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 31 July 2012

"Grandparents are like a shady tree."

Grandparents can be a shady place for the grandchildren, a place to go for shelter , a welcoming place to share their knowledge with the next generation. Their unconditional love and warmth makes for a very special bond.
So when that bond is broken the children's lives are incomplete, where can they then go for shelter, that fount of knowledge, where can they go to get  that advice from the roots of their family tree to ensure that the fruit is sweet, worthy and loveable?

Groups Liability.

 If you are setting up a support group in other areas,  Bristol Grandparents Support Group, founded by Jane Jackson Bristol 2007, is not responsible or liable in any way for other groups, with similar purposes,similar names or similar formats.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Chair appointed for Family Justice Board.

David Norgrove to Chair the Family Justice Board.



This may not be the group for you?

When I first started this group it was for very personal reasons, not being able to be part of my granddaughters life, it is still the foundation for the group and reasons that I do what I do.
Now, having been in contact with hundreds and hundreds of grandparents, it has been a learning curve, thats for sure.
Mostly it has all been positive and I have made some very good friends as a result, of something that was and still is devastating.
It is important to say that as the group has grown, I have experienced some difficult situations, I am always neutral and am here to give support in whatever way I can, sometimes it may be that the sort of support I give is not enough for some, that is fine, so maybe a different group is the place for you.
I can honestly say that I always try to do my best, I am not a legal expert, nor would I want to be one, I am just a grandparent denied contact with my granddaughter.
I have worked hard to raise public awareness on the issues and to keep it in the public eye.
If there are members who are experiencing issues with other members, I will not get involved, it is between them, if we can't actually be supportive with one another there is no point, this is not the place for disagreements.

Right to remove or refuse membership.

Can I draw your attention to clause 5 of our constitution:

There will be no membership fee, trustees have the right to refuse or remove membership.


Monday 23 July 2012

Don't be complacent.

Karen Woodall's latest blog, looks as though the Autumn will be rocky, organisations gearing up to campaign against shared parenting, so pressure needs to be kept up, for legislation on shared parenting, and consequences if not adhered to by resident parents.
Children must be allowed the love and care of both parents,unless proven to be unsafe for them to do so.
It is interesting to note that many contributors to the consultation committee are government funded?


Sunday 22 July 2012

Thanks to supporters.

I would just like to thank those of you who have been beavering away setting up your own groups and those of you who have been giving support to other grandparents in your areas.
It is great to be able to pass people on knowing that there is a  local listening ear for them.
So thanks to all of you.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Access to child's medical records.

If you are a non resident parent and have Parental Responsibility you have  a right to access your child's medical records.
If you are experiencing problems have a look at the link below and educate your GPs Practise Manager.



Tuesday 17 July 2012

Denied Contact, too harsh?

Recently when discussing the issues of denied contact the interviewer asked me if I could use a different phrase, as Denied Contact was too harsh and upsetting?
I can hear your intake of breath as I type!
Too harsh too upsetting, how on earth do people actually think it feels like to be denied contact with your grandchildren. What phrase should we be using?
The fact is that children are being denied contact with grandparents, being denied their human right to a loving and meaningful relationship.
It is just that, contact is being denied.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Is there consistency across UK ?

There are a variety of reasons why a grandparent looses contact with their grandchildren, one reason can be as a result of a parent having alcohol or drug dependancy.
This is often not discussed, why should that be?
 Grandparents  find themselves having to not only support their son/daughter who is a drug user but to also attempt to  protect their grandchildren from this unpredictable environment they are living in.
In some cases a grandparent may have a residence order and may well have had their grandchild living with them for a number of years, when the parent, who has Parental Responsibility, decides that they want the child back with them, the child is taken from a stable home to an uncertain future.
If that isn't distressing enough, I am told that when a grandparent has dealings with some social workers, that they are treated, and I quote, "as a second class citizen."
They are told that going to court for a contact order is advisable, but as has been pointed out to me, the adult child who is drug dependent is never going to adhere to an order.
The grandparents only concern is for the child and their welfare.
 Children living in this how can they be best supported?
 I would have thought that the grandparents and extended family have such an important role to play here.
A consultation meeting I attended last year discussed this very subject, and it seemed that things were going to improve in this area. With consistency across social services across the UK, that the importance of grandparents would always be paramount , from what I keep hearing that improvement in reality is not happening.
There is no consistency. Haven't we heard this before?

Dates of Meetings.

                   I have been asked to post up dates of meeting for the remainder of the year, here they are:

Friday August 3rd 2pm
Friday October 5th 2pm
Friday December 7th 2pm.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Charlotte Leslies Article.

Thanks to Charlotte Leslie MP

I would like to publicly thank my MP Charlotte Leslie for an article that has just been published in our local magazine.

I will not be bullied.

It doesn't matter how old you are you continue to learn lessons everyday.
Sadly lately for me, they have been hard lessons.
As I have said on numerous occasions, this blog and the website are here to support Grandparents, Dads and Mums who are living through the heartbreak of not being able to see their grandchildren/children, as indeed are the meetings we have.
I am not the blame game, just here to support in anyway I can.
As there have now been over 18,000 hits on this blog, someone, somewhere finds it helps.
I certainly have been left somewhat battered and bruised.
Once again I have been reminded why I went independent, what I write on my own blog is up to me and I will moderate comments if necessary, it has only been necessary once, and that is in the last week.
Please remember that I am also a grandparent denied contact and it hurts me just as much as anyone else.

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Monday 2 July 2012

Business As Usual.

I would like to thank all of you who have been getting in contact giving your support,publicly and privately.
I have had to think long and hard as to how to progress, I started this support group up because I lost contact with my beautiful granddaughter due to my sons divorce. My whole family miss her every single day and we all love her beyond words.
I wanted to be able to say what I wanted, when I wanted without being governed by an 'organisation'  and to be independent.
I think we have raised public awareness of the issues and that we stress this is the rights of the grandchildren, not grandparents rights.
Sometimes it is important that grandparents share their stories to help raise awareness, I NEVER knowingly have used quotes and info without a grandparents permission, I HAVE NEVER named anyone in an article.
If grandparents make a decision to do interviews, be that paper,magazines,TV or Radio they must understand that that information is out there and out in the public domain.
I have learnt a hard lesson this last week, and from now on I will be asking for written permission from anyone who says their info can be used, without that written permission it won't be considered.
I have also learnt, that I must not delete emails, private messages, texts etc, just to protect myself.
I am so saddened that someone found it necessary to leave an inappropriate comment on this website blog, the website is to help, advice and support grandparents who are in torment.
All comments left will now have to be moderated before published.
Please contact me if you want me to clarify this post.
So, business as usual, there are over a million grandchildren in the UK who need a voice.