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.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

A plea from me.

To enable us to raise the awareness of denied contact and the effect on the children, it is imperative that we have a list of grandparents who are willing to share their stories and experiences with  the media.
At no time will your real name be given out or the name of your grandchildren.
Once your story is in a newspaper out in the public domain, that story can be used again in related issues.
If you want more information contact me.
It is no good me writing to MP's etc if I can't substantiate  claims, of harassment etc.
I can not do this on my own.

More good signs.

Another positive sign that Shared Parenting will happen?

Monday 25 June 2012

Son/Grandson being deprived opportunity to go to the Olympics.

What price would any child put on the opportunity of attending 3 events at this years Olympics?
Unfortunately, no-one knows.
A loving Dad has tickets to take his son, but he is denied contact, and although he has attempted to get in touch with his son he has been unsuccessful.
Emails have been sent by Dad and the young mans Grandmother, but there has been no response.
As with the issue with sending cards and presents, an adult is denying the child the right to make a choice, it is their Human Right, going to the Olympics with Dad is surely an opportunity of a lifetime.
If indeed this has been kept from him, what will happen when he knows the truth?
Will it benefit the resident parent, I think not.

Friday 22 June 2012

Shared Parenting, have you filled in consultation document?

Please don't complain about our Family Law problems, if you have not filled in the governments consultation document, on shared parenting, it can be done online.
During The Family Justice Review when we had the opportunity to have our say, the numbers of people who actually did so was quite low, so it is up to us to have another say, not just me but everyone involved in this denied contact issue.
If I sound as though I am moaning, I am!
When grandparents talk to me saying how wrong it all is, and I ask if they have written to their MP, filled in consultation documents they will say, "Whats the point?'
The point is your grandchildren and their right to have a loving relationship with both parents.
Over to you.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Unless proved to be unsafe for the child.

I have been contacted by someone today re the website and the wording on it.
There is a particular phrase that is objected to, and I will change it when possible, as I completely agree.
The phrase is ' Every child has the right to contact with grandparents if it is safe for them to do so.' It will be altered to, "Every child should have the right to have contact with their grandparents unless it is proved to be unsafe for the child."

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Are grandparents perceived to be a risk to their grandchildren?

I was asked recently if I thought that the Church could in some way be highlighting the plight of grandchildren being denied contact.
As you know I write to everyone I can think of and some time ago I wrote to various members of the clergy this is one response I received I will leave it up to you to comment.

I think you may have a fighting chance of getting a support group off the
ground, though I doubt in the current climate that a change in Family Law
is tenable because of the governments proper pre-occupation with
protecting children from harmful adults.  Sadly, as you will know, there
is a fairly well established body of evidence which shows that most child
abuse takes place within families and in the past this has involved
grandparents (usually grandfathers).


Monday 18 June 2012

Canvey Island Support Group.

I have been approached by a grandparent in Canvey Island who would like to set up a support group and give support to other grandparents.
She has also recently experienced being accused of Harassment and had a call from the Police as a complaint has been made because she sent a birthday card to her grandchild.
Please get in touch and I will pass on her contact details.

Sunday 17 June 2012

Thanks to Media.

Thanks to all media who picked up on the Harassment issue, grandparents living in fear of being warned of harassment order via solicitors letters or indeed being arrested questioned, finger printed and DNA samples taken,for sending birthday cards/present to grandchildren.
It was featured in Bristol Post, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Times Daily and The Sun, various radio stations, to date, let me know if you have seen it anywhere else.
I hope my MP will continue to peruse this and find answers as to why this happens.

Louis de Bernieres- Father's Day.


Saturday 16 June 2012

Fathers Day.

As we come to another Father's Day, it is a time of heartbreak for thousands of Father's across the country and countless more across the world, who are denied contact with their children.
We have progressed in so many things but we still are witnessing the destruction of families by 'a parent' who is denying their children to be part of both their parents lives, their Human Right.
We strive to get a change in the law, legislation for shared parenting.
My thoughts are with you all and the children who are wondering where daddy has gone?
Daddy, is still there and always will be.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Online response to consultation.

Here is the link to the governments consultation on Shared Parenting.

Time to shout louder for your grandchildren, not tomorrow today.

The government today have announced consultation to begin on the rights of children to be part of both parents lives.
There will of course be those who will be shouting from the rooftops to say this mustn't happen.
We need to be shouting louder, our grandchildren deserve us to stand up for them and to be a powerful voice for them.
Thousands of parents have been shut out of their children's life for vindictive reasons, using the children as weapons in cases of separation and divorce.
The most important paragraph in this announcement, for me, is that they will be looking at the possibility of fining any resident parent who does not abide by the rules.
At the moment resident parents are breaking the law and there is no consequence, that must be addressed.
We have a generation of children growing up being denied contact with loving parents.
I urge everyone to continue to write to your MP's etc, putting on the pressure for legislation for shared parenting and a legal consequence if it is not adhered to.
Not a time to be complacent, time to push those who hold power.
Time for everyone to be pro-active, get pens out, you owe it to your grandchildren.

Ok so there are still some huge stumbling blocks, but I really believe we are moving in the right direction.


Tuesday 12 June 2012

Nearly 17,000 hits to blog!!

The blog has had  16,435 hits to date, huge thank you to everyone who takes the time to read,comment and return.

South Wales Support Group?

Is there a grandparents denied contact in South Wales who might consider setting up a support group, with my help?

Monday 11 June 2012

Thank you Radio 5.

Many thanks to 3 very brave grandparents this morning on Radio 5
BBC - Radio 5 live Victoria Derbyshire - 11/06/2012
it is the hardest thing to bare ones soul so publicly , but it so important that these very real issues are aired.
Your grandchildren would be so proud of you.
My sincere thanks also go to Charlotte Leslie my MP, for her support and time.

Saturday 9 June 2012

Children Lied To By Adults, Will Never Forgive.

I have written before about how children feel let down by the adults around them  who practise Parental Alienation and that when they realise that, they turn away from that adult.
I know from my own personal experience what it is like when, an adult who you love and thought was there to protect you, betrays you.
You never get over that betrayal.
My father was a very successful business man and was held in high regard within our city and beyond.
We had a comfortable home, a typical family.
My father always worked long hours even working on Sundays, these were the days prior to Sunday opening!
He was very overprotective with me, and I had to be home at certain times and if not he would be pacing the road looking for me,
When I was 15, after 35years of married life, he said to Mum that he was leaving us!
To say we were shocked doesn't begin to cover it.
There had never been any warning signs at all, nothing.
He told my brother and me that he no longer wanted to be part of our lives, or have anything to do with us.
As a 15year old, of course I thought it was my fault and blamed myself.
He had been leading a completely double life, had a flat etc, and was living with someone 30 yrs younger than himself.
All those years, were a lie. He was a lie. The adult I looked up to was a lie.
I had no contact with him for 15 years, when my Mum died, and we had a sort of relationship, but he did it again. Suddenly with no warning, stopped contact.
Lied to again.
When he died, I went to his funeral and it was as though we had never existed , as though my brother and myself had been totally air-brushed from his life.
I still live with that feeling of emptiness,disappointment but above all, I despise the fact that an adult in my life lied to me.
So if you are a parent who is lying and badmouthing a non resident parent or grandparent, with Parental Alienation, take heed.
Your children will never, forgive you.

Friday 8 June 2012

Bristol Post Editorial.

Invite from Fathers-4-Justice.

"Grandparents are more than welcome to join us on our Father's Day March on 16th June in London - register your details at office@fathers-4-justice.org today"


Editorial Comment from The Telegraph.

Many thanks for the Editorial comment:

"Rights for grandparents
The Protection from Harassment Act, introduced to prevent stalkers targeting vulnerable women, should not be deployed against grandparents who seek to keep in contact with their grandchildren. In the difficult circumstances of a family break-up, grandparents are often the forgotten victims of separation. Although they may have built a close and emotional bond with their grandchildren, they have no automatic rights to remain in contact with them when the relationship between the parents collapses. This is bad enough; but it is bordering on the heartless when grandparents risk arrest for sending a card or a present to a beloved grandchild on his or her birthday or at Christmas.
It appears that the Protection from Harassment Act, which was introduced to prevent stalkers targeting vulnerable women, is being deployed against grandparents who seek to keep simply the most passing contact with their grandchildren. According to campaigners, grandparents risk arrest for sending cards if the parent with whom the child is living objects to the continued contact. “This is not a small issue,” explains Jane Jackson, of the Bristol Grandparents Support Group. “It is something that desperately needs looking into. It is leaving loving grandparents frightened and suicidal.”
This is clearly a difficult and emotive issue – and it is one that was partially addressed in the Government’s Family Justice Review, conducted by David Norgrove and published last year. It called for measures to ensure that grandparents have a greater chance of retaining contact with their grandchildren by emphasising the value of their access in parenting agreements. However, divorces and separations are often so acrimonious that the prospect of reasoned discussion about future access can be remote. The Queen’s Speech foreshadowed a new Children and Families Bill, but the detailed legislation has yet to appear. When it does, it should address this particular injustice."

Radio featuring harassment issues.

Radio 5 live Monday, I think, will be featuring a followup, also BBC WM tomorrow morning at 10:30am

Another Telegraph Article.

Note to self: DO not read comments.


Happy Birthday.

Today is my granddaughters 12th birthday, "Have a wonderful day and we love you and will always be here for you."

Monday 4 June 2012

Article by Karen Woodall

Yet another great article by Karen Woodall

Forgive me a personal post.

On Friday it will be my beautiful granddaughters 12th birthday, how I would love to give her a birthday hug and share some time with her, but it is not to be.
I think about her everyday but this time is particularly hard.
I wonder what she is doing to celebrate, a party with friends, bowling or dancing?
The most tragic thing in this is, she must think we have forgotten her, that we don't love her and I can't begin to describe in words how that feels. It tears me apart.
When I first held her in my arms, so small so vulnerable, those trusting eyes looking up at me, "I am so sorry L....., I let you down, the future I thought we would have was not to be.
Life is so precious, so short, live yours to the full, take every opportunity that is given to you make a difference in this world."
As long as I am on this earth, I will be here for her, just waiting.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Pea.xx

When conflict arises for whatever reason, it is the adults who have the problem, not the children, the children should never be part of adult conflict.

Friday 1 June 2012

Denied contact to feature in Swiss Mag.

I was contacted today by a Swiss magazine with regard to featuring our story, and so we move into Switzerland!

Thank you.

Thanks very much for the great turn out this afternoon, it was good to see you all.
You were marvellous with the camera crew, and you will look lovely!
It was also good to see you sharing photos of your grandchildren with one another, happy memories.
Can I just say something about funding, there is of course costs involved in setting up and sustaining the group,  it was suggested that we had a standing order form, so that if someone wanted to donate to the group they could use the form.
It is totally voluntary.
When I set up the group, I said that there would be no membership fee and there isn't and there won't be.
I never want anyone thinking they have to give a donation to be part of the group.
Please get in touch if you have any concerns.