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 March 2013

Denying Contact is Abuse.

I make no excuses for this post.
So much has been in the press over the last few months regarding  abuse of children, abuse of any sort against anyone is totally unacceptable and the perpetrators must be named and shamed and punished.
Children must be protected.
I consider that to stop a child having a relationship with both parents is also, abuse.
Why is it that these cases come to the public eye when a celebrity is involved or a person in power is involved.
It is time for us to accept that abuse is happening to over million children in the UK, by a parent who thinks it is ok to prevent their child from seeing the non resident parent.
My parents split when I was just 16 years old, and I know how it feels to be 'piggy in the middle.' As a child you desperately want things to go back to how they were, you at home with Mum and Dad.
Of course that is not always possible, but the damage that is inflicted can be enormous and irretrievable.
A child who has to perhaps spend time with Mum one week and Dad the next is literally torn in two, they love them both just the same, they are Mum and Dad.
They will have to tow the parent 'party line' with whoever they are with, they behave differently with each parent, trying to make them both happy.
Children should not have to be thinking this way, they are after all children, they should not have to be burdened with adult conflict.
If they are denied contact with one of their parents they feel the bereavement of 'losing' one parent, although it is not anything to do with them, they are changed forever. They have to listen to horrible things being said about one of their parent, who they love, what would you do if this abuse was happening to you?
This is not to say that when couples separate it is always like this, many, many couples do whats right by their children.
This abuse has to stop, say it like it is, don't flower it up, this is abuse of children.

Sunday 24 March 2013

Easter a time to reflect.

As we enter Easter week it is a time of the year that always brings very mixed emotions for me.
Whether you have a 'faith' or not you can not fail to notice that there is an awakening happening.
It is a time of new beginnings, of new life the miracle of nature is in full swing.
The garden is full of beautiful bird song, and daffodils are nodding their heads in our gardens, parks and verges, bright little rays of hope for what is to come.
It also a time to reflect for me.
It is now 6 years  that I last cuddled my beautiful granddaughter, heard her giggle and watched her hunting for Easter eggs that the Easter bunny had hidden for her.
If only I had known it would be the last time I would have any contact with her, I would have hugged her a little more tightly, listened more closely and watched her more intently.
As I reflect I also hang on to hope, a hope that she knows she is so loved by us all, and that we are still here whenever she needs us, we have never stopped loving her.
If you are a grandparent who is not able to have contact with your grandchild/grandchildren never give up that hope for a new start a new beginning.
Happy Easter.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Rod Stewarts latest single,'It's Over' telling it like it is.

Rod Stewart was on Chris Evans Radio 2 programme this morning and his single from his new album was played, it is about the heartbreak of divorce and the effect on the children.
These lyrics say it all really, children are conceived from a loving relationship between two people so how does it go so wrong:

The congregation sang, we knelt and prayed, as we stood before God on that beautiful day…but here we are barely five years on and our whole world’s falling apart”.
I don’t want our kids to suffer, can’t we talk to one another, you were once my wife my lover, it’s over.
Maybe the message will reach the ears of thousands.

Sunday 17 March 2013

BGSG Website Update.

Just to let you know that the Bristol Grandparents Support Group is being updated so you may not be able to access the website for a short time.
You can always contact me via this blog.

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Grandparents website.

If you can not find information here on the blog that you are looking for, visit the website www.bristolgrandparentssupportgroup.co.uk

Grandchild didn't get the chance to a loving relationship with grandparent.

My thoughts today are with the Dad who has just heard that his own father has passed away, a grandfather who never got to know his granddaughter because of the injustice of the UK Family Court System, a system that allows children to be prevented in having a meaningful, loving relationship with both parents and extended family.
A system that does not accept or recognise that Parental Alienation is fact, that one parent can inflict such damaging actions on another, making a child believe that one of their parents or grandparents no longer loves or cares for them, that in some way they are evil.
How do these perpetrators of alienation live with themselves, because they know what they are telling the children is lies, how do they live with themselves when a parent or grandparent of the child dies?
Sadly sometimes it is too late.

Saturday 9 March 2013

Funding problems for charities.

It is a difficult time for all charities, with funding being cut the need for looking at different ways of raising funds has to be addressed, if they are going to be able to continue offering help and advice.
So many support groups are a life line to thousands of people at a time of vulnerability.
I am sorry to hear of various organisations having to make  very difficult decisions, even if they can continue.
At times like these the obvious way to raise funds is by allowing companies etc to use your group for advertising.
The concern for me is that in the case of family issues, it is more than likely to be those from the legal services sector, primarily solicitors.
It may be that they will offer a discount if you use their services, solicitors know that they are targeting a captive audience, the organisations will promote particular solicitors.
Don't get dragged into thinking they are doing you a favour, they aren't, they are in business and need your hard earned cash.
As I have said before, if you make the decision to go down the legal route, choose your solicitor carefully, just because there is an advert on a charity website doesn't necessarily mean they are the right ones for you, get costs up front, don't end up like many grandparents who use their life savings and still no contact.
Charities and organisations  need to be thinking more creatively as to how to raise funds.