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 31 December 2013

A secure page for you.

I have set up a page on Facebook, which is a 'secret' group, in other words you can only find it if you are a member and have been invited to join.
It is a place where you can chat to one another.

Sunday 29 December 2013

What actually is Parental Alienation?

This is the definition, but we all know that alienation comes in many guises.

-Parental alienation is a social dynamic, generally occurring due to separation/divorce , when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible.

Alienation is not an emotion that a child naturally has, it is an emotion that they are taught.
They are taught it by usually a parent, but not always, who wants to imprint their bitterness,hatred,anger etc on a child. 

I have said that my focus in 2014 is to try and raise awareness of Parental Alienation, it is vital that the public become aware of this repugnant  behaviour.
The enormous damage that is caused ruins thousands of lives, children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles cousins entire families are ripped apart by one persons need for some sort of control over another.
There are some High Court judges that are just beginning to realise that PA needs to be recognised for what it is, child abuse and the law has to act.
PA and denying contact , as I have continually said, must be as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
To enable this to happen, people need to come forward, willing to tell their own story.
All too often, quite understandably, people won't go public for fear of making this dreadful situation worse, for me the situation can't be any worse so I have nothing to lose.
I am in the process of collating case studies from those affected and who are happy for the information to be shared, to enable this to move forward.
As always I never divulge names, locations etc.
Please get in contact if you are willing to share your story.
Here is a useful link: http://www.breakthroughparenting.com/PAS.htm

Let the past go.

The past has been and gone,
Reliving it stops you from living your life,
Today is a new day, to treasure and enjoy,
We are here now and in this moment,
Don't get caught up in anger, bitterness and hurt,
Spending time in deep, dark places, achieves nothing.
Whoever has caused  your distress, is not touched by it,
Only you get consumed by it.
If we continue day after day, reliving our pain,
It is us who are eaten away by it,
For those we love, we must embrace what we have,
Don't strive for perfection, there is no such thing,
Don't fight for revenge, it will destroy you.
Memories are yours, just yours alone,
No-one can ever touch those or take them away,
Hang on to them, take them with you wherever you go,
What is in your heart is all that matters,
Live every day to the full, for we know not what tomorrow brings.


Tuesday 24 December 2013

Another High Court Judge.

This is a great article for Christmas Eve


A day to remember this Christmas.

A day spent at Bristol Zoo, the last time we saw our granddaughter she was 7years old, she is now 13 years old.
Today I am thinking of all non resident parents and grandparents who will not be gathering around the Christmas Tree again this year.
To all of the children who find themselves in the middle of this muddle, please remember you are not forgotten, you are held in all of our hearts, not just at Christmas but every single day.

Sunday 22 December 2013

Newsletter from Canadian Grandparents Rights.

I have highlighted a particularly interesting sentence,
Happy Christmas to CGRA's.

HELLO, EVERYONE: Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and the best of the season to all! May this holiday season bring peace and happiness to each of you and your families.
Christmas and the holidays seems the ideal time to reinforce CGRA’s mission and purpose, which is: ‘to promote, support, and assist grandparents and their families in maintaining or reestablishing family ties and family stability, where the family has been disrupted, especially those ties between grandchildren and grandparents.’
This has never been more important than in today’s world, where the present popular culture seems intent on destroying what we think of as family values.
Dr. Jim Taylor is the author of 12 books on parenting and a specialist in
the psychology of business, parenting, and sport (and a consultant for
major and Olympic sports teams). In his book,
Your Children are Under
, Dr. Taylor tells us that popular culture takes the most despicable values—‘deceit, intolerance, avarice, gluttony, selfishness, etc.— and
makes them admirable. Children are bombarded with sexually explicit
music, violent movies, video games, shock radio, internet chat rooms, and reality TV.
Honesty, respect, responsibility, accountability, and compassion were instilled in us by our parents—but many of today’s children are influenced by parents who may not share these values.
The CGRA is part of the battle to help children who may be the victims. If lies, deceit, and control are typical at home, children are often alienated from family members and lack awareness of traditions and family beliefs/values. Visit our website and download CGRA’s Handbook The Child’s Right to Love for more information or what to do when this affects you.
When parental, extended family, and grandparent alienation occurs, unsuspecting spouses/partners and grandparents are victimized as well as the children, and often denied contact. Grandparents treated in this way are defined as being subject to elder abuse. However, response and concern for today’s children is provided by those who support the well-being of the family. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) works hard to improve the lives of grandchildren, with good results. As Parental Alienation Syndrome gains more media space, elected officials are becoming aware and involved. We now have a Parental Alienation Awareness Day. The i2i Intergenerational Society brings the two most vulnerable groups together to help our seniors and our children to work together and enjoy each other. We also have an Intergenerational Day with 96 Canadian cities onside. So, we are making progress, with more strong groups joining in to make positive changes.
Warmest regards to you all for the season and for 2014, Daphne Jennings, CGRA

  • Parental Alienation Awareness Day on April 25th is now marked annually in many corners of the globe— and progress is being made on various fronts.
  • The first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was on June 15, 2012.
  • Intergenerational Day is also in June and next year it’s on June 1, 2014
    Note for BC residents: Dr. Kathleen Reay of Penticton offers a Family Reflections Reunification Program and online webinars to assist victims of Parental Alienation Syndrome.
Since 1986, the Canadian Grandparents Rights Association has been helping Canadian families in distress after a divorce or death in the family.
QUESTIONS ? grandchildrensrights@gmail.com
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Produced by www.kathleendavies.ca


This morning I sent out an email to some grandparents whom have contacted me this year and before, just to wish them well and to remind them I was around if they wanted someone to speak to.
I have just had a reply saying that I was insensitive in sending it, if you have received an email from me, I apologise it was meant with the best intention.


Hope is a reality.

I have just heard this morning from a grandparent who had lost contact with their grandchild to say they are now enjoying a wonderful relationship.
So at this difficult time of the year, hang in there, that door is still ajar.

Nelson Mandela's words of wisdom.

Nelson Mandela left us with many quotes but I think for me this is so poignant for us all.

“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite... Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never explained.”

We find ourselves in this bewildering situation where another human being apparently hates us enough to inflict such pain as is unimaginable, there is no hate a a new born baby it is an emotion that is indeed learnt.



Tuesday 17 December 2013

2014 Focus on Parental Alienation.

My target next year is to raise awareness of PA, it is time for the media to start telling the true story of alienation.
Alienation is child abuse, it damages children for the rest of their lives, they wrongly believe that either one parent or grandparents are bad people, that they aren't loved by their families.
 It needs to be approached from the children's point of view.
If you have cases that you are prepared to share with me, no names will ever be disclosed, then please contact me.


Sunday 15 December 2013

Blog reaches 40,001 hits!!!!!!!!

When I started writing this blog I had no idea at all if anyone would ever read it, but today we have reached over 40,000 hits which is absolutely extraordinary.
Thank you to all who have visited this blog.

Review of 2013..

The end of 2013 is drawing ever closer and I have been looking back over the year and the events surrounding Bristol Grandparents Support Group.
Here is just some of the things I have been up to and things that are still ongoing.

:Interview with Bristol Community Radio.
:Legal Aid cut more LIP
:Consultation with regards CAFCASS
:Schools guidance on PA awareness.
:The importance of grandparents articles.
:Asked for support in Portland Dorset.
:FJ Board publish action plan.
:Interview on Radio Birmingham.
:Radio Leeds.
:Ist reading of The Children and Families Bill.
:E-petition to stop secrecy in family courts.
 :Further consultation on the Family Justice bill
:Blog reaches 26,000 hits.
:2nd reading of Family Justice Bill
:Charities have funding stopped, including FNF.
:Highlighted PA day April 25th
:Submission accepted by the Children and Families Committee.
:Canadian Grandparents Rights contact.
:FB page for group, closed group.
:US group contact.
:Leading Women for Shared Parenting contact.
:Blog reaches 30,000 hits.
:MP’s decide not to legislate for Shared Parenting.
:Interview with BBC.
:Skype Interview with Solia Sindlyo
:Interview with John Darvall BBC.
:Letter in The Guardian.
:Groups wanting to set up in Plymouth, Cornwall , London and Manchester
:Article for Mature Times.
: Applied for funding from Quartet Community Foundation.
Tree of hope in Texas and Sidney Australia.
Message for tree from Esther Rantzen
Introduced support via Skype.
: At this time of writing the Children and Families Bill has reached the House of Lords.


Friday 13 December 2013

2013 Christmas Tree.

2013 Tree of Hope.

Who are you, you are someone who has the power within to create a heaven on earth for yourself and to radiate a piece of that heaven out to everyone whose life touches you.

Together we stand.

Thank you so much to everyone who came to the meeting this afternoon, it was lovely to see you all.
The Tree of Hope is now covered in messages and looks amazing, such thoughtful and meaningful words written by you all.
One day I will make a book of them!
I keep all the messages and now have hundreds in a special box, 5 years worth to be exact.
The house today was also full of genuine care and understanding, human beings at their very best, all brought together because something has gone badly wrong within their families, keeping people apart from the children/grandchildren they love.
This is not a place for who is right or who is wrong, just a place for us to be together and to share.
There was a great deal of laughter, as there always is, and I would like to thank each and every one of you for your friendship,which Marc and I value greatly.
Speaking personally, although I have met all of you marvellous people because of being denied contact with my granddaughter, you have all made my life so much richer just because you are you.
None of us know what the future holds, but I do know that we will all stand shoulder to shoulder for the sake of our families.
Bless you all.

Oh yes, just a small apology for my numerous spelling and grammatical errors that I do on a very regular basis, my only excuse is I type to fast and type from my heart not my head!!!!!!! Thanks MP.xxx

Thursday 12 December 2013

Alienated Grandparents Anonymous Florida. Newsletter.

AGA      Alienated Grandparents Anonymous, Inc.  International Headquarters
                            40 States   8 countries
Support Group Meetings: Saint John the Evangelist Catholic  Church  Library   
625  111th Avenue North   Naples, FL 34108       All Welcome   No Admission Fees

*The following speakers will also be featured
on our website  www.AFA-FL.org    Site Page:  U Tubes

December 19th   7:00 P.M.  Library   Featured Speaker:   Vickijo Letchworth     
Elder Abuse Response Advocate,  Facilitates support groups for seniors who are victims of Elder Abuse,  Certified Elder Abuse Instructor with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center,  Certified Trainer Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Collier County Leadership Council on Aging, Collier County Residential Shelter Advocate,  Avid Researcher on Elder Abuse, National Speaker on Elder Abuse                  
January 16 th   2014       7:00 P.M.      Library
Featured Guest Speaker :   Elizabeth Vagnoni, Author   Featured in  AARP
Topic:  Family Estrangement in Later Life
In a career spanning the evolution of advertising and the current media landscape, Elizabeth Vagnoni was at the helm of some of the industry’s most notable commercial productions, like ATT’s ‘Reach Out and Touch Someone’ and DeBeers ‘Diamonds are Forever’ .
A Decade long association with Charter Health Systems, directing media outreach for depression and alcohol abuse programs for teens and adults, gave her hands -on experience, covering psycho-social subjects in a caring and compassionate way.  Ms. Vagnoni had drawn from these skills, and those as an activist to create a social networking site and a documentary on the topic of estrangement between adult children and their parents, as issue that recently touched her changing the face of her family.  She is applying her social media expertise to research partnerships in hopes that the direction will bring mush needed relief to those who have experienced “loss” through estrangement.  Ms. Vagnoni was chosen to present a workshop on the topic of estrangement at the 4th Conference of Emerging Adults and at the National Council on Family Relations Texas Council Conference.  “Changing Families in Changing Times”.  Additionally, a book covering the difficult topics that emerge frequently on her website  is soon to be published, and as a co-author of a paper written from her survey of estranged parents and adult children, a published article in the Journal of Family Communication.
Ms. Vagnoni has created and moderates   www.estrangedstories.com in an effort to provide support for those experiencing this situation. 

Also: Report on Reunification Issues- An AGA  Grandparent’s  Presentation

February 20th  7 P.M.
Featured Guest Speaker:      Jim Karl, Esq.        Collier County Florida
Litigation, Family Law, and Estate Planning   Collier County Florida  jim@karllawfirm.com 
Cornell Law School, J.D.,  Oxford University, Comparative Law 
Topics include:  Alienation Law and the Court System 
Grandparents Rights Legislation State of Florida - Recent Developments
Jim Karl, Esq. is presently working with Florida State Representatives on resubmitting to both the House and the Senate Committees a Grandparents Rights' Bill (similar to last years proposal) which is drafted in accordance with the suggestions set forth in recent Florida decisions, including the directives for the Florida Supreme Court.jim@karllawfirm.com         
March 20th    7:00 PM         SKYPE Presentation  Featuring : John Killinger, Ph.D. Pastor,  Prolific Writer/Author
From Poppy, With Love...Letters from a Grandfather to the Grandchildren He Isn't Allowed to See            Volume 1 and Volume 2   
April  24th              Note: 4th Thursday    
                         Featured  Guest  Speaker   
  In Person          Joshua Coleman, Ph.D.         San Francisco Bay Area
Psychologist and Co-Chair  Council on Contemporary Families
Monthly Webinars:  PAS   and   GA  Grandparent Alienation
Frequent guest on Today Show, NPR, the BBC
Featured on Sesame Street, 20/20, Good Morning America, PBS Life Part2
News Programs: FOX, ABC, CNN, NBC
Advice appeared in:  New York Times,  Times of London, Fortune, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, Slate, Psychology Today, U.S. News and World Report, Parenting Magazine
Author: including  When Parent Hurt,  The Marriage Makeover,  Finding Happiness in Imperfect Harmony
AGA, Inc. President/Founder
Email: info@aga-fl.org


Last Meeting.

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow for our last meeting of 2013.
The Tree of Hope is filling up and is shining brightly with wonderful messages of love from parents and grandparents who are denied contact with their children/grandchildren.

Dates of Meetings 2014.

Dates for  Meetings 2014.

Friday Feb 7th 2pm
Friday April 4th 2pm ( AGM)
Friday  June 6th 2pm
Friday August 1st 2pm
Friday October 3rd 2pm
Friday December 12th 2pm.

Monday 9 December 2013

"Hate is an emotion learnt."

Christmas time is always a time for reflection, as we approach the end of another year and a time to look to the future.
All of us who are personally involved in being denied contact from children or grandchildren know only too well the pain and hurt that we feel.
I spend so much time trying to work out how on earth we have reached this impasse, not just ourselves but the millions who are affected.
I have made mistakes through my life some I regret bitterly, the fact that I can say that I regret presumably shows that I have a conscience  an ability to think that I may have behaved in the wrong way. That I may have inadvertently hurt someone by my own actions.
Which brings me to thinking about all those perpetrators of alienation.
I listen to stories every single day, and to be honest some take my breath away, it could be the great grandmother who has a RO  for her granddaughter who frequently assaults her, knocking her about so badly she ends up at A and E, and no-one is helping her, it could be the case of a child who is only allowed to go and play with his friends if he recites 10 horrible things about the Dad he is not allowed to see, things that he has been taught to say. The grandfather, whose son has committed suicide as a result of not been able to see his daughter and the ex daughter in law then refusing to let the grandfather  any contact with his granddaughter, I could go on and on but to be honest some stories are just to dreadful.
What on earth makes human beings  do this sort of thing, what goes on in their heads, when they were born they didn't understand the concept of hate, what happens to them to want to inflict such heartbreak to another human being?
Do they ever look into themselves, to do their own reflecting, have they no conscience?
There will always be people that we meet that we don't get on with very well, everyone is different and has different values, but it doesn't mean we have to hurt them.
This evil of alienation is a blight on society, we know that, what we need to do is to make sure that everyone knows what the word alienation means and the total destruction that it brings.
The destruction of families.
A world with no conscience is a world falling apart.
Do you have a conscience?


10 new initiatives to help separating couples.

I will leave it for others to comment.


Sunday 8 December 2013

We can make a difference.

It is a December day, not dark and gloomy,
Bright and flowers are still blooming,
The days are short, but the light of our Tree of Hope,
Sends out a message.

A message of love and memories,
We are creating a link around the world,
Linking hands together,
The beacons of light embrace our children and grandchildren.

A time maybe to say I am sorry,
Sorry for any hurt I may have caused,
A time for looking forward,
Not to look back.

The past has come and gone,
We can not change what has gone before,
But we can endeavour to make a difference in the future.


Well Christmas has now arrived!

Our Christmas Tree of Hope is now up, it was lovely to have so many messages already to be able to dress it.
The lights are round red berries.
The thoughts and feelings that goes into every single one is very humbling and moving.
Many thanks to Marc for the blood,sweat and not quite tears for putting the tree up for us, should any ne'er-do-wells think they might try and pinch it, they will be awarded a medal!!!!!!!!!!
Spikes, chains and padlocks are involved.
Thank to those from all over the world who have emailed me messages, your love for your grandchildren is for all to see.
If it was in my power to grant you a wish it would be for you all to be reunited with those you love.

Thursday 5 December 2013

Support Via Skype.

I am adding another form of getting in contact with Bristol Grandparents Support Group.

You can access support via Skype, so whether you are in Cornwall, Texas or Sydney let me know your details.

Meeting Date Reminder.

A reminder that there is no meeting tomorrow it is on 13th December at 2pm.

Grandparents who take a back seat.

It is always so good to hear successful stories of sons/mums/grandparents being reunited with their children/grandchildren, and like everyone else it gives me hope and I am so pleased for them.
This week I read on a forum of a great case of justice finally being done and the family concerned are looking forward to a wonderful Christmas.
However, I read today with dismay a comment saying - to all grandparents who have made the decision to take a back seat, time to stand beside your son/daughter in court-.
I can not possibly put into words how those few words have made me feel. It was like a dagger through my heart.
'Taking a backseat' was the most difficult decision we have ever had to make, to lose the little girl who we all love so,so much breaks our hearts daily. It was not a decision that was taken lightly, believe me.
The internal turmoil it caused and continues to do so is unbelievable, a part of all of my family is missing.
Having been at the receiving end of many unpleasant comments when doing articles etc, it is something that I have nearlygot used to and I usually don't even read them as so hurtful, but this has really taken me right back 61/2 years ago when this pain started.
As I said, I am absolutely delighted for this family, but please don't think that those of us who for whatever reason are not going through court are failures.
I for one feel a failure already.


Wednesday 4 December 2013

How I do messages ect for The Tree of Hope.

As people are setting up groups around the world, I have been asked to show how the messages,star etc for our Christmas Tree are done,
I use a product called plasticard for the messages and permanent marker pens ,make sure they are waterproof. I cut the sheets into shapes, punch a hole in the corner and tie ribbons through the hole.
Messages that are emailed to me, I print off and laminate them. here are some photos to show you, the star goes on the top of the tree, an example of a few of the messages and the sign I put up to explain what the tree is for.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Should Grandparents Have Rights?

Once again this week I was talking about the rights of grandparents to see their grandchildren, it is a contentious subject.
As I have said before I really do have a problem with the word, rights.
It seems we live in a society that demands rights.
Fathers Rights, Women's Rights, Animal Rights, Welfare Rights, the list is endless and of course Human Rights.
Unfortunately there appears there is no alternative to that word, and so I have to use it.
When we are discussing family separation, in my view it is never about the rights of the adult but the consideration of the children.
Some grandparents and organisations feel the need to lobby their MP's for Grandparents Rights, and although I understand it, I honestly don't believe it will ever happen.
Apart from anything else we have just been through, and it is continuing through the House of Lords, slowly, a complete reform of the Family Justice System, it wont be looked at again for the foreseeable future.
When I am approached by desperate grandparents who want to start up petitions etc, who have been advised by an MP to start one, my heart sinks.
Of course they are doing it for all the right reasons but often  unaware that you need at least 100,000 signatures for it to get anywhere , and I am sceptical that it is not going to happen.
It is giving false hopes to heartbroken people.
If you actually look at petitions that have already been started over the last couple of years, I don't believe I have ever seen one with more than 100 signatures.
I do believe that a child has a right to their identity, to their family history but in the UK we have thousands of non resident parents who are denied contact with their own children, surely we have to put that right above all else?
If grandparents were ever given rights it would cause even more antagonism than there is already.
How would it effect the children?
They may well be living where alienation is occurring on a daily basis, so where would grandparents rights put them, they would be  in yet another impossible situation. They have to live the life they have been dealt, we might not like it, but that is the case.
They love their parents, they want to live a quiet life and quite rightly get on with the business of growing up,  if suddenly they were told by law that they had to have a relationship with their grandparents what would they do?
More arguments and upset in their young lives.
Do we want that for our grandchildren?
I don't.
As always this is only my personal opinion.

Grandparents go Global!

There is  now  a grandparents support group setting up in Austin Texas and if anyone is in Sydney Australia   let me know, support is needed.
There is a FB link to the Austin grandparents https://www.facebook.com/CantKeepaGoodGrandparentDown