stash of goodies! Grandpa would sit me on his lap and make up amazing stories.
I noticed that things began to change, not fun anymore.
I would lie in my bed at night and listen to Mum and Dad shouting and saying horrible things. One day Dad told me he was going to live somewhere else as Mum and he were not getting on very well.
I would only see Dad at the weekends, or if Mum wanted to go out.
We had not much food in the cupboards but plenty of beer,I remember being hungry. If I talked about Dad, Mum would get cross with me, my brother didn't have the same Dad as me, he never saw him and I never met him.
Mum told me that Dad didn't love me anymore and didn't want anything to do with me. I cried. What had I done for Dad not to love me, maybe it was my fault that they shouted at each other and threw things across the room, had I been so naughty that he no longer lived with us?
I should try and say sorry and then it would be OK.
I didn't get the chance, I never saw Dad again, I was not allowed to talk about him at all.
It has been years now, and I still don't know what I did.
I wonder why granny and grandpa stopped seeing me, Mum said it was because they had other things to do and didn't want to be bothered with me, that I was a bit of a nuisance to them.
They don't remember my birthday or Christmas, although it was very odd one year on my birthday because I remember the postman bringing a parcel and I answered the door , Mum took it from me and said it was rubbish and threw it away, it was odd because I am sure the postman said it had my name on it.
I wish I could ask someone what I had done, and I could still say sorry.
I miss my Dad so much, I want to know how he is and where he is, and if he is happy.
I would like to see granny and grandpa as well, I would give them a big hug, the biggest hug they have ever had.
One day, maybe, one day.'

Parental Alienation is fact, the permanent damage it does is horrendous, children growing up believing that they are not loved by both parents and their extended family.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Monday 22 August 2011

Social Services told a grandparent, to mind their own business.

When I attended a consultation in Cardiff earlier this year on the forthcoming Family Justice Review, public law was discussed as well as private law.
When dealing with public law, so for example when the possibility of children having to go into care, grandparents should be consulted and certainly be part of the process. My understanding is that in some authorities this happens already, but it is not consistent across the country.
I hope that this is made much clearer in the new Justice Review, I have had several grandparents contact me who say that they were treated very badly by Social Services in these cases and one was told to mind her own business!
Surely, if we are to be listening to the children and their welfare is to come first ,then grandparents can be a source of security during a time when these children are very vulnerable.
Of course there may well be a minority of cases where that is not possible for child protection issues, but they are the minority.
Some of the things that are said to grandparents is totally unacceptable.


Wednesday 17 August 2011

Do you want to set up a group?

If anyone is considering setting up a support group for grandparents denied contact with their grandchildren, please get in touch for advice.

Monday 15 August 2011

Family Breakdown=Moral Breakdown?

Is it any surprise that we have a generation of young people who think they can behave in any way they like, taking and not giving? Having no respect for people or things?
For years it has become 'normal' to be a single parent, or to come from a broken home, of course this has an enormous effect on the children.
The idea of having two parents who are there to nurture you and protect you, seems to be so uncool.
Mr Cameron is reported today in saying that he will look at parenting as one of the issues that may have been a part of recent riots. He speaks constantly on how important family life is but consistently refuses to legislate on Shared Parenting. This is a fundamental error.
Parental Alienation is fact, children are growing up being told that one of their parents doesn't care about them, doesn't love them and wants no part in their lives, obviously these children are confused and unable to deal with being apparently unloved.
How would you react?
Our society has to return to family values and allowing the children to be brought up by both parents, learning by example of how to respect one another,to care for one another and the importance of being part of a family unit.
It is no good to continue on the path we have been treading for a generation, look what is happening.
I must point out that there are thousands of fantastic young people who are making their mark on the world in a positive way.
Money spent on research and consultation is ridiculous when all that is needed is common sense, children being loved and cared for by both parents is the key. They will then go on to be responsible parents in bringing up their own children.
Come on Mr Cameron, act and act now, legislate for Shared Parenting.

Thursday 11 August 2011

You Must Talk.

Often, people have absolutely no understanding of how serious the effect is on grandparents who are denied contact with their grandchildren.
Grandparents can be clinically depressed having to take medication to keep them on an even keel, and the worse cases grandparents are suicidal. Feeling complete isolation and desperation when they contemplate ending it all.
I assure you I am not being over dramatic, it is fact.
Some grandparents feel ashamed of the situation, how can their own children that they raised and nurtured have turned against them?
What can have happened in their lives to have brought them to this?
Every situation is of course different, but the outcome is the same, families being torn apart.
If you are experiencing total desperation , please talk to someone, your Doctor, ask for counselling -most surgeries offer a service usually the first few are free. Talk to a support group or call the Samaritans o8457 90 90 90.


Monday 8 August 2011

Am I OK?

"How are you?", a grandparent asked me today, "I am fine I said," after she had gone it got me thinking, am I ok?
Well yes of course I am, most of the time.
I set up the group as much for me as for anyone else, it enables me not to think about the fact that I haven't seen my granddaughter for 4 1/2 years, I try to give as much support to others as I can and spend a lot of time thinking about their individual stories. Its good therapy.
Of course when I am on my own, particularly at night I think about my granddaughter and wonder.
Wonder if she is happy and enjoying her young life, and how amazing it would be to be part of her life. Yes, I cry, just like everyone else does about being denied contact.
What I would give to see my son and his daughter reunited is beyond words.
So I could spend the rest of my life, sobbing and being miserable, but what would that acheive. Absolutely nothing.
My granddaughter is living her life the way she has to, and she would be the first person to say, "Oh for goodness sake Gran, get on with stuff."
So I will. For her.


Sunday 7 August 2011

Leaflets, roll up banner etc.

Support ,Smiles and Sympathy.

Good meeting last night, thanks to all of you for coming.
We discussed a Grandparents Conference and funding required. Posters,leaflets, banner etc went down very well and everyone thanked Paul, http://www.hellomynameispaul.co.uk/ for his time and they loved the design.
We decided that we need to get more flyers.
Everyone left smiling and had had much merriment, exactly how a support group should work.


Tuesday 2 August 2011

Next Meeting.

Next meeting of Bristol Grandparents Support Group is Saturday 6th August at 7pm. Look forward to seeing you.