Friday, 30 December 2011
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
I am often asked how to begin the process of setting up a support group.
It definitely helps if you have experienced denied contact, but is not absolutely necessary.
There are a few things to think about:
• How to publicize the event?
• How many people?
• Where to hold it?
• Timings, during the day or evening?
• Aims of group?
It doesn’t necessarily happen quickly, I tried for ages to no avail and was getting somewhat despondent. As there are over one million children denied contact with their grandparents in the UK, I knew they were out there some here.
So I gave it one last go, wrote to my local paper,again, I had written several times before, but with the headline, “Tea and Cake for the Grandchildren,” and gave a date time and place and amazingly grandparents appeared out of the woodwork.
Cake did it!
We have been meeting every two months since.
I wrote to all my local mags, which we get posted through my letter box monthly, I wrote my own posters, put them in the library and post offices etc.
I contacted local radio and TV, both have done interviews with us.
I have a Christmas tree every year in my front garden that grandparents come and write messages to their grandchildren, by Christmas eve it is full, usually local media come and do a piece on it.
The group is well known now and grandparents contact me daily, having been given our contact number through C.A.B, family lawyers,help and support databases and via our website. It seems to have gained its own momentum.
There is no membership fee to be part of the group. So if you need funding you need to start writing to organisations who fund local groups, local neighbourhood partnerships, local funding foundations etc. You only need to do this if you are incurring costs of course. My husband and I covered costs for the first few years but then realised that if we wanted to have proper leaflets, posters etc then we couldn’t continue doing that so needed to find funding from somewhere.
I admit that it does take time and effort to do this, you need to have a charity constitution, trustees and treasurer, sounds daunting, but it isn’t, if I can do it anyone can. You only have to be a registered charity if your income is going to be over a certain amount.
My local MP also is a great supporter of the group, so write to your MP.
I write constantly to David Cameron,MP’s, media of all shapes and sizes, to keep the issue of denied contact out there.
I decided to alternate the meetings, so one month its Friday afternoon and then Saturday evening, to try and help grandparents who are working during the day.
I did hire a room at one stage but we found it felt a bit impersonal so we now meet at my house, you never know from one month to another how many will turn up, but we manage to squeeze people in, and no I don’t have a big house, a normal semi-detached. Surprising how many people you can get in, by moving furniture about, a bit!
My husband is here as well, so we get grandads coming too.
The meeting it self runs itself really, everyone has tea/coffee and CAKE, I just welcome anyone new, which there always is, tell everyone what has been going on the last 2 months, press releases,new reports, etc and then its over to everyone else. Once someone starts talking, they are off, and it just happens.
Help, advice and support.
Every meeting I have ever had always finishes with grandparents laughing and joking with on another.
We are all here for one reason and one reason only, our grandchildren.
If you want to talk it through get intouch.
Monday, 26 December 2011
Friday, 23 December 2011
Thursday, 22 December 2011
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Monday, 19 December 2011
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Friday, 16 December 2011
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Monday, 12 December 2011
Sunday, 11 December 2011
How a child feels:
"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.