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 December 2011

Wrong date published.

For those of you who are local, there is a mistake in one of our local magazines for our next meeting it should say Friday Feb 3rd at 2pm.

Here comes 2012

As we move towards a New year it is time for reflection and expectation. Reflection of the year thats gone,expectation of what is to come.
2011 was a busy year, A new website designed, funding obtained for posters and leaflets, TV, Radio, Newspaper interviews. The Family Justice Review and published. New grandparents joining the group, numbers now over 200 in and around Bristol. Discovering Grannynet.co.uk and being asked to write articles on Denied Contact etc. Drawing up a constitution, appointing trustees etc, included in Bristol Data base, and Well-aware.
Over 9,000 hits on this blog from all over the world.
I entered the world of Twitter!
And so to 2012, what will it bring, I wonder.
The Family Justice Report will be either accepted or rejected by the government, I sincerely hope that it is firmly rejected, and that shared parenting becomes law.
More interviews already done and pending.

Most importantly, on a very personal level, Marc and I will become grandparents to twins, so a very exciting time for the whole family.

I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year, and we will continue to raise awareness of a million children being denied contact with their grandparents.
And remember, grandparents to become reunited, it does happen and maybe it is your time in 2012.


Tuesday 27 December 2011

How to set up a support group.

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.



Friday 23 December 2011

Support groups nationwide.

If anyone is interested in setting up a support group in their area I would be pleased to set you off in the right direction.
I can also always send you posters and leaflets to help raise public awareness.
This blog has had over 8,000 hits since I set it up, from people all over the UK and all over the world.
There are thousands of grandparents who are going through this and it is important that I do all I can to let them know that they are not alone.
This group is completely independent from any organisation, and we are focussed on denied contact, rather than other issues.
By being independent and not politically motivated in any way, we are able to focus on the children who are being denied their right to be loved by both parents and grandparents.
There is no membership fee.

Thursday 22 December 2011

Children's Wish this Christmas.

As the magical day of Christmas is just around the corner,
Thoughts of early mornings, giggles and sniggles,
I will be thinking of the children who won't be feeling the love and care of both parents,
Who wonder what they did wrong, what made Mum or Dad go away?
Their special wish this Christmas, if they were allowed to say would be,
"Please let me in, let me know Mum and Dad and Gran and Grandpa,
Let me feel all their arms around me, I love them all.
I am just a child, you are making decisions for me,the wrong decisions, I need all my family,
Here and Now, every minute of every day,
When I am in my room I lie and look out at the stars wondering, just wondering if they are looking up at the same stars as me.
Christmas is a time of love and understanding,but does no-one understand me."


Link to interview.

Here is the link to the interview I did yesterday, you will first here the news, adverts and then the programme starts, there is a guest talking about music and then me, so you could go off and do the ironing for half an hour!

Scroll down to 2pm show.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

30 minutes talking of denied contact.

I have just come back from doing 30 minutes interview on Bristol Community Radio.
Interviewer was very good and asked me lots of questions about the group and what we do, and how we support one another.
She was staggered at the stats of over one million children denied contact with their grandparents in the UK, she was sensitive and genuinely interested.


Monday 19 December 2011

Christmas is about Hope.

Christmas is all about hope, and the future.
For grandparents who will not be seeing their grandchildren this year either for the first time or in our case for the 4th year it can seem that we will never be able to share that special Christmas magic with them.
It is vital that we don't give up hope,we owe it to the children.
Grandparents DO get reunited with their grandchildren.

Saturday 17 December 2011

Bristol Community Radio Slot

I have been contacted today and asked to be on Bristol Community Radio on Wednesday at 2pm.
So if you can tune in to

Bristol Community fm – 93.2fm


What can I do, where can I go?

I am often asked that question.
Of course you can always contact me, join our support group but there other things as well.
It is important that you keep yourselves well , if you are feeling low go and see your doctor who may well be able to offer you some counselling sessions, in most areas the first few sessions are free, so please ask.
It is also time to think about you and the here and now, your life and your family and friends.
I made a decision to do just that and decided to sing!!
Not on my own, although I do that as well!
I joined a local Gospel choir and it has been a revelation, being part of a group and raising the roof is amazingly good therapy.
You don't have to be a great singer just to want to tra,la,la is enough.
The choir is full of people who have or are experiencing all sorts of problems, but for an hour and half every week, culminating in concerts is time for you, to be you and to escape for awhile.
I strongly recommend you look at your area, there are community choirs popping up all over the country.
I promise ,you won't regret it.

Parental Alienation Video-strong language warning

This is a powerful and distressing video from Holland about Parental Alienation.
(some strong language warning)


Tuesday 13 December 2011

Who is going to speak for the children?

This is a response of a letter written to an MP re The Family Justice Report.

I understand that grandparents wrote and this is what the MP Jeremy Corbyn for Islington North said , he was on the justice committee and he gave his reasons for voting against/rejecting the presumption of shared parenting and rights for grandparents. He quotes the Australian reference and that it would be detrimental to the child to have a relationship with the grandparents, and that the status quo will remain the same.

When you read/hear this sort of reaction, is it any wonder that millions of children in the UK are prevented the love and care of BOTH parents, and grandparents.
Maybe one day these MP's will experience the heartbreak of watching their child go through denied contact of their own children and extended family being ripped apart.


Monday 12 December 2011

Comments on the blog

I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has commented on my posts. It really does make a difference and good to have a two way conversation.
So a huge thank you, and keep on commenting!

Sunday 11 December 2011

Why doesn't Dad,Gran and Grandpa love me anymore?

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.



Child denied contact on prime time BBC TV

I watched the Christmas edition of "My Family" last night and "Ben" the Dad stepped in to play a reluctant Santa at an art gallery.
A little girl clambered up on his lap and when Santa asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she said that she wanted her Grandpa. She said that her Mum and her Grandad had fallen out and that now she never saw him, and she missed him.
'Santa' made it his Christmas mission to reunite them.
Eventually, he got them all together and after a few hiccups, the little girls dream came true.
Not much to ask is it, that a child sees her grandpa?
Whatever the reason for adults to fall out with one another a child should not have to miss out on the love and care of all their family.
This Christmas if just one family forgives and forgets for the sake of the children, it would be truly Christmas.


Did you like your pressie?

So the Christmas pressie for L............. had been wrapped and posted, and hopefully it has arrived at her door.
This is the 4th year that I have gone through the motions, and then every year I never know if she receives it, or if she is told it is from someone else. Does she know how much her Dad and gran and grandpa, uncles and aunts and cousins love and miss her?
What I would give to see her, to hear her voice and give her a hug.
I must be such a bad person for this to have happened, seeing her for the very first time was so amazing and held such promise, now my heart is empty, without her in my life.
Not one day goes by that I don't think of her.
"L......... I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, with lots of fun and laughter."

Thursday 8 December 2011

Grannynet Q&A on Denied Contact.

You may be interested to know that I have answered a Q&A on www.grannynet.co.uk , take a look.


Lonely this Christmas.

Christmas is a time for family and so it is a particularly difficult time for grandparents who will not be part of their grandchildren's fun and frolics.
Children all over the UK are taking part in Nativity plays, little stars, angels and donkeys. It is sad that over one million children in the UK, who are denied contact will not have the delight in Granny and Grandpa clapping loudly and proudly.
I myself have just wrapped up a present for my granddaughter, ready to post, but will she ever receive it?
I suppose for me the important thing is that I know I sent it with all the love in the world.
I receive more calls and emails at this time of the year than any other, Christmas can be so lonely, and empty.


Thanks to Waitrose.

I have just been up to Waitrose to collect a cheque for £260 for Bristol Grandparents Support Group, a huge thank you to them and their Community Matters Scheme.
If is was not for funding like this it would be very difficult to run the group, as there is no membership fee for members, and there never will be.
Many many thanks to Waitrose customers again.

Monday 5 December 2011

MPs to throw out Norgrove report?

I am trying to find out if this is correct. It has been posted on F4J Facebook page.

"FAMILY JUSTICE REVIEW REPORT UPDATE: We understand from a Senior Whitehall aid that the Government has decided it will not accept Norgrove’s recommendation on access rights. I have been told that Nick Clegg and Iain Duncan-Smith have both submitted reports recommending that the report is rejected in its entirety. I have also had confirmed from an MP that a meeting is being held this week. The minimum requirement from Nick Clegg and Iain Duncan-Smith for resurrecting the entire document is the guarantee that fathers’ rights of access will be enshrined in law. As yet we have had no official confirmation, and given Cameron's penchant for U-Turns this could probably go full circle, and round again, before Christmas is out. But we have confirmation of this proposal from more than 1 MP. "


Radio 4- Change of Date!

Change of date for One to One programme on Radio 4, it is now scheduled for Tuesday Feb 21st at 9.30am.
I will remind you nearer the time, who knows it may change again!!!!!!!


False Allegations.

Many thanks to all who have commented on and given advice on the 'Harassment' post.
I would urge anyone who is going through this despicable situation to use the template letter on the post.

Sunday 4 December 2011

How can this happen?

It will never cease to amaze me how evil some people can be to one another, how can someone be so wicked/resentful that they prevent a Mum/Dad from being part of their children's lives?
How can a person be wrongly accused of something, have to face the indignity and humiliation of having to go to the police,to be questioned for hours imprisoned in a cell to then have to wait for weeks before ALL accusations are dropped.
This is nor fantasy, not something I have just made up, it is fact it happens not rarely but often.
Where has the local policeman gone, who knew families on his/her patch , knew families who may be neglecting children those families who were vulnerable. Common sense policing.
Of course children must be protected from harm, but we must also have superbly trained people to know when things are contorted and to recognise Parental Alienation as fact.
The damage that is being caused to Mums/Dads wrongly accused is immeasurable.
How did we get to this?


Saturday 3 December 2011

Light up the Tree.

Messages are already coming in for 'Tree of Hope', don't forget to let me have your message and I will put it on the tree for you.
Thank you for those who have sent one, very emotional as always reading them.


Friday 2 December 2011

To all members of the support group.

Marc and I will be thinking of you all over Christmas.

Radio 4.

I have just done an interview with Radio 4 ,Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.
The programme is called 1-1 and will be broadcast on Jan 17th at 9:30am.
I would like to thank Yasmin for her sensitivity.