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 30 September 2011

Waitrose Community Matters.

A huge thank you to Waitrose Community Matters Westbury Park as they have chosen Bristol Grandparents Support Group to be one of the charities for October.
Please remember to put your green token which is on each checkout, in the appropriate box, the more tokens we collect the more funding we will receive.
Once again thanks to Waitrose.
Whoopy Doo!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday 24 September 2011

Support groups working together?

As with all support groups and charities there are several different grandparents support groups, you would think it would be a good idea for everyone to join forces and work together, in my naivety I thought that once.
Aren't we all trying to support others in the same position as ourselves, raising awareness of denied contact in all its forms and most importantly fighting for the rights of over one million children in the UK.
The simple answer to that is yes we are, and here comes the but....... many support groups have a membership fee, and/or employ people to run the 'charity.'
If you are a large concern and need to employ staff the whole ethos of the group changes, very often the staff have no personal experience of denied contact and at the end of the day they are doing a job of work.
Sometimes the group may have some form of government funding, which inevitably changes the way in which the group is run etc.
This not a criticism, just fact.
If all the groups were working as one, our voices would be so much stronger and the fight for the rights of grandchildren would be very powerful, sadly the reasons given above prevent that happening.

Duke of Cambridge talks about his grandmother.



Friday 23 September 2011

Solicitors 20 minutes free consultation.

Most if not all solicitors will offer you FREE 20 minutes free consultation, when making an appointment make it clear that you just want the 20 minute free consultation.
If you are seeking advice on denied contact ALWAYS go to a Family Lawyer.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Are you interested in this?

I have just received this , if you would be interested please let me know.

Dear Jane
We are a new company which provides legal workshops to people who are thinking about, or who are, taking their case to court regarding family matters. Our workshop hosts are fully trained legal professionals and deliver each workshop to a small group of people who are in a similar situation, we provide course materials and forms plus form filling assistance together with invaluable techniques for successful negotiation and advocacy, two things that litigants in person struggle to master.
We have vistited your website and strongly believe there is another way rather than paying for expensive solicitors costs etc and provide a half way between going it alone and paying for legal advice.
Most people who are grandparents have reached a stage in their life when they are either retired or starting to have interests other than full time employment, generally speaking grandparents are financially stable and would be reluctant to spend their savings they have spent most of their working life amassing on expensive legal fees. Taking a case of this type to court is likely to cost in the region of between £3,000 to £7,000 depending at which stage the case settles and this is a large slice of retirement monies and savings, equally they do not want to lose contact with their grandchildren and a balance between the two conflicting issues needs to be considered. Also, the emotional investment into the situation should not be ignored and we provide support whilst going through the process.
Our courses are very affordable and include everything for grandparent application, from 'leave to apply' to the substantive application. Each workshop costs just £49.99 per person and lasts for three hours.
We would like to visit your support group on a complimentary basis to give a talk about how grandparents can go about making an application for leave and contact and any difficulties they may encounter; we would be grateful if you consider our proposal.
Please visit our website for further details, we also provide workshops in relation to writing your own Will and setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely
Debbie Taggio
Course Director.

Website: www.nomoresoliciors.co.uk
Telephone: 01905 612137

Monday 19 September 2011

Expected date of Family Justice Report.

I understand from Keith Towler , Children's Commissioner for Wales and a member of the panel working on the Family Justice Review that they hope to publish the final report late October early November.

Sunday 18 September 2011

What makes perfect grandparents?

If only I had the answer to what makes a perfect grandparent, we would not find ourselves in a denied contact situation.
Of course there are usually two sets of grandparents, who may have completely different views on their role,which can lead to conflict itself.
I have come across grandparents who are jealous of the amount of time the 'other' set spend with the grandchildren, I am fairly sure that within our group the comment would be, if only we had the opportunity of anytime to spend with our grandchildren, it would be amazing.
But it raises an important point, why on earth do we feel jealous,we don't own children as parents or grandparents.
Children are part of us and our family, but do we have a right over them?
As parents we find out quite quickly that our children have their own lives to lead and we just give them a kick start, as grandparents we have to allow our children to bring up their own children in their own way, to make the same mistakes we made and to learn by those mistakes.
You can think your own thoughts but keep them in your head.
Is there a perfect grandparent?
Someone who is there to give support if asked,never to interfere, never criticise,don't undermine the grandchildren's parents . Ok , so we can't all be perfect, actually the truth is no-one is perfect.
I most certainly have made mistakes have spoken out of turn and have paid the ultimate price, of not having had any contact with my granddaughter since 2007.
So for any grandparents who may feel aggrieved that they don't spend enough time with their grandchildren, treasure every precious moment as you never know how things can change.


Family Justice Review.

Don't forget the final Family Justice Report is due this Autumn.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Can surnames be changed?

If you hear that your grandchilds' surname has been changed, it can only happen if both parents agree, below is an extract from official site.

Can I change my child's name?

"A child's legal name can easily be changed by Deed Poll providing everyone with parental responsibility for the child consents to the name change. If your child is 16 years of age or over (or approaching their 16th birthday), they must apply for their own Deed Poll for which parental consent is not required.

Parental responsibility is a legal term and this article will enable you to understand the meaning of parental responsibility and determine who has parental responsibility for your child and who needs to consent to your child's name change. For quick access, we have listed this article's contents below. However, we urge you to read the whole article for a full understanding of the issues relating to changing a child's name. You will also find information in this article about the situations where you may be able to change your child's name without the consent of the father."

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Bristol Database.


Scotland ----Rights of Children & Young People - Programme for Government 2011-2012

"The Rights of Children and Young People Bill will enshrine in law Scottish Ministers' duty to have due regard to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) when exercising their responsibilities.

The UNCRC spells out the basic human rights (civil, political, economic, social and cultural) of all children up to the age of 18.

The Scottish Government is committed to creating a modern, inclusive Scotland that respects and protects human rights. In particular, it is committed to recognising, respecting and promoting children's rights as part of our wider commitment to improving life chances.

The Bill will ensure that all of the Scottish Government's policies and legislation take account of and promote the rights of children and young people and ensure it sets an example for the wider public sector to follow.

Consultation on the Bill will begin on September 8. The Bill forms part of a much wider reform of children's services to improve life chances and create a fairer start for all, including a Children's Services Bill planned for 2013."

Sunday 4 September 2011

Do grandparents have a place in mediation?

The title evokes all sorts of responses I am sure, it rather depends which side of the fence you are on.
There needs to be an honest response, that not all grandparents are the stereotypical, gentle, grey haired elderly folk they once were.
There is no doubt that in a perfect world, grandparents would be the bedrock of the family, senior members of the family unit to pass on their wisdom, experiences and advice. That is not always the case.
As we all know, none of us live in a perfect world.
When our sons/daughters separate from their spouses, it is so easy to blame our childs' spouse, isn't it natural to defend our children, what ever age they are. We become part of the blame game.
But at what expense can that be?
Separation and subsequent divorce is such a painful experience for all involved, an experience that some people never get over.
All parties are equally important, but children are caught up in something that they have no control over, their once stable family life is falling apart around them. Mum and Dad are upset or angry all the time, and they don't know how to react.
Grandparents should be able to see the wider picture, not get involved in the emotional turmoil and be prepared to put their feelings to one side and talk , and listen.
If grandchildren can see that their grandparents are not judging anyone, or being disloyal to either of their parents, they are the perfect people to be a stabilising influence. A sanctuary in the storm.
Sounds easy, but of course it isn't.
We go through the pain as well of seeing our sons/daughters relationships break down, but we need to be as neutral as we can to ensure that the children can continue having a good relationship with both parents and grandparents and all the extended family.
The end game is too precious to put it in jeopardy.


Your children are too fat??????????????

I would love to hear your views.


Friday 2 September 2011

Stop Family Courts being secret.

I have signed this petition today.

Groups working together.

Letter sent to David Cameron today in conjunction with Families Need Fathers Cymru and Both Parents Matter requesting that the government look again at the need for grandparents to apply to the court twice for a contact order, what is known as the 'leave to apply', grandparents find that it is extra costs, life savings being spent, and yet another hurdle to jump.