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.

Friday 19 July 2013

How do we fund our group and keep our independence?

I was asked this week about funding and why we run a support group without membership fees.
I  posted about this many, many months ago but it is worth reiterating my reasons for being as independent as possible from any other organisation.
The reason why I set up the group is now well known, I am a grandparent who is denied contact with my granddaughter and I am a mum whose son is denied contact with his daughter, it is now over 6 years.
It is important to me that I can say what I want to say,when I want to say it and to whom I want to without having to seek permission from an HQ, to see if it is acceptable or is within an organisations policy.
I had no idea how large the group was going to become or how many grandparents would get in touch with me, I have lost exact count now but it is well over 1,000.
Of course as we grew I wanted to get publicity information,website etc done which was going to incur costs, I had already decided that I was never going to have a membership fee, so I had to start to think of different options. We wrote a constitution and appointed trustees (who are grandparents within the group) and I began the arduous task of seeking out funding.
I was successful in getting a small grant from Quartet Community Funding, next  our local Neighbourhood Partnership. I also was successful in our group being  one of Waitrose Community Matters recipients.
I had some private donations as well. Many Thanks as always.
That enabled me to get posters, leaflets and banners designed and printed and Bristol Grandparents Support Group website was also born!
I am often approached by firms of solicitors asking if they can advertise on the site, the answer is always the same, NO THANK YOU, you can't be totally independent in my opinion if you start going down that route.

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