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.

Thursday 28 February 2013

Forms for application for leave to court to apply for a contact order.

I have been asked several times for information for grandparents who decide to go down the legal route for contact.
You will firstly have to apply to the court for 'leave' (permission) to then apply for a contact order.
I hope this helps a bit, don't forget I am no legal expert so this is just the information I have researched, it hopefully will point you in the right direction.

To apply to the Family Court for ‘leave’ to then apply to the court for contact of your grandchild.
Firstly find the address of the court you are applying to.
You need to complete a Form C2:
Put the name of the Court e.g.: “Bristol County Court” the family section.
Give full names of all children involved .
Then about you: You are the applicant Grandparents apply together.
The orders and directions you are applying for.
Persons to be served: Served means a copy. The main people involved in the case should be served so they know to come to court. Give names and addresses of social worker, guardian, your solicitor, parents solicitors if applicable and any other main people who need to attend court.
Your Reasons: Give details of why you want to have contact. Put it in your own words put exactly what you want to say. Sign and date.

You will then need to submit Form C1, the actual application.


Spiralling costs etc of Family Lawyers Ombudsman says.........



Tuesday 26 February 2013

2nd Reading of the Children's and Families Bill

Here is a transcript of the 2nd Reading in the House of Commons which took place last night.

_What happens after second reading?

Once second reading is complete the Bill proceeds to committee stage - where each clause (part) and any amendments (proposals for change) to the Bill may be debated.-


Sunday 24 February 2013

26,000 hits and rising.

Yet another milestone has happened to day, the 26,000 visit to the blog!
Unbelievable, when I started writing the blog, I had absolutely no idea at all that it would attract so many visitors, I thought I would just babble away to myself!
Visitors come from all over the world.
Of course in an ideal world there would be no visitors but as we all know we don't live in an ideal world, well actually we do, the world is ideal it is just some people in it, cause such hurt and pain to others, that support is required.
I really hope that those who pop in an out of the site, get what they are looking for in respect of advice and support.
So a huge thank you, so good to know that me babbling on is of some use!

Letter to my granddaughter.

Dear L............,
It is almost 6 long years since I last gave you a hug, listened to you giggle and watched you talking to the tiny fairies at the bottom of the garden.
I am 6 years older and so are you, the little girl with no worries in the world is now a young woman soon to be a teenager. A young woman who has had to deal with many experiences in your young life, changes, loss and sadness and I have no doubt many good things as well.
I know that you will have been strong for people around you and that you will still be giving joy to many.
Just because I have not seen you for so long, does not mean that I have not held you in my heart every minute, every day, every year, and I always will.
The love I have for you, gives me strength to carry on and to give help to others who are feeling the same.
You need to know that your family are still here for you whenever you need us, just a breath away.
Our arms will always be ready for those hugs, our ears ready to hear that giggle and our eyes ready to just watch.
Love you Darling,


Saturday 23 February 2013

To All Advertisers.

Just to say if you think I am going to allow your comments on this blog for you to advertise, think again.
All comments are moderated and will not be published.
Thank You.

Friday 22 February 2013

No apologies, but you need to act now!

The Children and Family Bill, now before Parliament, has clauses to promote the rights of children to both their parents, unless there is a reason against. It will not remove the problems our children and ourselves are suffering, but it will be the biggest step in the right direction. It would not have happened without people constantly writing to MP's etc, but we must also thank Tim Loughton MP, recently dismissed as Minister for Children for promoting it and his successor, Edward Timpson, for continuing with it. 
These clauses are being opposed. Members of Parliament will be being having many postbags packed by parents who have achieved possession of their children who have been organised to say how fearful they are of the ‘other parent’, how the problem is not the other parent’s lack of rights, but their lack of wish to be involved and so on. 
The point needs to be put that this is not, the full picture.

Even if you feel I have said it all before, it doesn't matter write again.

Could you please, if you can, get in touch with your MP ? 
Generations of children should thank you if you can help.

Just a few pointers:
DO be respectful, courteous. Whatever your opinion of politicians – or this one – there is a job to be done. That is to get their support for these clauses. We all know how much harder it is to resist the requests of someone charming than someone offhand or rude. Our children need the sympathy and support of this MP. 
DO keep to the one issue. The issue is the right of children whose parent don’t live together to have a relationship with both of them – unless that would put them at risk. Nearly all of us have a range of views on other issues – political, social, moral, Faith and so on – that we might like our MP to share. The Shared Parenting movement has support from nearly all  of these points of view, but is united on the one issue, that parenting should be shared between parents. Bracketing shared parenting in your case with other views you may have risks, at best, distracting from this issue. At worst it might make the MP think that this demand is linked with other views that s/he might not share. 
DO be child centred. We need to present the issue as one of the rights of children to both their parents. Check what you speak or write, for example, that you do not say you are prevented from seeing your children. Say they are being prevented from spending time with you. 
DO concentrate on the personal story and situation. The sociological arguments, the details of the draft clauses and so on, are best dealt with by experts. Mention them if you are one. What tends to impress MPs is what has happened to their constituents and that it indicates a need for change along the lines proposed.
DON’T be negative, especially about your ex. There will of course be occasions when mother possession should be replaced by father possession or vice-versa, but the normal situation should be for the children to have the best blend of both. Don’t let the MP think he/she is just being given the view of one party to personal spat, if you can show that have risen above the personal hostility there often is in family disputes, your concern for the welfare of your children will be more effective.
DON’T ask for equality of parenting time. Most of us want that, but one of the arguments against the improvement we are currently supporting is that it may lead to a demand or expectation of equal shares. This is an objective that many potential supporters of this proposed improvement are not yet ready to go along with. The route to equality is NOT to ask for it as a parental right, but to say that parenting time arrangements need to deliver certain benefits to the children - ones which cannot be met without serious sharing of their time.
 MPs prefer the people coming to them to be ‘genuine’ and ‘spontaneous’ rather than suspecting that they are agents of a ‘cause’. 
DO be scrupulously truthful. The MP may make further enquiries, and if there is ‘another side’ that comes out, not only will you lose credibility, but so will the cause as a whole. There is only one exception to this – some of us have stories so extreme that those people who have not had direct experience of them simply will not believe them. You may need to counter this incredulity, perhaps by toning them down a little.
DO be measured and balanced in your language. Extreme words and florid expressions risk driving the recipient of the message into thinking that they say more about the author that about their experience. The purpose is not to get your feelings out, but to have the right effect on the recipient. 


Wednesday 20 February 2013

URGENT:If you are not prepared to write don't moan.

I am posting this link again, as sad to see only 29 people have made comments on the government site, if you don't have your say, your voice is not heard.
Even if it makes no difference if people are not prepared to write, well nothing more to say.
Please share this link

  • Please share this today,your comments will be read by committee, anyone who is denied contact be that Mum,Dad Grandparents etc must make their voices heard. You all count, a whole generation of children caught up in this need the adults in their lives to stand up and be counted. Doing nothing is not an option.

  •  Sorry to go on about this but....... what is now evident is that if an organisation makes comments although they may be actually representing several thousands the comment is only classed as ONE, so even though my comment represents 1,000 it is only one comment, so individuals need to respond, otherwise it is seen as insignificant.

Monday 11 February 2013

Tim Loughtons' MP blog on Child and Families Bill-including Shared Parenting.



Bristol Community Radio

The interview I did for Bristol Community Radio should be aired in full on Friday Feb 15th, the programme is called Silversound, 10am- 12am.
http://bcfm.org.uk  93.2fm or you can listen to it online.

Children and Families Bill.

Children and Families Bill introduced to Parliament

Second reading set for 25th February
The Children and Families Bill received its first reading on the 4th February in the House of Commons. It will receive the second reading on the 25th February. 


Friday 8 February 2013

CAFCASS- consultation, time to write!

http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/media/121630/strategic_plan_2013_consultation_version_050213_1_.pdf www.cafcass.gov.uk

Dads Humiliation In Court and Then "Goodbye Daddy."

As I have said many times before the general public has no idea at all what it means to non resident parents, grandparents and all extended families when they are prevented from being part of their children’s/grandchildren’s lives.
To enable the truth to be told, it means that people need to be prepared to tell their own stories, it is only when that truth can be spoken that changes must happen.
When I talk about non resident parents, and grandparents being suicidal and the reality that some succeed to end their pain and torment for ever, that is reality.
I have been given permission to write about one family who has been through, the heartbreak of being denied contact, and continues to live with it.
A Dad and a grandmother.
When we start on the long journey of trying to see our children/grandchildren, we have to walk a tightrope of emotions.
Just when we think it can’t get any worse, it does.
As this Dad left the court room, having lost everything so precious to him, he was totally alone and in utter despair. He had to walk past his ex, her new husband and step-son, they were all laughing at him.
A little later it was his birthday, he received a video from his children, they were sitting on the sofa singing, ‘Happy Birthday Dear Daddy,” smiling and completely innocent, they were then prompted to shout, “Good-bye, Daddy.”
I would like you to just stop a minute and read that again.
How do we stop this cruelty, this evil in our society.
This is NOT a one off, this is happening every minute of every day to thousands of families.
Please write to your MP’s about this torture that is robbing children of the love and protection of both parents, a Family Justice System that is to blame, a government that refuses to listen to the voices of innocent children. A whole generation of children who are growing up to believe that the adults in their lives has let them down.
Don’t be the adult that lets the children down.


Friday 1 February 2013

Good to see you all.

Many thanks to all of you who were able to come to the first meeting of 2013, and a very special welcome to those who were joining us for the first time, it was great to hear some positive news from a grandparent.
Such delight for us all to share.