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.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

"Walk a mile in your child's shoes"- Karen Woodall

Karen Woodall's post:


Good news story from down under.

An Australian adult child who had never met her grandfather, managed to locate him, he flew 6 hours to see her. They are now getting to know each other and looking forward to the future.
As I keep saying never give up hope.


How it feels to be estranged from a grandchild.

Thoughts from a grandparent:


and I GRIEVE…………


I think of my grandchildren every waking hour, trying to picture how they would look now and what they are doing,  am always looking at kids in public wondering if they are that size now..... I am able to divert my thoughts most times – the first year was hell……..   

But when I am asleep I have no control and have the worst nightmares and always dream I am always reaching out trying to get to them and my daughter speaks to me in a dreadful manner  I have woken myself up screaming out on many occasions.   
I feel in the dreams I am so close and I try to reach them but cant.

That’s literally how I felt when I went to my daughter’s door about a year ago.
She wouldn’t let me see them.

I feel many of the generation of children born in the 1970's are very selfish; my daughter doesn’t want anything to upset her.

Once (just before the unexpected split) she said with her hands over her ears and shaking her head
She is no longer interested in my life   ...... she just wants to discuss her life her new house and her little family.

Bitter/sweet but sometimes I am really glad she is not in my life as I don’t have constant dramas and turmoil with her now but would put up with that again if it meant I could see the little people

I have a cute little girl as my neighbour she is the same age as my granddaughter and she is always popping in chatting and waving and smiling when I come and go.
 I see a lot of her, and watch her change and grow that is bitter/sweet too.

Please does anyone in UK know what the best ……is…?

But I do have made a good life and enjoy myself most of the time
But underneath my heart will never mend.....

Do I remain hopeful that one day I will see them or do I accept what it cannot change????

Who can answer that?"


Monday 27 January 2014

I need your help.

I am holding an extraordinary meeting next week 4th and would like as many grandparents as possible to attend, for a very special reason.
Also if you know any adult child who was denied contact with their grandparents, please also let me know ASAP.

Saturday 25 January 2014

It's never too late.

I was talking to a grandparent yesterday who told me that her father walked out on her mother and herself when she was 4 years old.
Her mother would tell her horrendous stories about her father, horrible things that he had done in the past and was generally an unpleasant person, and that they were better off without him.
She said that she thought about him all the time whilst she was growing up, and when she was older and able to question the situation herself she decided that as and when she could she would try and meet him.
At the age of 38 she did meet him, and was able to make a choice for herself.
Having met him she actually realised that she did not want a relationship with him.
Her point though was to say that even at such a very young age of 4years, she wanted to find out for herself.
So hope is still there, a probability that children will make their own choice to discover for themselves.


Friday 24 January 2014

Grandparents are a link.

As grandparents we are the link to our grandchildren's family history and identity, if that link is broken the chain loses its strength.


Sunday 19 January 2014

Women's Aid gender bias lessons for 4 year olds.

Should Women's Aid be involved in producing lesson plan for reception children, children who are 4 years old, on Domestic Violence?
You can read the publication here :Expect Respect Education toolkit - Women's Aid
I taught PSHE to ket stage 1 and 2 children and my concern is that this is totally gender bias, and appears to be portraying men as being dangerous.
It says that most indents reported as with males being perpetrators, we all know that women can be equally abusive.
What message is this giving out to little children?
What will be the effect on the boys?
In my experience PSHE lessons must be taught sensitively and always with equality.

Thursday 16 January 2014

Publication of transparency in the family courts.



So you don't believe in Parental Alienation?

Just when I think I have heard it all, I realise I haven't.
When we talk about PA, people really don't get it. They don't realise how destructive it is, how it harms our children/grandchildren in some cases irrecoverably.
The public must be made aware that PA is child abuse, no flowering up, no excuses say it like it is.
Today I had an email that just makes me despair and wonder how on earth a once loving parent can stoop to this level.

A Dad who sent his child Christmas presents has just received a letter of thanks from his 10 year old.
You may be thinking ,"Oh at least he heard from him." Read on.
The letter started-

Dear Mr ……………,

Yes you have read that correctly, a son writing to his Dad- Dear Mr…………

Even as I write this it makes me cry, to the Dad and his Mum it is beyond words.

Having worked with children for over 15 years, I know that a 10 year old would not write like that, he has been told to write like that.

So as said in that same email, Parental Alienation is alive and well in ………….
God help us.


A grandparents story in their own words.

"Our experience is that we feel our off springs were given the very best in terms of our love, attention & our time as they were growing up. We suppose they had a kind of old fashioned type of family setting as babies & young children - father worked extremely long hours to put the roof over their heads, food on the table & clothes on their backs. Mother stayed at home & provided a loving, stimulating environment for them to grow up in & around. Mother would be there to drop them at school, pick up from school, arrange their after school activities along with weekends & school holiday family adventures to the park, woods, beach, for picnics & not forgetting entertaining just about the whole of the neighbouring children at ours, adventure play was encouraged, a garden that would look something like "Steptoe and Sons" back yard at the end of play, with mucky but certainly happy kids !

On reflection we wish there had been a manual on "how to raise the late teenager" as our experience was that the teenage years were difficult & we failed.

So, long before our first grandchild was even a twinkle in his parents eyes we were asked a favour & we could just not oblige.

From this day on molehills were turned into mountains, the whole thing got out of hand, was truly blown out of all proportion & we were ostracised from our grown up off springs lives. We tried and tried for them to just "meet" for them to just "talk" but met with a brick wall.

We both became extremely depressed & could not function, to us being ostracised by our off springs was a living bereavement. Father was also experiencing the actual bereavement of a real kind (actual loss of a parent) & Mother felt so desperate at the deep loss & sadness of her living off springs that mother attempted to take her own life - at this time, mother just did not want to live anymore, she could not take anymore.

Extended family stepped in with support, both parents moved away for a year until they felt a little stronger before moving back to their home hoping, truly hoping, that their grown up off springs would now make amends, it had been over a year now, surely they'd have calmed down, nobody can stay angry & bear resentment forever - surely ? Sadly, this wasn't to be, grown up off springs just would not communicate to talk it through & would run to the police to complain of harassment if their parents made any attempts to communicate with them by any means - just to talk, just to sort it out & not with the intention of causing them alarm, distress & fear of their lives. Parents just wanted to "communicate".

So, a child was born into the feuding family, an innocent child who is now a toddler, a toddler who does not even know there are parental grandparents out there (us) who love toddler so much & there is a whole extended paternal family out there too being excluded.

We were invited to meet with our grandchild twice, in a cafe each time, once when grandchild was one week old & a second time when grandchild was three  weeks old. In total, one hour & fifty five minutes we were grandparents before the carrot was cruelly pulled away from us.

We never did see our grandchild with open eyes, hear our grandchild's baby cries, see our grandchild's first smiles & all we have to treasure are two photographs - one of us with grandchild when grandchild was a week old (good job we took our camera or else we'd not even have that) & we have just one more of our grandchild when grandchild was 7 months old.

Grandad says "that ship has sailed now, we missed out on it all and can't ever press the replay button"

We aren't consumed in 24/7 grief anymore, are of the benefit of therapy for what was diagnosed as PTSD given the traumas experienced.

We are comfortable that we tried long before our grandchild was even a twinkle to put it right with grandchild's parents & all we can do is make the best of life we can, yes, there is a sad void, but not the 24/7 grief anymore.

We live in hope that grandchild's parents will eat humble pie one day & be our friends again before it's too late.

We'd welcome them with open arms regardless of the emotional abuse we feel that we have experienced.

Our love as parents is unconditional."

A huge thank you again to another grandparent who felt they wanted to share their experience.
To describe the effect this situation causes as PTSD, is so apt.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

£46 BILLION a year on Family Breakdown!

A report out today says that family life is worse than it was 30 years ago.
According to the CEO of 4Children Anne Longfield OBE:
"We spend £9 billion a year on managing troubled families, £46 billion a year on family breakdown and £29 billion on tackling child poverty yet we could save £32,000 per family a year if crisis was averted."


Sunday 12 January 2014

Celebrate the time I had with my granddaughter.

I have no doubt, like me, you spend time researching and reading websites, forums and blogs on Parental Alienation, denied contact , reading books by eminent, apparent experts in their field ect.
What I have found is that after dissecting , questioning and probably blaming myself for everything, that it is an unhealthy thing to do.
If you are in a situation of experiencing a breakdown of a relationship, as in being denied contact, continually reading all the quite naturally negative stuff does you no good at all.
Everyone has an opinion, of what you should do, what you should have done and has an explanation of peoples behaviour.
I wonder if reading all this is helpful?
Actually, for me, no.
What has happened has happened, I personally can do nothing about it, all I can do is to lend an understanding ear, a sturdy shoulder and for others to know that they don't need to explain.
So I am going to try hard not to do any more reading as to why, but to look to  how best to support and to celebrate the time I had with my granddaughter and to treasure those memories that are with me every day, they can never be withdrawn from me.
I love her more than words can say, I will always love her and I will always be here for her.


Wednesday 8 January 2014

A Grandparents Experience of Alienation.

Following on from case studies, here is another case study of total sadness and bewilderment.

"My Story.
For 11 years I had a lovely relationship with my grandson.
Even after the divorce in 2004 I continued to see him in my son’s contact time.
I would transport him to/from school,scouts and other activities.He had sleepovers at my home.I shared holidays and outings.We played games,shared cooking,painting,etc.etc.After starting Senior school he would regularly call at my house on his way home.
Then suddenly in early 2011 after conflict between his dad and step-dad the contact ceased completely. All contact was blocked –letters,cards.emails.phone calls.
My son applied to court for contact but this was refused.False allegations were made against me and my son,with no chance to refute them.
It is also repeatedly alleged that my grandson does not wish to see/contact me,my son and other family members.
I am utterly depressed and completely baffled that a child can be so alienated that such a beautiful relationship can be totally destroyed."

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Set up your own group.

It is not difficult, but it does need perseverance,
As there are several grandparents here and abroad setting up groups and asking how to, here is a brief outline of how I started.
Firstly write to your local press explaining what you are doing and the facts around denied contact and what a widespread situation it is globally.
If you have local Radio, TV approach them as well.
Write to their letters page here is a template letter you can use http://bristolgrandparentssupport.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/tea-and-cake-for-grandchildren.html
Pop posters up in Libraries, Health Centres,Post Offices,Community notice boards  anywhere you think might be appropriate.
You don't have to invite people to your home as I did, you could meet perhaps at a local cafe etc.
The whole point of a support groups just that, support.
Never give legal advice.
There are lots more tips I can share with you, so get in contact if you are considering setting up a group.
Also if you haven't read our story here is a link http://www.bristolgrandparentssupportgroup.co.uk/our_story.html

Bristol Grandparents Support Group are not liable for any groups who may set up elsewhere.

Monday 6 January 2014

Oxford Shout-Out.

I have a grandparent in the Oxford area who would like to meet up with other grandparents in the same position, if you would like to do that contact me and I will link you up.

Saturday 4 January 2014

The truth from an alienated child.

If there was any doubt at all as to the terrible damage inflicted on our young people who face PA watch this
Please share this with everyone.

Please Let Me See My Son.

This is a book written by an alienated Dad : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn8m7z1KIm8

Australian Grandparents.

Just want to send out a very warm welcome to the grandparents who have been in contact recently in Australia, who want to set up support groups.

Why are grandparents important?

I would like to hear from you as to why you think it is important for children to have a relationship with their grandparents.
For me it is vital, we are a part of the child's identity, their inheritance, a part of the building blocks of their lives.
Hopefully we have wisdom to pass on, having been parents ourselves.
As parents you are so busy, with working, bringing up a family and all the pressures that go hand in hand in modern society. Grandparents can give their undivided attention and time to the grandchildren, we are there to give support as and when required.
So why do you think we are important.
Just to say, if you want to comment on the blog but are wary as it is a public blog, use a different name, different location, never use your grandchildren's names or just comment anonymously.
Would love to hear from parents as well as to why you think we are an important part of your children's lives.

Friday 3 January 2014

Debate on why Parental Alienation occurs in the first place.

Ok we all know that Parental Alienation is fact and child abuse, and we need to raise public awareness on the subject.
What I want to do is to open up a debate on why do we think it happens in the first place?
There are groups all over the place trying hard to get it out there so its time to work together.
Presumably when a child is born it is as a result of a loving relationship between two people, so what happens to cause this to become so revengeful and bitter when things go wrong?
The other situation is when alienation happens because your own child alienates you from themselves and the children.
Again, we ALL make mistakes ,we say and do things that maybe we shouldn't but how does a falling out become so evil?
Its over to you, to get this debate going, I can't do it on my own.
I know it can be difficult but mud slinging etc is not helpful, many eminent people come out with all sorts of reasons why, but we are the people it is happening to, we are the experts.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Real Life Stories of Parental Alienation.

As I promised we are going to focus on Parental Alienation and its effects, here is the beginning of case studies, no locations or names will be given.
These are real families who are devastated and desperate as a society we can not allow it to continue.

Case Study 1:

" I'm an alienated father of four !!!
Two boys aged 18 & 17
And two little girls aged 10 & 8.
I was fighting against a person using the art of PA.
And worse kind of !!!
A court process that doesn't seem to care or get it !!!!
After around a yr,
I came across PA,
Then every thing started slotting
Into place,
I wondered why the resident parent was doing this and I kind of started to see what was coming round each corner.
I even had two very false and very late allegations’ made against me by the alienator and my now 18 yr old son.
He even came to court to lie against his own father.
At that point I thought this is now really bad when you get an 18 yr old to lie in court, !!!!!!!!!
My contact has now all been closed down in sep of 2013.
I'm told I cant apply to see my girls until 2016.
PA is a real thing that go's on.
It is a crime,
It is abuse.
For me it's the worst thing I have ever had to deal with in my life.
so my dear children are still being abused by the alienator and also by the very process that is meant to protect our children !!!!!!!!
Never in my life did I believe such evilness could be so,
And never for one minute at the beginning of this sad saga.
Did I believe, that this process would act against the father.
The male. !!!!!!
But it does and did !!!!!!!!!
I am an equal parent/father
I am an equal human being as my children are too."

Case Study 2:

" We had a wonderful relationship with our grandchild for 7 years, until one day when she told us she had been told to 'dump her family in ........'
From that day on we have had no contact at all with her, my son has had no contact with her our whole family has lost someone very dear to us.
What do you do when you receive a letter from a solicitor saying that your daughter/granddaughter no longer wants to be part of your life?
How can anyone know what that does to a father and his family? 
One of the worst things is that you think that your granddaughter believes that she is not loved by the family that somehow they have just stopped caring about her.
We know that Parental Alienation has taken place, that she has been told horrible things about us and we can do nothing about it.
There are very bad days when you wonder how you can carry on, but you do, just. "

Case Study 3:

" First, a little history:

X came into my life as my teenage son's girlfriend. She became pregnant at age 14 and gave me my first grandson,  Y now aged 18. X and I had a very tumultuous relationship for the first couple of years. She moved into my home when she was a teenager and pregnant and it was an extremely difficult time for my family, to say the least! Beside my son, N -now age 36, I also have a daughter, who is 6 months older than X.
Their firstborn,Y, and I were very close, closer I think, than a typical grandmother/grandchlid relationship. X and N eventually married and had another son together ,almost 13 years old. They have since divorced and N married a woman named G. As I said, X and I had a very difficult relationship but have both grown and matured into what is now a very loving mother/daughter-like relationship - she calls me her "faux" Mom! 
When my son first met G and it became clear that they were in a long term relationship,she seemed like a loving and wonderful young woman and I often told people that I thought that she fell in love with my grandsons before she fell in love with N. Now in hindsight, I see that her love (infatuation?) for them was not healthy. She quickly became very possessive of them and of my son. We had a couple of "fallings out" over her monopolization of my family. For example, every holiday, or day of importance such as a birthday, was spent with her family with little or no time  for us. Before N and G married, they were living together and X had custody of the boys. I believe that, legally, N & A had "shared custody." Y was having some behavioural issues and, it was decided that he go to live with N & G. I believe that this is when the alienation went into full swing: G took Y to register him the local public school and on the admission forms, listed herself as his "mother" (they weren't yet married, mind you!) and listed her mother and sister as emergency contacts, not even mentioning X! (or mine considering I had always been listed and lived about a mile from the school) I knew then that we were in trouble! I had been having an on again, off again relationship with my daughter, son and soon-to-be daughter in law. G overheard me talking to my daughter about my feelings about her. (ie: that I felt that she was selfish by excluding me in any get together plans etc.). I was "talked to" about it as if I were a disobedient child by my son and G. There were other difficulties; things I did or said that displeased them (her) and issues they were having with X. Just prior to N & G's wedding, I was given an ultimatum: I either cut off my relationship with X ("She's not your family anymore, G is!") or I will not be allowed to have any relationship with them, which included my grandsons. My daughter, who in my opinion, has some social adjustment issues; has held on to her own teenage insecurities and jealously as far as X is concerned and had joined "their side". In their ( N, G and my daughter) opinion and warped sense of reality, I have abandoned them for X, have made my "choice" and so now have to pay the "consequences" (again being treated like a disobedient child) of being divorced from the family!!! So at this point, I do not have a relationship with either of my children or with Y, who has been brainwashed against his mother and me. Fortunately, X has a wonderful relationship with H with whom she has "visitation", I hate that word as it applies to a child's time with a loving parent - sounds like visits to a penitentiary! It is a constant struggle for X because they, of course, are doing their best to alienate  H and not only don't miss an opportunity to try to bash her down, but quite often fabricate (lie?) issues in which to allow themselves the opportunity to spew their vile hatred!  
N & G have a 4 year old daughter, K and I have been deprived of a relationship with her as well, of course. At a recent football game of H's, my daughter was walking toward me holding K's hand. I looked down at her, smiled and said, "Hi K!"  my daughter obviously reported this to G because by the time I returned home I had a nasty email from G with a veiled threat to not ever again make any attempt to interact with her daughter!!! 

Backtracking a bit, there was a custody hearing for which I helped X retain an attorney. My son has, in his adult years, been very verbally abusive to me, and verbally and physically abusive to his children and X . Long story short, the judge, without ever hearing our testimony to those facts, awarded full custody to N because J didn't want to have anything to do with his mother and she didn't want to split the boys up.... the boys had gone to lunch with N,G, my daughter, their attorney and my ex and immediately after the lunch recess, met with the judge in chambers. Of course they were coached and with his big brother in the room and his bully of a father in the next room, H, of course, could not be honest or truthful about his feelings! The judge's horribly wrong decision has only added fuel to the fire of PA...

That 's our story and it goes on and on, I'm afraid. My son is in constant contempt of the court orders and we do not have the funds to fight him! From what I've heard, not an unusual scenario: the alienators count on bankrupting the alienated parent financially and emotionally. The only thing that has saved H is his bond with his mother, her devotion and love for him and her tenacity to not give up on him. J is now, "legally" an adult and is at college and out from under their roof. I want so much to contact him but have been advised to give him time.... I have hope that he will figure things out as his world ( and experiences) broadens... As the mother and grandmother, my heart is broken and torn....I will forever love my misguided "children" and grandson and pray that someday, they will come to their senses and remember the unconditional love I have for them." 

Thank you to those who have shared their stories, there will be more.