Hi everyone and welcome to Bristol Grandparents Support Group blog. Although we are Bristol based we have grandparents from all over the UK and beyond as members.

It is estimated that over one million children in the UK are denied contact with their grandparents due to family breakdown which may have been caused by divorce/separation, alcohol/drug dependency,domestic violence,bereavement or family feud.
Every child has the right to have contact with their grandparents
if they wish and unless proven unsafe for them to do so. To deny contact from a parent or grandparent has to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
I hope to keep you up to date with what is going on in BGSG and I shall continue to campaign for the rights of children to have a loving and meaningful relationship with both parents and their extended family. So please join in as good to hear your views, not just mine!
I also will support via Skype.
There is no membership fee to be part of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.
Esther Rantzen says, " To every grandparent, links of love can never be broken in our hearts."

Please contact during office hours.

Friday 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.