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.

Sunday 30 September 2012

Meeting Friday.

Just a word of warning to those of you intending to come to the meeting on Friday at 2pm, there is no access to our road due to Bristol Water and their mains work.
So give yourselves a little more time, for finding somewhere to park.

Saturday 29 September 2012

BBC Inside Out West

I wrote last week about filming for a programme and  as promised now have a date, it is to be aired on Oct 15th at 7:30pm ( pretty sure it is 7:30pm!).
Many thanks again to Charlotte Leslie MP for the extra filming that took place yesterday afternoon.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Changes in definitions of Domestic Violence.

Last week the government announced changes in the definition of Domestic Violence, will this see an increase of false allegations to enable more Legal Aid applications?
There is no excuse at all for  proven Domestic Violence in all its forms.
I have put this link to a document you might find interesting.



Tuesday 25 September 2012

Have you ever been effected by a troll?

I am not referring to the little rubber dolls with bright hair that you may have owned  in the 60's, I personally had lots all with different colour hair, but I digress!
I am talking about trolls who trawl the internet. The term troll describes someone who gets pleasure out of writing defamatory comments on online forums, blogs, all forms of social networking.
The troll will join an online forum etc under an assumed name and will make personal and untrue comments about the person who has posted.They can become vicious in their attack.
I myself have been on the receiving end of this abhorrent behaviour as have others I know.
 I often wonder if we met these people face to face how they would behave, would they start being orally abusive. I doubt it, it is the anonymity of the internet that enables them to write such horrendous remarks. They are answerable to no-one.
 Are these people trouble makers in real life?
 At present the law says that the website operator is liable for everything that appears on their site.
 Of course what we might consider to be inflammatory or untrue may not be considered to be so by the website operators.
 Online communication is here to stay, and millions of us are involved in it, 'talking' to people from all over the world in an instant, 'friends' we make online is an amazing thing  to allow users to 'talk' freely is ok, but I do think that there is a need for moderation.
 Many people are being hurt by mindless people who seem to delight in seeing people suffer.
 The majority of users are thoughtful, sensitive and valued members of the internet, they need to be protected.

Sunday 23 September 2012

How much should I say?

As a grandparent it is important to know when to offer advice and not.
Only offer advice if you are asked, never do the , "Don't you think you should do this, that and the other,when I had my children I did this," nothing more irritating to parents!
The point is that you are talking about your children, not theirs.
So often, family fall outs happen because someone oversteps the mark.
We must allow our children to make their own mistakes, just like we did, we have been parents the role of grandparents is totally different.
There to give support when required, to have the fun but not the responsibility!
Rule of thumb, think your own thoughts, don't speak them.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Thanks for taking part.

Thank you to the grandparents involved in the filming of  BBC programme today and thanks also to Charlotte Leslie MP.
The programme is due to be aired in October I will let you know the date when I have it.
I know only to well how emotionally draining it is, it is a time for reflection for us all when being asked such personal questions.
My thanks also to Kath and Steve for their sensitivity.

Monday 17 September 2012

More Filming.

We and several members of the group will be filming with the BBC this week, I will give you all the details when it is completed,so watch this space.

Sunday 16 September 2012

Peace One Day.

We often find ourselves in the position of being denied contact with our grandchildren because of conflict.
Family conflict that can be so damaging to everyone, but most importantly to the children who are caught up in waring factions that is nothing to do with them, and is out of their control, but it impacts their lives so seriously.
On September 21st it is One Peace Day, it calls for everyone who is fighting in any way to cease for a day.
It is a global call, from countries at war with one another to families who are fighting, a day to STOP.
If  you can stop for one day, you can stop for the other 364 days a year.
Please join the campaign.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

If you are a "Newbie."

Just a bit of history, for those of you who are just reading this blog,for the first time.
I set this group up in 2007 when I lost contact with my granddaughter as a result of my sons divorce.When contact with all of us was stopped.
We had been part of her life for 7years and the heartbreak for us all was devastating.
I felt I had to somehow turn this negative into a positive and so Bristol Grandparents Support Group started to slowly take shape.
So 5 years on and over 20,000 hits on the blog, a website devoted to the group and regular support group meetings and countless telephone calls from distressed grandparents, the group has now gained its own momentum, with grandparents offering support themselves.
It is worth mentioning though, that this is not a big 'corporate' group at all it is still run by me with support from my husband,and a group of trustees.
The meetings are held in my home , so if you do contact me can you please do so during 'office' hours, if I am not around leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I can. I have had occasions where people clearly think they are phoning an office so ring in the early hours of the morning to leave a message!
The group is entirely focussed on the children involved in this and denied contact issues.
We are not affiliated in any way to any other charity or organisation, we do not get government funding.
We are truly independent.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Hemel Hemstead Support?

And if you are in this area would be good to hear from you, if you feel you could offer support?

Chester Support plea?

Is there anyone out there near Chester who would be willing to lend a listening ear and to support a grandparent?
Let me know if you feel you can.

Sunday 9 September 2012

20,110 hits!!!!!!!

How extraordinary the stats say that we have now had over 20,000 hits on this blog!
Good grief!

Link to Songs of Praise.

If you want to see the Songs of Praise programme it is on iplayer.



Hope Poem

All I have is hope,
From day to day,
I believe it helps me to cope,
From day to day.

I listen to others,
I try to support,
Grandparents , Dads, Mums, Sisters and Brothers.,
I try to support.

How to mend these broken hearts?
For you tears I cry,
Our souls fly to other parts,
For you tears I cry.

Do I have the answer to this sadness,
Families should love,
We must stop this madness,
Families should love.

We will all stand together,
For the children,
At one for ever,
For the children.

For now , all we have is hope,
Give us strength, to fight on,
Hope, to hold you one more time, hope,
Give us strength to fight on.
Jane Jackson.

Rights Reserved 2012.

Saturday 8 September 2012

We will support.

 You will know that because of recent events I have been considering whether to continue running Bristol Grandparents Support Group.
It has been a very emotional and difficult time.
Thank you to everyone who sent comments,emails,messages and called me, your wise words have been very comforting.
It is difficult to explain how important this group is to me and I do feel as though it is something I am supposed to be doing. Some of you will understand that others maybe won't.
Amongst other things as suggested I wrote a list of pros and cons, here it is:

In my granddaughters name.
Meeting new people.
Supporting people.
Sharing sadness.
Raising Awareness.
A voice for the grandchildren.

Accusations/Discrediting me and the group.
Invasion of my privacy.
People thinking the group is a big organisation.
Contacting me at unsocialable hours.

  As you can see quite clearly one list is much longer than the other!
So I have looked carefully at the Cons list to see what we can do to either prevent it or certainly to be more aware of those pitfalls.
On the blog I have written - 'contact during office hours.'
I need to make it clear to people that this is a small organisation not some large corporate organisation.
We have legal professionals now within the group to assist me. 
I have made it clear that I will not get involved in personality clashes within the group, this is after all a support group.
I have and will if necessary bar people from making comments on the blog and bar them from being associated with Bristol Grandparents Support Group in any way.

And so, Bristol Grandparents Support Group will continue, and I will endeavour to do my best for all the grandchildren denied contact with their grandparents. 
All children have the right to be part of their grandparents lives, unless it is inappropriate for them to do so.

The upset this has caused has been enormous, many sleepless nights, many tears shed, time that should have been spent in a positive way was wasted in hours of negativity.


Monday 3 September 2012

Songs of Praise Sunday.

Many, many months ago I told you that Marc and I had done an interview for Songs of Praise, well it is to be aired this Sunday Set 9th at 4pm.
There are several grandparents talking about their role, so if you blink you might miss us.

Saturday 1 September 2012

Do I continue?

Over the last few months it has been a time for reflection and looking to the future.
Some of you will know that it has been a difficult time, for me and all my family and the group. What affects me affects all the family.
My family feel that I should pass on the mantle to someone else to take the load.
Running a support group is not just a question of posting info on this blog, it is much more.
It is answering the phone daily to distressed grandparents who have no one to turn to, to be there at any time ready with a shoulder and a listening ear.
To be non-judgemental, to take what is said at face value, to sign post people to help and support.
I have been in touch with hundreds of grandparents since I set the group up in 2007, because I was denied contact with my granddaughter.
That basis still remains, and has to be the focus for me.
I have met some wonderful people, done things I never thought possible.
To the future, well, if I am honest I am not  sure.
It has been a time to back off and heal my wounds, still maybe more healing needed.
I thank everyone for their professional advice and support.
One thing that is certain, is that I am a grandparent who is not able to be part of my grandchild's life, and there are still over one million children in the UK who don't have a relationship with their grandparents.