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 21 October 2014

How to celebrate your grandchild's birthday.

When we find ourselves estranged from our grandchildren it is particularly painful on those special days, their birthdays and at Christmas and other celebrations, times when families should all be together and celebrating and having fun.
Many grandparents send cards and presents, never knowing if the children ever receive them, some will stop sending anything as they  find it too hard not knowing.
I do always send cards and presents, but like many others of course I have no idea if they are received or just put in the bin.
I do think it is very important that we do acknowledge these special days, so what things can we do.
There are several ways of fulfilling the need to do our own celebrating.
One grandparent I know lights a Japanese lantern and sets it off flying high in the sky, similarly you could go to a special place and let off some helium balloons.
If you have some space in your garden plant flowers, plants, different ones every year to have a growing tapestry of memories.
Setting up an account for birthdays is something that lots of grandparents do, or you could make a donation to your favourite charity in your grandchild name.
How about writing a poem, you don't have to be a poet to write one, just write what you feel, when you have a collection print them on good quality paper and get them bound into a book.
I am sure you have your own suggestions, it would be good if you would share them.

Will your political party give rights to grandchildren?



Monday 1 September 2014

New blogs and website.

My new blogs can be found here www.bristolgrandparentssupportgroup.co.uk just click on the blog tab button.
If you are a web designer, advertiser or just a spammer, don't bother as you will be removed.

Friday 22 August 2014

1,177 posts!

I obviously don't have enough to do as I seem to have written a ridiculous number of posts!
When you consider that there have also been over 63,000 visits the amount of troublesome comments or rubbish stuff is tiny.
To everyone who has bothered to respond or spent their precious time reading my witterings, thank you very much.

Monday 18 August 2014

What can I do?

It is days like these when I am supporting a grandparent who is going through such trauma and their grandchildren that I stop and ask myself, what on earth can I do?
Ok so I can be at the end of the phone or email , I can suggest, I can offer my sympathy but it sometimes is just not enough.
I witness injustice every single day, I need to be able to make more of a difference, somehow.
There are grandparents and grandchildren going to hell and back, relationships being trashed, trusts being broken and lives begin put in jeopardy.
How can I help?

Rights for Grandchildren.

For years media  and everyone else for that matter have used the term Grandparents' Rights which I have always worked hard at to try to avoid.
It is difficult to find a different phraseology because it is instantly recognisable, people know what it means, which is one reason why on our new website that will be going live in the next few weeks, it says "Grandparents rights awareness and support across the UK and beyond."
It is what grandparents put into a search engine when looking for help.
In reality the ethos of BGSG has always been the needs of the grandchildren, so a more appropriate phrase will always be "Grandchildren's Rights."
The need to keep it child focussed.
Again for years we and others have been  hopeful that  shared parenting would be legislated for only to have it squashed over and over again.
Children not being allowed a loving and caring relationship with both parents.
Today, David Cameron has delivered his latest take on government and families, https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/david-cameron-on-families but as we are all so aware this government does not stick to its promises, they do not listen to the voices of children, children who want relationships with both parents and the wider family.
Government needs to stop the decline in family breakdown or we will have not only family breakdown but breakdown in society itself.
The government must enshrine in law "Grandchildren's Rights" a law where children have a right to a relationship with their wider family if family breakdown occurs, unless it is proven unsafe for them to do so. The important word is proven, too many times false allegations are made against grandparents and there is  no way of refuting them.
Even if young adult grandchildren tell those in authority that allegations made against their grandparents are totally untrue, they are told they are lying.
And we wonder why our young people don't trust those in authority.
We all know that next year is a general election and it is estimated that there are 14, million grandparents in the UK, a force to be reckoned with I would say.
It is your vote use it wisely.

Sunday 17 August 2014

Cream Teas Success.

This afternoon we had a garden party and sold cream teas in our garden, the sun shone and we raised an extraordinary £420, for BGSG.
Thank you so much for all your help and support.
It takes us a little closer to the magic figure of £5k to apply for charitable status.
Thank you all again.

Friday 15 August 2014

Esther Rantzen talking about grandparents.

For those who missed it here is link to Radio Bristols discussion about grandparents, with Esther Rantzen, myself and Sam from Grandparents plus.



Monday 11 August 2014

Radio Bristol grandparents feature.

Radio Bristol is doing a week long feature on all aspects of grand parenting on John Darvalls' programme from 9am-12pm, today was about grandparents using different forms of technology. Tomorrow John will be talking to a family lawyer  re grandparents denied contact and I will also be taking part, should be at 10:30am
You can phone in during the programme.
It will culminate on Friday morning from 9 to 10am in an open discussion on the weeks programme, I will be in the studio, Grandparents Plus I believe will be in the London studio and hopefully others.
Here is a link :
p001d77l you can of course email John Darvall as well.


Monday 4 August 2014

Aims and Objectives of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.

    TO relieve, for the benefit of the public the hardship and distress of grandparents, their families, and their grandchildren caused by the breakdown of marriage and family relationships;

    To promote, for the benefit of the public their wellbeing and protect their health through, but not limited to, the provision of advice, education, information, support groups, training and other services; 

     To advance the education of the public in relation to the issues faced by grandparents, their families, and their grandchildren caused by the breakdown of marriage and family relationships through, but not limited to, media, publications, public advocacy and other means of communication.

Step 1:
What outcomes the charity is set to achieve?
To provide support.
To provide information.
To promote family well-being.
To provide support to self help groups.

Step 2:
How the charity will achieve those outcomes:
By raising awareness.
By providing booklets, posters, leaflets for information.
By giving information on the phone and website.
By giving support across the UK to local groups.

Step 3:
Who the outcomes will benefit and where they extend to.
Grandparents and as a result grandchildren in maintaining a relationship with the wider family.
Nationally and Internationally.


Sunday 3 August 2014

Grandparents wanting to end their lives.

I have written before about the desperation felt by grandparents who are prevented from being part of their grandchildren's lives, but I don't think that the general public fully understand if indeed they understand at all.
This week I have been contacted by grandparents who are in such a bad place they are talking about ending their lives, their grandchildren are so precious to them and they have tried everything to try and mend the problem.
They have apologised for anything they may have done to anger the parents of the children, they have asked if they can move forward, only to have abusive responses or no response at all.
When I say abusive responses, responses such as this," I will only talk to you when you stop breathing."
These grandparents are sitting on their own crying non-stop, feeling empty, isolated and afraid of what they might do next.
They have been to their GP's, they have contacted organisations, but they are still in such a dark place, all rational thought is beyond them.
These cases are not unusual.
I have always accepted that we can not possibly get on with everyone, some people may annoy us to distraction but I can not accept that the anger felt by some causes others such pain.
How and why has our society reached such a destructive point?
We live in a blame culture where it is ok to treat people badly if we feel an injustice against us, but where does it get us?
It gets us to estranged parents and grandparents who see no hope, who feel unable to face life any longer without their children/grandchildren in their lives.
If you are feeling that you can no longer carry on please seek professional help, you are not alone there are people out there to help you.
You can ring the Samaritans at any time of day or night on T08457 90 90 90


Friday 1 August 2014

Support,Lemon Drizzle and Cream Teas!

Many thanks to all the grandparents who attended the meeting this afternoon, as always it was good to see you all.
In particular, thank you to one of our members who travelled 200 miles to be with us and to the two CAFCASS officers who also attended.
So pleased that the lemon drizzle cake went down so well!
Plans for the Garden Party and cream teas are looking great all we need is the sunshine, we will be selling plants, cakes and having a raffle.
Admission is by ticket only.
Thanks also to those who have become 'Friends' of BGSG, donations made this way will enable us to carry on giving support to grandparents across the UK.

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Next meeting.

Looking forward to seeing everyone this Friday Aug 1st at 2pm, those of you who have been coming for the last 7 years and to welcome new grandparents some from just around the corner others who are travelling a long distance.
Kettle will be on!

Family Courts at breaking point.

"People are just giving up and not seeing their children because they don't know how to go about it," she said.

Family Courts struggling with people representing themselves.


Monday 28 July 2014

Simon Hughes Speech, 'voice of the child'


This all sounds great but in reality what does it mean.
We know that an alienated child is taught what to say and who to say it to, and there is already in place 'wishes and feelings' and that certainly has not been a success, so is this any different?


Saturday 26 July 2014

A 'problem' does not make a whole person-

it is just part of your life you would rather be without.
Lots of grandparents quite understandably are angry. Angry with the adult who is denying contact, angry with themselves for not being able to put things right.
Anger is ok, as long as you are in control of it not the anger controlling you.
Never act when you are angry, you will be irrational and when we are angry physical things happen to us, our heartbeat increases, our pulse rate goes up and adrenaline shoots around our bodies, blood sugar levels increase.
Allow yourself several hours to calm down to get your physical changes back on an even keel.
Everyone has different strategies for dealing with anger, you can tear your copy of yellow pages up ( if you can) go for a long walk, sit and concentrate on your breathing, think of a place you love and imagine you are there, there are many other tactics to use.
Have a go at sketching what you think anger looks like, if it was an animal which one would it be, what would it be made of.
You can write things down, a vent page, and then screw it up and throw it away.
Making bread is a good one as well, you will have the best kneaded bread around!
It may be other people who are causing us to be so angry, but we have the choice not to be. As I have said before it is us that suffers not those we are angry with.
So we need to be part of the solution not part of the problem, we need to care for ourselves and care for our own well-being.
Part of that has to be where do we go from here?
Again we have a choice.
We can continue down this horrible, hurtful road or we can look down the road to the future, if you were driving the car it would be looking into your rear view mirror is the past, looking forward is just that, a clear road ahead.
Keep driving down that road, who knows where it will take you?

Donations via Paypal

I have been asked how people can make donations to BGSG, there will be a donate facility on the new website but you can also donate via our Paypal account by logging on at https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/send-money-online  and clicking on the send money box.
We rely on donations to carry on supporting grandparents from all over the UK and beyond, so thank you very much.

Thursday 24 July 2014

Within 50 miles of Canterbury.

There is a grandparent in the Canterbury area who is prepared to travel maybe 50 miles to link up with other grandparents for support, if you are interested in linking up please contact me.

Monday 21 July 2014

Shropshire Shout Out.

Are you in Shropshire (Telford or Shrewsbury) area and like to link up with another grandparents to chat over a coffee?
Let me know if you are interested.

Sunday 20 July 2014

Friends of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.

As we move into a new phase of becoming a national charity reaching all areas of the UK and beyond we have decided to incorporate 'Friends of BGSG.'
We rely on voluntary funding as we do not charge a membership fee.
There are grandparents already who kindly donate by standing order, for which we are eternally grateful.
We are suggesting a donation of £10 per year (obviously if you feel able to donate more it will be gratefully received) to become a 'Friend' which will enable us to continue to give support to grandparents who are feeling isolated and alone.
All 'Friends' will be listed at events we are involved in.
Please contact us for further details.

Saturday 19 July 2014

Should I write to my grandchild?

If you are reading these blogs, presumably it is because you have lost contact with a grandchild or grandchildren, we all know that it can happen for so many different reasons but the result is the same.
I have written previously about a variety of things you can do to keep those memories alive, such as a memory box, where you can put perhaps photos of special events that occur in the family, photocopies of cards you have sent, letters, ect.
You can start a blog, like this one, you can use it as an online journal, keep it child focussed, so don't say unkind things about their parent/parents, you may not get on together but they are your grandchild's parents and they love them.
It isn't difficult to set one up.
You can do the same thing only in the book journal way, a book to just jot things down as and when they happen and when you want to say something.
I have mentioned letters and it is something that I am often asked about.
A letter can be very therapeutic and the choice is yours as to whether you actually send it or not.
I would add a word of caution though.
Your letter should be about your grandchild and what is relevant to them, taking their age into account, but be very careful not to bring the child into any conflict that is going on, if it is one of your children who are denying contact don't say inappropriate things about perhaps their partner or other family members.
I know that we think we know our children better than anyone else, and we probably do, but we can't tell them who they should or should not be sharing their lives with, our adult children have to make mistakes just like we did, and hopefully learn by them.
There is nothing worse than your parent telling you are with the wrong man or women, when I was younger I clearly remember that if my parents told me to do something I would do completely the opposite! That is still the case how ever old we are.
It is of course so, so hard to stand by and watch the mistakes being made, particularly if we feel that a new partner is having a detrimental effect on our relationships, but we still can't interfere.
I know that it is extremely hard for some of you.
It may be that whoever is preventing you from seeing a grandchild is indeed saying things about you that are untrue but we still must not involve the children.
The children if old enough, know the truth anyway, but they have to live the life they have at the moment and must be allowed to be children and not to take the burden of adult conflict on their young shoulders.
As I have said so many times before, we can't be responsible for others behaviour but we are responsible for our own.


Thursday 17 July 2014

We owe it to the children.

Since setting up BGSG in 2007, when contact ceased with my granddaughter I went to all sorts of places for help and support.
If I am honest there was nowhere that I felt actually totally understood and what it meant to be prevented in being part of a grandchild's life, people were good at making patronising, obvious remarks , helplines who made me feel inadequate as apparently I should be able to sort it out. Helplines who never got back to me, operators who were just doing a job, had no experience in denied contact personally. Helplines who told me to contact organisations who deal with grandparents who are looking after their grandchildren 24/7, not helpful.
Our group found its own place very quickly in doing what it does brilliantly, groups of grandparents who know first hand the awfulness of it all, who always listen and who support one another.
It became clear that as I was being contacted by grandparents all over the UK, that this was a huge issue and a global issue, I was hearing from people in America, Australia, Canada, France and Israel, what began as a Bristol group, had now become a national and international group.
In 2010 I discovered the world of blogs and it was the perfect place to reach thousands of grandparents wherever they were and it continues to be.
I have written 1154 posts since I started and looking back at the early posts notice that in all this time nothing has really changed.
There are still many millions of children all over the world who are estranged from family members, all trying to understand why.
It is up to us to continue to raise awareness of this global breakdown of society, a society that is falling apart.
Without the basic family roots framework, where will it end?
It is back to basics, families need to be respected, families need to accept their differences and agree to disagree, to compromise, to care for one another and to be there for one another.
We can't all get on, of course, but that is no excuse for becoming entrenched in hatred and evil actions.
We are the adults, our children are only on loan to us, we do not own them. We need to nurture them, love, them and allow them the wings to fly and make their own way in this world.
They must be allowed to have the love and care of both their parents and extended family.

Increase in parents representing themselves in court.



Monday 14 July 2014

Long Distance grandparent in the West country?

I know this is a strange request as this is a group for grandparents who are prevented from seeing their grandchildren but I also know that you may well have some grandchildren who you do see.
Is there anyone in the Bristol/West country area who is a long distance grandparent, or do you go to extraordinary lengths to see your grandchildren?
Please get in contact if you do and are willing to share your story, with the media.
Many Thanks

Baroness Sloss stands aside.


Sunday 13 July 2014

Setting up for a collection day.


Can we let go of our negative thoughts?

I often ramble on about the negativity of revengeful thoughts, anger ect, and know that for some people it is seemingly impossible for them to let go of the thoughts they hold towards whoever is preventing them from seeing their grandchildren.
As with all of our own experiences we must be allowed to feel the emotions we feel and no-one should judge us for the way we feel.
What I do know is that having talked at length to so many of you now, it is clear to me that the damage done to so many of you is so detremental to your physical and mental health.
You will know that I will say, you must self protect, and you must.
To wake up everyday feeling so low, that in some cases people feel unable to get out of bed, as "there is no point."
I have always thought that we have to try and turn a negative into a positive, and thats why I set up BGSG.
Maybe we need to think about how and why we feel the way we do, it may seem simple but bear with me.
When we suddenly realise that we are being denied contact to special little people in our lives, you go through all sorts of phases.
Firstly, we think it is something we can sort out, when we realise we can't we feel bereft. This is not how it was meant to be.
The sadness we feel hurts in exactly the same way as when we lose someone close to us, hence the phrase "A living bereavement."
That tight knot deep in your stomach that churns and churns and won't go away, a deep void.
We then feel angry, furious to think that an adult in our lives is using their children as weapons, knowing that to stop us seeing the children is the most hurtful thing they can do.
And so the circle of sadness, despair and anger continues.
We have to somehow break through this damage, damage that is preventing so many leading a fulfilling life.
All the emotions that I speak of affect us, do they affect the  perpetrators?
Of course we can't forget what has happened, but do we want to wake up day after day thinking our lives are over, we have no reason to carry on.
If we do feel that, how is it affecting everyone else in our lives?
Our families or friends are still here, they still love us and want us to be who they remember, someone who makes a difference to other people.
This is obviously my personal opinion, when I reach the end of my life whenever that may be, I want to be able to think I made a difference, I am and will be heartbroken that I have not been part of my beautiful granddaughters life since 2007, but I owe it to her to be the person she remembers,  a person who loves her family and friends and want to enjoy the life I have been given and to be thankful for the 7 years I did have her in my life, memories in my heart forever, no-one can take that away. A person of hope, waiting for the day she can return to her Dad and to us and her aunts,uncles and cousins.
I heard this quote today: " Anger is like an own goal. You hold a hot coal of anger in your hand ready to throw, its burns a hole in your hand."


Saturday 12 July 2014

Fund Raising Events.

We have some exciting events happening over the next few months to raise funds for the charity.
In August we are hosting a Garden Party serving cream teas. Cakes/plants/our personal greetings cards suitable for every occasion, will be on sale and a raffle.
Later in the Autumn a music concert, more info to follow.

Australian Judge says" incest, pedophilia may be accepted in society."

It is difficult to put into words my feelings on this as they are unpublishable.


Wednesday 9 July 2014

Collecting Day.

Off tomorrow to Asda Filton Bristol  to try and raise funds.
We appear to have everything but the kitchen sink, that may well find itself in the car in the morning!
Posters, leaflets, badges, cards, a Christmas tree with messages on, yes I know a Christmas Tree in July,  just to show people about our Tree of Hope.
Tables, chairs, table cloths, roll up banner, that should do.
Will take a photo when we have set it all up, and let you know how much we raise.

Monday 7 July 2014

North Wales Support

Is there anyone in Conway North Wales willing to link up with other grandparent?

Legal Aid: Children and the residence test.



How to make a donation.

As you know we are still trying to raise funds and I have been asked by people how they can make a donation to the charity.
You can do so by cheque payable to Bristol Grandparents Support Group, if you contact me I will give you the address to send it or you can give via electronic transfer again I will give you details if you email me.
We will be having a donate button on the new website that is being done at the moment.
We rely on voluntary donations.
Many thanks.

Over 60,000 hits to blog.

Thank you for all your visits to the blog.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Just trying to make a difference.

When we give to charity we all give in good faith, in a hope that our money will find its way to the appropriate place.
There is a myriad of charities to choose from the national well known ones, to local good causes and small charities all doing their bit.
I for one know how difficult it is to raise funds, and it costs money to run a charity just posters, information basic marketing is hugely expensive, phone calls on the helpline, postage ect.
I spend hours filling up funding grant application forms, I have had three rejected this week alone.
As you know we are desperately trying to raise the amount necessary to obtain charitable status, you have to have a guaranteed annual income of £5k to even be considered.
Then I read  negative articles about charities, talking about the politics involved, the money wasted and apparently individuals who have  dubious motives for being involved in such charities.
I have written about this before, but I still don't get it.
All I know is that we run our support group to support grandparents who are denied contact with their grandchildren for a variety of reasons, we are independent, we are not associated with any other organisation, just ordinary people trying to make a small difference.
Oh, and if you feel the desire to donate I would be delighted to hear from you!

Monday 30 June 2014

Children Screaming to be Heard Conference.



What if the memories are false?

We all know as we get older our memories are not a sharp as they used to be, but what about when someone says things about us that we know are absolutely untrue and yet a family member or friend insists that certain behaviour occurred, particularly when we were children.
Is it actually possible that they have false memories?
Recently people who are seeking support from 'experts' have begun a series of sessions of regression. My understanding is that it is it involves looking at things that may have happened earlier in your life which causes problems in present life.
I have my own person views on this, which I will keep to myself, but is it possible that it is responsible for families being accused of things that they absolutely refute?
Here is a link which you may find interesting.


Privacy Settings.

When I get emails from people I do reply as soon as possible, certainly within 24hours.
Sometimes when I reply they bounce straight back, this could be because the email comes from my website address and if your privacy settings are high you won't receive them.
If you have contacted me and have not had a response that could be why.

Saturday 28 June 2014

San Diego California.

Ok so this is a long shot, but I know we have grandparents all over the world who read this blog so, if you are in San Diego can you get in touch as have a grandparent who would like some support.


Monday 23 June 2014

Your sunshine journal.

Grandparents who find themselves being denied contact with their grandchildren are in turmoil, not knowing what to do.
After the initial shock of it all comes a feeling of numbness and disbelief.
As time moves on feelings change and we all find different ways of coping with our grief.
As I have written before you can keep a memory box, write a blog to your grandchildren, keeping a journal of your feelings will sometimes help.
It can be very easy for everything we write to be negative, so why not along side your journal of innermost thoughts you write a journal of all that is positive in your life.
We can become consumed with the heartbreak of it all, and the continuing desperation, but I will  almost guarantee that something good and positive happens to you every single day, by recording the great things it empowers us to carry on.


Grandparents are seen as an afterthought.

According to cloudBuy a social care marketplace provider, 2/3rds of people admit that they could do more to look after elderly relatives.
Many said that their parents and grandparents are an afterthought and they often cancel visits if something more exciting comes up.
I think that rather says it all.
What society are we living in when parents and grandparents are seen as an after thought, I despair.


Sunday 22 June 2014

Not all publicity is good publicity.

Over the last 7 years I have learnt a thing or two about working with all forms of media.
Newspapers and magazines are looking for sensationalisation, true life stories are what they are of course interested in, it is what people buy the tabloids and mags for, to read about people and their stories.
They tend to be the sort of mags that you pick up in the hairdressers, for a quick flick through.
In my experience most journalists are not actually interested in you they are just trying to sell a story, the more anger, tears emotional turmoil the better it sells.
Often there are mistakes, artistic license and in some cases total untruths.
When you embark on the rocky road to of telling your story, be prepared for many phone calls, emails all going over the details only to be told at the very last minute that they have changed their minds.
Always start your conversation by saying, "You have checked this with your legal dept have you?" if they say no, then say,"Well when you have and got clearance then I will talk to you."
I have lost count of how many hours I have spent over 7 years, going over and over our story, it takes its toll, it is hard to keep on talking about such a difficult situation.
If you are approached either directly or indirectly, be prepared.
Also be prepared for the horrible comments that people write about you, I learnt very quickly never to scroll down to comments, people who had never met me, wrote serious personal insults, not only about me but my whole family.
Do your research into the particular journalist you are talking to, are they freelance? Do they work for a reputable paper or magazine?
Not all publicity is a good thing.
Be cautious.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Revenge is never sweet.

When we find ourselves in a situation where we have been hurt so dramatically by being denied contact from our grandchildren, it can become so all encompassing that we think revenge is the answer, taken over by the red mist affect.
Everyone deals with this in different ways.
Many people think that Karma will prevail, that you get back what you give out and that can be interpreted to mean that bad things will happen to the perpetrators, is that what we really want?
Here is a scenario to think about.
If it is your daughter/son who has chosen to deny you contact and you hear that they have become ill or are in trouble in some way, what would you do?
As  Mum or Dad will you ignore them, cast them aside, give them no help in other words allow their bad Karma.
Does that make us happy, to think of them suffering?
Or do we do what parents do, love them unconditionally, forgive but not forget the hurt they have caused, support and help them during their tough time?
It may well be that after their crisis, we find ourselves back where we were, with conflict rising its ugly head again, but you did the right thing, you did what being a parent is all about, we can not be responsible for other peoples actions and behaviours but we can be responsible for our own.


Tuesday 17 June 2014

Your grandchildren will not forget you.

There are many things that grandparents tell me they are worried about, one of the things that almost every single grandparent I speak to say is, "My grandchildren will forget us."
Please be rest assured that they won't.
Having worked in education for over 15 years, working with children, I can honestly say they will not forget you.
Whilst a child is going through all of this conflict and uncertainty, they will protect themselves.
They know that if they say what a good time they had with granny and grandpa, they will often get into trouble for even mentioning them.
So they don't.
The children have to deal with the cards they are dealt, so they will adapt and if you like 'tow the party line' it makes it easier for them on a daily basis.
I know of some children , as they have got  older,  go to some extremes to get what they want.
They do and have put  enormous pressure on a parent/parents to make it clear that they want a relationship with their grandparents.
The children do remember the times you took them to the sea side and went rock pooling, the times you showed them how to plant things and how to look after them.
It is not the materialistic things they remember with affection but it is the time you spent together just doing stuff.
So please never ever think they will forget you, they won't.


Sign petition for charter for Children and Fathers.

You do not have to live in wales to sign.



Penelope Leach 'expert' ,disgraceful.

This is one of the most damaging, despicable thing I have read for a long time, I am referring to Penelope Leach's remarks.


Asda Filton Bristol charity collection.

Thanks to Asda Filton Bristol who have chosen BGSG as one of their community charities for July.
If you are in Bristol and shop in that branch picking up a green token and popping it in the charity box in the foyer would be great.
We will also be doing a charity collection day at the branch on Thursday 10th July from 10am-4pm, do stop and have a chat with us.

Sunday 15 June 2014

To forgive and forget are two different things.

We all find ourselves in this living bereavement of lost contact constantly asking ourselves questions. Why? How? What did we do?  There are so many more.
Of course we can go on and on asking these questions, perhaps never finding the answers.
Grandparents will often say, I will never forgive and forget, either my son/daughter or son-in-law/daughter-in-law for what they have done.
Ok, so if we carry around this thought what is it doing to us?
Firstly, for me, forgiveness and forgetting are two completely different things.
To forgive someone for their actions, in fact can release us from those thoughts that eat away at us daily, hurting us, it has no effect on the perpetrators.
We will never forget what has happened, it is part of our life.
So how do we start the forgiveness process?
In the book by Desmond Tutu, below, it is suggested that we use a fourfold path to help to heal ourselves.
This is my slant on it.
We need to look at what has happened in the form of it being our story, so get yourself a book or journal to write in, begin your story as you would when writing any story, with a beginning a middle and an end.
It can be as long or short as you like, it is your story so it is personal, don't think about spelling, grammar ect just write it down as it is, be truthful and honest.
So you will have characters, places and events.
Once that is done, then write down how everything in your story is effecting your life.
This part may be the most difficult part, I didn't say it was easy, time for the forgiveness part. The problem of not forgiving in our own minds, has such a detrimental affect on us all, we become almost governed by it. We might be constantly angry looking for retribution of some sort.
But is that the answer, to wish the perpetrators of this harm?
When we reach the place that we can say, "Ok, I forgive you, and wish you no harm." ~ I don't mean that you have to actually say this to them, it is about you, and what is going on inside your head~
you can then mentally be released from all of the hurt.

Now I know that many will read this and shout very loudly at their computers, it is just an idea that I think is worth thinking about.

I speak to so many grandparents who are ill, have considered ending their lives because they can't face life without their grandchildren, people who are desperately looking for something to hang on to. I always say that we have to self protect this is just another tool that might help someone.

As I say at the beginning of this post, we may be able to forgive, for us to move on, but we will not forget.
Ask any of the old soldiers who were recently involved in the D Day commemorations, they forgive but they never forget.

( Must just apologise, as it has been noted that I get my grammar, spelling, effects and affects muddled up, in the nicest possible way, but I write as thoughts come into my head!)

here is the link to Desmond Tutu book:  The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World


Wednesday 11 June 2014

To all Dads for Fathers Day.

Fathers Day.
It is just another Sunday, nothing special,
But it is special, a day to celebrate Dads,
A time for us to acknowledge our love for them,
Their day, a moment to say thanks and to hold them close.
Not all Dads will be sharing their special moment again this year,
How many more years will they have to endure this emptiness,
Children, who need both parents in their lives, to say “I love you.”
Hold on to your memories, close your eyes and remember,
Your children have not forgotten you, they never will.
They are holding you close, listening to your heartbeat,
They can see you, no-one can ever take that away.
You are their Dad, their special person, now and forever.


Rights reserved 2014.

Grandparents fight to stop SS having their grandchild adopted.



Friday 6 June 2014

From Far and Wide.

We had a great meeting this afternoon and I would like to thank everyone for coming and doing what you all do so well, supporting each other.
It is always good to welcome new grandparents, although we are meeting because we are denied contact with our grandchildren we always manage to end meetings with smiles and laughter.
Today we welcomed grandparents from far and wide, thank you so much to the grandparent who drove all the way from Derby just to come, and to a grandparent who combined their holiday with a visit to Bristol!
It is a great leveller to listen to everyones stories and a great way to focus on why we do what we do.
Our new greetings cards with our own photos went down well and look as though they are going to be a fund raising success.
Once again, thank you all so much.


D Day.

Today I am thinking about the many thousands of young men and women who gave their lives for their country. We would not be living the lives we are if it was not for them.


Wednesday 4 June 2014

Out of bad,there is good.

They say that out of bad there is good, and I think that is true.
7 years ago when I realised that contact had been stopped with my granddaughter, I didn't think I would ever get over it, but the decision to set up Bristol Grandparents Support Group was absolutely the right thing for me to do.
It seems to me that when these tragic things happen in your life you either sink or swim. If you sink it achieves nothing other than you becoming enveloped in your own grief, unable to function and enable to enjoy the positives in your life, to be so thankful for life itself.
When I took that deep breathe and began swimming it made me focus on other people, therefore not always thinking about me and my sadness.
I would of course give anything for our situation never to have occurred, but it has and over the last 7 years the most amazing people have come into my life. People whom I would never have met, people who are now friends and people of trust.
I am also very fortunate to have friends in my life that I have known for over 50 years, friends who know me better than myself, I am so blessed.
Others I have perhaps only known for a short time, but they make a huge impact in my life and the thoughts and prayers they share with me are immeasurable.
So I would just like to thank each and every one of you, it is you who make the difference, who give your time, thoughts and experiences to make the life we lead a better place.
It may well be pouring with rain outside as I write but it is helping the flowers grow. As I said at the beginning, out of the bad, there is good.


Monday 2 June 2014

Another Birthday. June 8th

A Birthday Poem.

Happy 14th Birthday lovely girl,
Is it a party, a film or a trip somewhere,
With family and friends,
Lots of smiles and lots of laughter,
Maybe cake and candles and balloons,
Never too old for balloons!
I send you my love, on your special day,
Of course not just today but everyday,
Have fun my love, enjoy and dream.
Life is in front of you, doors will open,
Walk in through those doors,
Surprises might be waiting.
Who knows what the future will bring,
We pray it will be you making our doorbell ring.
Our door is forever open, our arms wide open to,
We are all here still waiting, just for you.

June 2014.

Proposed changes to court bundles.




Next meeting is on Friday at 2pm, look forward to seeing everyone.
Just a quick note to say for the foreseeable future I am not using my Face Book account and won't be linking my posts via FB, if you have sent me messages in the last 24 hours I will not have accessed them, if you need to contact me please can you do so in the usual way, jane@bristolgrandparentssupportgroup.co.uk
Many thanks everyone.

Friday 30 May 2014

Stephen Sutton's legacy.

When grandparents seek out help and support they are obviously at a very low time in their lives and it is a lonely, dark place at times.
I have been there, I do know how that dark spiral is magnetic and so easy to find yourself tumbling down to nowhere.
I am sure like me, you have all been so moved by the life and death of Stephen Sutton, his attitude to his cancer was remarkable, he was determined to make a difference to enhance peoples lives. The £4million raised in his name will go on helping young people who face their own very dark days.
Of course we are not all able to face our own low times with such positivity as Stephen did, but we can all try to make a difference to other people.
We don't have to go sky diving, or crowd surfing but we can say, "Good Morning" to everyone one we pass in the street today, but not just today everyday.
Certainly for me, it really does work, if you leave someone with a smile who you met with a tear, you smile too.
Being kind to another person costs nothing at all but it is priceless to the recipient.
On the day when family and friends say goodbye to Stephen, we can all learn something from this remarkable young man and take it forward in the way we live our lives.
Don't live your life full of resentment, enhance lives for others.


Wednesday 28 May 2014

Loneliness, Isolation is a modern problem.

I make no apology for this post, as it is slightly off subject and yet shows clearly how being denied contact is so debilitating, causing loneliness and isolation.
There is no doubt that we have many things to be proud of in modern society, but in my view we have an awful lot to be ashamed about.
As you know Esther Rantzen set up The Silver Line a 24 hour helpline for older people, in her article yesterday she said that the helpline has had 100,000 calls in the first six months.
Just think about that a moment.
Why are we living in a society that is leaving our elderly population feeling so lonely, so isolated that there is a need for a helpline just for them.
Personally I am ashamed at that statistic.
Where are the families of this older generation, I completely understand that sometimes you need to talk to people other than your family, but I know from people we do gardens for, they go months and months without even a phone call from family members.
How long does it take to pick up that phone?
Of course everyone is busy and running hectic lives, charging about hither and thither, we need to pause and just think what it is like to go home to an empty house, day after day.
If I remember Esther's quote correctly she says, "I have lots of people to do things with but I don't have anyone to do nothing with."
Most of our generation and as I am 61 I am one of the older generation, don't want to be a bother. We know how busy our families are so we suffer often in silence.
Loneliness is a modern disease, in my opinion an unacceptable disease, and one that is preventable.
What would this modern society be without the volunteers of organisations such as The Silver Line, people who sit and listen just when someone needs them, a friendly voice at the end of the phone and a befriending service.
I thank them all.
If you have an elderly relative, when did you last speak to them, drop in with a bunch of flowers, take them to the pub for a pint?
Or how about your neighbour, when did you last see them, ask them if you could get their shopping for them ask them in for a cuppa?
It's not rocket science, everyone wants to be needed, if you feel you are not what is the point?
A word for our younger generation, just remember you will get older too, quicker than you think.


Tuesday 27 May 2014

The unpleasant side of running a support group, yes there is one.

I set up BGSG in 2007 when I lost contact with my granddaughter, she is my focus.
I endeavour to support and help others who are living this heartbreak, it is inevitable that some people won't like the way I do it, the way I run my blog, the way I run my website ect.
All I can say is that I do honestly do the best I can and my best is not always good enough.
Over the last 7 years I have talked to over a thousand grandparents, the blog has had over 55,756 visits, and I have had the privilege to witness the joy of reconciliation's.
During those 7 years I have experienced the down side of running a support group.
Personal insults, threats and intimidation.
Sometimes it is inevitable that as admin of a blog or group you have to make some difficult decisions, and it rebounds on you. If  members raise worries and concerns about someone, I will remove perpetrators from the group.
BGSG is a support group, and with that support comes I hope trust. Trust to be able to share our feelings with one another, to become more confident in ourselves and to "look after" each other.
Over the last week my trust has been stripped.
I have been accused of making the group "all about me."
If that is what people think then I have failed.
To be told that I need to watch what I write, here, on my FB private group or website is intimidation.
This is my blog, they are my thoughts they are not affiliated to any other group or organisation.
Whenever these situations arise,  (this is the 3rd time in 7 years), it affects so many people, me, my family, friends, parents/grandparents people who are facing this living bereavement, who are vulnerable and desperate.
When a grandparent contacts me, and I suggest they might find our FB group helpful it takes a long time for some to gain the confidence to join us, so if someone suggests that anyone can join, you can imagine how that worries people.
It is worth reiterating that some grandparents are in a very bad place and in some cases are suicidal or have been, just imagine the enormous damage it does if they feel exposed as a result of that sort of remark.
All I can say is that it is a private group, it cannot be found via search engines and I vet people as much as is humanly possible.
If at any time any one is feeling uncomfortable with another member please let me know.
I actually can't believe I am writing this.


100,000 pensioners seeking help.



Saturday 24 May 2014

Letter to my granddaughter (3)

Dear L……..,

As I look at a picture of you, I no longer see the little girl I remember, you are a young woman with  hopes and dreams. A young woman who has the rest of her life in front of her.
I am going to plant some sunflower seeds this week as I can think of the day you sat on the grass with your pot and seeds, carefully planting each one with a smile on your face as wide as the ocean.
Whilst I watch them grow and reach for the sky I will hold you close to my heart, somewhere you are under the same sky and the same sunshine.
As I look after your cousins, playing with them, painting and standing at the sink playing with water, just like I did with you, it has such bittersweet memories.
I close my eyes tight and can still see you standing there, looking up at me with big blue eyes, what I wouldn't give to recapture those moments.
I can still here your voice, calling as you ran in through the door, " Granny, granny," with such urgency.
Of course that was then, 7 long years ago.
I wonder what you are up to now, what you like doing what music you listen to?
It will be your birthday very soon, goodness me, where have those years gone.
All of us still carry on with our lives, and life continues, day turns into night and the seasons change as they always will,  but everyone here has a hole in their hearts where you used to be.
We have been doing some things with Esther Rantzen lately and she and myself have had letters and emails from children and young people who for lots of different reasons don't see their grandparents. Sitting and reading these words are so painful, there is so much hurt and pain leaping out from each page, some of them say, "Please help me."
There is one thing that they all say, "Do my grandparents know I still love them?"
If you have ever asked that question, and it breaks my heart to even think you might think that, L…….
We have never stopped loving you, we never will and we are always here for you.
So how can we help all these children and young adults, including you?
Whatever has happened in the past is just that the past, we all say things, do things that maybe we shouldn't have.
Somehow we have to be able to look at today and tomorrow and not look back.
The most important people in this is you and all the other millions of children and young people who are in the middle of all of this.
As I write this it is the beginning of another Bank Holiday and I expect the beginning of your half-term, I hope that whatever you are doing that the sun shines on you, the same sun that will be helping the sunflower seeds to grow strong and to produce those wonderful bright yellow happy flowers, just like yours did.
A bright light in this dark dawn, a star of hope and reconcilliation.
Darling, reach out for your dreams, dreams do come true.
With all my love, now and forever.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

ITV This Morning

I understand that tomorrow morning, 22nd May, that This Morning is doing a phone in on grandparents rights, I had the information 2nd hand so it may not be correct, just thought you might be interested.

A Double Bereavement.

Once again I have been talking to a grandparent today who has lost contact with their grandchildren as a result of bereavement.
When we discuss denied contact it is assumed, by many, that it only occurs when a couple get divorced, it is simply not the case.
There are many different causes, but for me one of the most upsetting is when there has been a bereavement and it is sadly very common.
It occurs when a grandparent loses an adult child prematurely through terminal illness or a tragic accident.
The devastation of one of your children dying before you is one thing none of us ever want to contemplate, but tragically it happens.
You would think that when these unimaginable deaths occur that all family members would pull together and support each other, but often the reverse happens.
The spouse or partner who is suddenly left in this terrible void makes the decision to cut themselves off totally from the in-laws.
In  some circumstances they feel the need to move right away even to another country severing all ties.
The result is that not only have parents lost their beloved child but they lose the grandchildren as well, a double bereavement.
To listen to grandparent who are suffering in this way is just so heartbreaking.

You Are Not Alone.

You Are Not Alone.

Help me!
Where can I find help, who will listen to me,
People say, just sort it out, just tell them its wrong,
If only it was that easy, just a call to put it right,
But it isn't.
Children told we don't love them, we don't care,
If only they knew the hours spent in the dark,
Sobbing, sobbing for hours on end.

You are not alone, we are in this together,
For how ever long it takes, email, phone or have tea,
Our grandchildren deserve everything we can think off,
To show we do care, we have not forgotten them and never will.
They are our children's children, part of each and every one of us.

I am here to listen, to hold your hand and pass the tissues,
I will make cake and brew the tea,
We will share are memories and look forward to good times,
Times when we will share that love and laughter once again.

Jane.( Rights Reserved)