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.

Saturday 31 August 2013

Bristol Grandparents Support Facebook Page.

Please remember that we also have a Facebook page where you can post and comment.


ITV one sided portrayal of kids without dads.

According to the report from the Centre of Social Justice, more than a million children are growing up without a father in their lives and the number of lone parent families is rising by 20,000 a year.

This week ITV showed a documentary called 'kids without dads,' as with all these programmes once again portrayed Dad as being the bad guy and the  cases used  showed just one side of the truth.
It is interesting to note that whenever I am asked to do a programme about denied contact I am told that they have to have a balance and a 'right to reply' in other words the BBC  insist on contacting my ex daughter-in-law, for reasons I am unable to post that is totally impossible. I know that if they spoke to her it would have a detrimental effect on my granddaughter and I will never let that happen.
So trying to get the truth out there about the millions of Dads who would give anything to see their children, who are regularly paying child maintenance but are stopped seeing them by their ex's and who are victims of Parental Alienation it is virtually impossible.
To continually have these documentaries all of the same type of 'deadbeat' men is most certainly not showing the true balance.
If you wish to see the programme here is the link

I wait to see the programme on BBC 2 this week called ,  'Mum and Dad are Splitting Up' http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039s89m


Thursday 29 August 2013

Child Maintenance at all time high.

Child maintenance at an all time high, where are the true stats of how many fathers who are, quite rightly, paying maintenance for their children, but who are denied any contact from a resident parent?
The fact that the words used 'all time high,' is nothing to be proud of, it continues to show that there are millions of children growing up without Dad in their lives.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

I have a dream.

I have a dream,
Where children come first,
Parental Alienation is recognised,
Having both parents in their lives, is in the child's best interest,
I have a dream,
For children to have the love and care of their extended family,
For adults to stop using their children as weapons,
For denying contact to be recognised as abuse.
I have a dream,
That we remain child focused,
To admit that we have made mistakes,
For families to work together for the children.
I have a dream.


The Joy of Grandchildren.

As you will know 17 months ago we became the proud grandparents of twin boys and it has been a magical time.
It has made me consider the importance of being a grandparent again, actually that sentence is not correct, it is not the importance of grandparents but the importance of grandchildren and the difference they make.
When our first and eldest granddaughter arrived in this world it was extraordinary, I still find it hard to think of my children being parents!
The first time I held her in my arms is something I will never forget, from that second I loved her.
For the first 7 years of her life we had such great times, lots of laughing, lots of smiles and hugs, even when her mum and dad split we were able to continue with our relationship and it was oh so special, she is oh so special, until that horrible day when my son and ourselves were told we would no longer see her.
I have written many times of the total devastation we all felt, and the hopelessness of it all.
That was 6 1/2 years ago.
When I am with the twins it is like no other experience, it is all consuming, wonderment and disbelief that they are part of our family.
We took them to Slimbridge this weekend with mum and dad, and they were entranced by the birds, mesmerising to watch their reactions, it was tinged with a wrench in my heart when I remembered so clearly when we took our granddaughter , she had the same look in her eyes, the same excited skip and the same giggles as the twins.
What I would have given to have shared it again with her ,for her to experience the joy of her cousins.
Her own little footsteps were made in exactly the same places as the twins, it is so clear if I close my eyes I can see them altogether.
Time may have moved on, life may have changed but my love for all my beautiful grandchildren is still the same.
Grandchildren are a continuum, they will take the next generation on towards an ever changing world.
They give us a reason for life, even those grandchildren who are estranged are always in our hearts, always in our thoughts and allowing us to never give up hope.
Bless them all.


Thursday 22 August 2013

Feminism gone too far.

As a mum and grandmother I have seen lots of changes in this wonderful world of ours, some good some bad.
I never was and never will be a feminist, of course  I can only say that because I am female.
No doubt I will get abuse from the feminist movement, so need to hang on tight.
I wrote before on the fact that feminism has gone to far, the pendulum has swung far too far.
Many feminists like to hide beneath equal rights, equal pay etc, but that has nothing to do with the feminist movement of modern times.
Feminists belittle men in any way they can, they are politically strong in lobbying government on family issues, apparently it is not necessary for men to be involved in bringing up their family, in fact children flourish without dad in their lives, not quite sure how the children got here in the first place, but hey, a minor detail.
Men are portrayed as 'bad' as 'dangerous' and the media love it, if you try and speak up about it no-one listens,of course men can't say it, it has to come from women, we have to start shouting out as loud as feminists.
If you happen to be a son of a feminist how on earth do you find your role do you even have one anymore?
If you read some of the things that are written on a well known website for women, you will not believe the apparent 'hatred' some voice about men.
I spent my working life in many education staff rooms, and it was a constant babble of women being as disrespectful as they possibly could about the men in their lives.
This should be about equality, true equality is just that. Everyone being equal, not one being any better than anyone else.
All men and women should be doing what is right for their children and putting them first.
As a women I am so ashamed at some of the things I hear, see and read this world is in a very troubled state we must hang on to what is real, families working together, respecting each other if things go wrong in a relationship, and they do and always will ,we have to treat each other equally, both men and women are of equal value, sons and daughters are of equal value and grandfathers and grandmothers are of equal value as well.
For me feminism is doing as all a disservice in all walks of life, its time to stop the rot.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Grandparent/grandchild bond brings mental health benefits.

 The importance of the grandparent/grandchildren relationship,  works both ways, a mutual respect and unconditional love for one another.
In an ideal world all family members should be supporting,caring and enjoying the preciousness of being together, sadly we know we don't live in that perfect world.



Thursday 15 August 2013

Don't say your children don't suffer, they do.

If I hear another single parent group saying that their children don't suffer at all only having mum in their lives, I might do something drastic, just don't know what yet!
What is the matter with these women, and they are predominately women who make this sweeping statement.
How can they possibly know what their child is really feeling, they don't. A child will say what they think they should say, if they say anything at all.
My parents divorced when I was  15years of age, they had been together for 32 years, we had a good settled life, a family business that my great great grandfather founded a respected business known though out Bristol.
I remember the morning when my safe world,without any warning collapsed into some sort of whirlwind of emotions.
My mum and I were chatting and dad walked into my room and said, 'I am leaving you all.'
There was a peculiar silence that seemed to go on for ever and life went into slow motion, was it a dream, was I still breathing ,was mum ok?
He then literally walked out, turned to me and said, 'I don't want you or your brother in my life anymore.' Just like that, no explanation, nothing.
Mum and I just sat there,staring at one another.
There had been no rows ever, no raised voices nothing.
Oddly we went downstairs and just carried on as if it hadn't happened, I got the hoover out and started cleaning, mum did the ironing.
Later that morning dad reappeared, to pick up his ironed shirts.
If I read this in a novel I would not believe it, but believe me it is absolutely true.
So I do know what it is like to have only one parent in my life, to be belittled and cast out of one of my parents life.
Even now, I can still feel that terrible sense of loss, of still thinking it must have been something I did or said, it was my fault.
Its the not understanding that is so hard to live through, I never did get an answer of why?
My dad lived until he was in his late 90's, had married again and when we went to his funeral, his 2nd wife had completed airbrushed myself and my brother from the tribute she wrote, it was as though we had never existed.
So when one of the single parent groups says their children don't suffer, they do and whats more it continues all their lives.

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Change of Date for meeting.

Apologies but the date for the meeting in October has had to be changed to Friday October 11th at 2pm.

Be a parent, don't ask the children to do your job.

Having spent 15 years in education working with children who need support I had become indoctrinated into the mantra of , 'we must listen to the child.'
I spent years listening.
Recently I have been made aware of how unwise that it per se.
If I asked a child, 'would you like sweets for breakfast,' odds on they would say yes.
Now as an adult I have learnt that for many reasons that is not good for the child.
So when we hear about, 'wishes and feelings,' when dealing with separation what are we actually asking the children?
We are asking them to make an impossible decision as to who they want to be with, simple which will it be, Mum or Dad?
This is ridiculous , obviously they want to be with both their parents, the child loves them both the same. They want to feel safe, secure and loved.
Suddenly in what has become a chaotic mess around them, with Mum and Dad shouting or Mum getting distressed, they are thrown into making a parenting decision.
They are not parents, they are children and should be free to grow up unhindered by parents making demands from them.
We all know about Parental Alienation, it is like a virus, it infects thousands,if not millions and there appears to be no cure, it leaves families disabled and diseased.
The worst scenario is that it kills.
Children are being subjected to witnessing one parent usually Mum (but not always) being in pain and hurting and Dad seems to be the one causing the suffering, if you were a child what would you do?
So now the child has to become a 'parent' supporting the one who is in pain, protecting them from the one who is perpetrating all this horror.
It is time for this to stop, children are growing up thinking that Dad is 'no good' is 'dangerous' 'mustn't talk about HIM'.
The childhood years are so short, they fly by and these children are being asked to make parental decisions, time for parents to do parenting, respect your differences , remain child-focussed, the best interest of the child, is to have a loving relationship with both parents, so they can just get on with being children.

Monday 12 August 2013

Interview on Shared Parenting.

Here is the link to the other interview this morning on Shared Parenting.
You need to fast forward 2hours 10 mins.

Interview with John Darvall on Radio Bristol.

The second interview on radio Bristol I did today can be heard on this link, you need to fast forward about 32mins into the programme.



Saturday 10 August 2013

Skype Interview.

A couple of months ago I did an interview via Skype with Soila Sindlyo and she has now posted it on her website https://soundcloud.com/soila-sindiyo/janet-jackson-bristol  not quite sure why that says janet-jackson but hey ho!
Bear in mind that it was a Skype interview so it does drop out a little every now and again.

Friday 9 August 2013

I can and will make a difference.

It has been a very busy week in the Jackson house hold, time to catch up with family.
How lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life, family that care and look out for each other, through the good and bad times.
A new generation going out into the world making their mark, seeing the world with a new approach, caring for those they come into contact with.
Many discussions over the occasional glass of something fruity, as ever in-depth , respect of differing opinions and learning from experiences.
It was whilst doing something with plates, either filling them or washing them up that my wonderful brother-in-law told me a story, one of his many talents is storytelling, it is only short but was just what I needed to hear, as I had been wondering if the support group was achieving its aim.

"There was an old woman and a young girl on a beach.
The beach was covered with thousands if not millions of little crabs, struggling to get back into the water.
The young girl stood and watched as the old woman was picking up a crab, one at a time and throwing them back into the sea. Time after time she repeated this, over and over again.
After some considerable time the young girl went up to the old woman and said,"Excuse me, I hope you don't mind me asking you but what are you doing?"
The old woman replied, "I am throwing them back into the sea."
After a while the young girl said," But there are thousands and thousands of them, you will never be able to throw them all back in."
 The old woman,  just picked up another little crab and flung it into the sea, she said, "Well I just saved that one."

The moral in this story is of course that, sometimes we feel overwhelmed by a task ahead, it all seems to huge to contemplate, but if we just tear off small manageable pieces we can and do make a difference.
Making a small difference to someone is far, far better than not even attempting to make a difference at all.

So any little crabs out there struggling to get back to the sea, there are people out there who are willing to give you a helping hand.


BBC interview.

I understand an interview I did a couple of weeks ago is due to go out on Monday 12th on Points West and Radio Bristol (don't know time), please remember that it will have been edited etc, so have no idea how it will come together, out of my hands.

Sunday 4 August 2013

What does it mean to be a grandparent?

Some of you will know that I have 3 grandchildren, my granddaughter who is 13 , whom we have had no contact with for 61/2years, and I also have 17month old twin grandsons.
It is such a privilege to be given the opportunity to be a hands on gran again, every time I see the boys my heart skips a beat.
I woke up this morning trying to think of what it actually means to be a grandparent?
Of course it all began long ago, 36years to be precise when I first became a mum to a baby boy, followed 6 years later by giving birth to my next son. So I have been surrounded by men most of my life.
My father was not a good role model at all, as I have written before he led a double life for several years, of which the rest of my family had no idea about, he decided to let me down and walk out of my life and my brothers when I was 15, after having been married to mum for for 32 years.
I suppose I never expected to meet a man who I could ever trust again, but somehow I did and we have been married for 41 years this month, quite extraordinary.
So we embarked on the pitfalls of parenthood!
I remember when my first son was born, it was such a shock that I could no longer do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, that I was responsible for someone else. Someone who depended on me totally for all his emotional and physical needs, no-one can ever explain what a roller coaster it is.
Soon I had two children who looked to me for everything, gosh, scary stuff!
It wasn't just me,  my husband was also responsible for their needs. He worked hard, long hours leaving home when the children were still asleep and coming home when they were in bed again,  I will always be eternally grateful to him for his hard slog to keep as afloat. He took on several jobs in his 'spare time' as well.
I was so fortunate that I was able to be a stay at home mum, looking after the boys and by now my mum who was disabled and I became her full time carer.
My boys were so blessed to have their gran in their lives, her love for them was unconditional and total. However much discomfort she might have been going through was dismissed with a shrug, and small boys would light up her eyes.
She believed so strongly that family matters, even though her husband had been so disloyal, it was the next generation that she was interested in. Times to come.
Sadly mum is no longer with us, but I try to live my life by her values.
She said to me when I was having my first son, " you are taking on the hardest job in the world, and you will never stop worrying about them whatever their age!"
When our granddaughter was born, I was ecstatic, I had never felt emotion like it before, it was different from when I had my own children.
To try to define emotions is so difficult and I can only describe it as a overwhelming feeling of sheer joy, that feeling of when you are little, and you are being pushed on a swing that fluttering in your tummy as you glide back and forth.
I felt exactly the same emotion when the twins were born.
As a grandparent you have the most precious thing of all to give and that's time. Time to play, to get messy and to watch and listen.
When you are thrown into parent hood, you don't have time, life is hectic, so you tend to always be trying to move on to the next stage, missing those magical moments.
Since the twins arrived one of the best things is that now grandpa has retired, he has seen more of his grandsons growing up than he did of his own children. He has been there to witness the small things that make you go to mush. The squealing of delight when the boys see him, the amazing faces they make when wearing grandpas hat, the tinkle of laughter as he waves at them from the garden.
It has a tinge of sadness for us both of course, as we remember oh so well the wonderful times we spent with our granddaughter, felt the same things played the same games, made lots of mess and heard the tinkle of her laughter. Memories held so tight.
People will often say, " Well it is not so bad for you that you don't see your granddaughter now you have the twins."
My reply is, L.........., was our first grandchild and she always will be nothing can change that. There is a huge void in our hearts because she is not there.
Our hearts break to think that she is no longer in her Dads life or her extended family. A life that is part of her identity, her family history, and part of a family who would give anything to be able to share their love and care for her.
We, as all estranged grandparents are waiting for that knock on their door, it is always open ready to receive.
Being a grandparent is such an honour such a delight and wonderful to have another small person to love and care for.

Friday 2 August 2013

Its not all doom and gloom.

Thanks again to all of you who attended BGSG meeting this afternoon.
It was great to be able to share some positive stories of grandparents rebuilding their relationships with their grandchildren.
Several grandparents came up with various ideas for forthcoming events,
:T.shirts designed with photos of our grandchildren on.
:Recognising Grandparents Day in some way.
:Possibility of a meal out.
: Attending a FNF meeting.
I have also been offered the opportunity of someone from CAFCASS  coming to talk to us, possibly in the New Year. Now I can hear the sharp intake of breath, so would like your feedback and please keep it controlled!