Have a Heart, it’s Christmas

I have crocheted a heart and placed it on my tree to remind all those parents who are responsible to maintain and nourish familial relationships this season you can join in the PAS Campaign by following @fatherscontact & @Pas_amanda on twitter

crocheted-heart2

Here’s how you crochet a heart………. thanks to @BellaCoco

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When will they listen to Grandparents?

https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03z3p76/player?chromeless

Please watch the heartbreaking interview of Neal Gray, Ellie Butler’s Grandfather and then express your views on how the courts should change in order for grandparents and extended family members to give a wider picture of family life for the poor innocent children who are left wanting and failed by an outdated system, which is shrouded in secrecy to protect families private lives but ultimately fails children and families.

 

40 + Reasons – An Easter Message – or how the government makes a mockery of the institutional alienation of families.

When I went through the courts in the battle to maintain contact with my granddaughter there was one thing that stuck in my mind, if I lost the established contact with my granddaughter then so would the rest of my immediate family, all 40 + members, my brothers, sisters, her great Aunts & Uncles, my daughters – Aunts, and all the children, cousins and second cousins.

They didn’t all come along on those first prescribed, supervised contact visits, but I did take along a couple of my daughters, (her immediate Aunts,) because their relationship was already established, and to my mind it was important for the continuity and stability of my granddaughter, she needed to know that whilst she understood there was a problem and a breakdown in family relations, that her family would still be there to look out for, and love her.

You don’t need to have gone through a family separation to understand how vital those bonds are, but if you have already experienced it in your lifetime it can have a detrimental effect on your health and well-being – physically, emotionally and mentally.

 I had gone through it twice in my life as a child, firstly when I was adopted as a baby, (unusually my biological mother remained in the adoptive family home until I reached the age of 5) and then again when I was placed in a care home aged 12, until I reached 16 and was set ‘free’ to make my own way in the world!

You could argue that it informed the way I deal with alienation, and how abhorrent it has become to me, I don’t think I ever got over the feeling of rejection, that’s not to say I became a victim either!

This leads me to today, and just as I was contemplating giving up Grandparent Support Ltd, (there are far bigger organisations out there with vast resources, lottery and Government funding, doing amazing work, I prefer to work independently – I have the right to voice my opinion and shall not be censored!) I received a phone call from a lady wanting to know why the extended family couldn’t be included in their visit, (2 members only) I hadn’t had this problem as nobody had objected when I had done it, but I all too readily identified the problem, differing local authorities seem to adopt different practices- this unfortunately I had encountered, and as we know things are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

It is a basic human right- the right to family life, both for the child and the members of that child’s family,

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/about-us/our-work/human-rights/human-rights-review-2012/articles/article-8

Although as stated within the act it is “a qualified right”.

This lady has already qualified as a special guardian for her grandson and together they have periodic visits with his two siblings in foster care, and she has been assured by the local authority that they are all working towards reuniting the family in the future.

Surely then, one must apply common sense and include extended family, not én-masse obviously, but for those occasions when it would be normal to do so, i.e. holidays such as Easter! After all it is the natural family support network.

On the 19th March 2015 Edward Timpson the Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, gave a speech in Manchester, you can read it here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/making-it-easier-for-more-people-to-come-forward-and-foster

He failed to mention the “300,000 children in the UK, being brought up by grandparents and other family members (kinship carers). Many of these children have been neglected or abused or suffered the death or serious illness of a parent. Almost half have special needs or a disability.

 Most of the children would be in care if their relative hadn’t stepped in to look after them. It would cost the taxpayer £12 billion each year in care costs alone if they were in independent foster care. Yet the enormous contribution that kinship carers make is often hidden or taken for granted. Too many kinship carers bringing up vulnerable children suffer isolation, poverty and stress.”

Source: Grandparents Plus.

Edward Timpson also failed to mention how little is done to prevent parent/grandparent/family alienation and how as a society, alienation has now become the cruellest “weapon of choice” between separating couples and families.

Yet the Department for Education is set to spend £1.597m from their Innovation Programme Funds, on adopting and no doubt adapting the U.S. Mocking Bird Programme:

https://www.fostering.net/news/2015/innovation-fund-award-bring-mockingbird-uk#.VR1nefnF-So

Whilst I applaud the Under Secretary for addressing this issue, and creating help and much needed support for Foster Carers, we have a long way to go in order to “slay the beast that is – Family Alienation” and its subsequent victims, not least of all the children.

The £1.597m is a mere drop in the £12 BILLION Ocean that the government is saving by utilising kinship carers who are undervalued and largely ignored for the knowledge and contribution they make.

I wish you all a Happy and Peaceful Easter and wish folk would not try and teach Grandparents how to suck eggs!

Geraldine

Please click on the link and sign the petition:

https://www.change.org/p/edward-timpson-parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state-for-children-and-families-uk-newly-elected-parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state-for-children-and-families-u-k-stop-family-alienation?just_created=true

 

Grateful thanks to Grandparent Plus and all the hard work they do, you can visit their site for more information here:

mypage

 

Understanding alienation and the wider dynamics of adult psychology.

Good Morning all, I do a lot of research in ‘my work’ which involves reading endlessly and trawling the web for good information, and sometimes I hit upon a golden nugget!
This is such a nugget, in a nutshell it covers what I have spent a lifetime learning through self-development- I urge you to watch and share with all your family and friends #‎notjustforgrandparents

Too long for you? consider this:

Before you spend valuable time watching your favourite film or TV programme, give yourself the New Year Gift of understanding yourself and your families dynamic psychology.

There is no leading authority on the issue of grandparent alienation or parental alienation, but you’ll have to do a lot of surfing of the net to beat these guys:

http://www.aga-fl.org/

#notjustforgrandparents

 

 

Grandparents and parents are unforgettable

As I listen to Nat King Cole and his immortal words in the song ‘unforgettable’ I am reminded of why I started Grandparent Support, although the song was originally written as a love song for probably between two adults, I remember thinking on one of those unhappy Christmases in the not too distant past, when I was denied contact with my beautiful granddaughter, that I would not give up nor forget her, and in my heart I knew because of our bond that she would not forget me either.

When Natalie Cole released the virtual duet with her father in 1991 (who had died in 1965) it became my #1 Favourite and a testament to the power of love and music.

The song kept a light within in me, a small flickering light that was to burn like a flame and become my strength, it made me think of other songs too, songs that my granddaughter and I had enjoyed listening to together, one of her favourites that I had introduced her to is A windmill in old Amsterdam.

She still asks for this whenever I pick her up in the car, and we never fail to chuckle away with the mice at the end.

We have come to love other tunes together, you see that flame turned into a roaring fire that blazed through several courts and many negotiations and reconciliations, we have a working contact order that has been successfully in place now for over 18 months and with an open heart and an ever listening ear forcommunication and understanding it is set to continue.

My wish for all who are separated from their loved ones through family conflict this season is to have an open heart and an open mind and try again with the lines of communication, in whatever form that helps you as a family.

If you would like a dedication played on our radio show do please get in contact.

Welcome to Grandparent Support Greater Manchester

Grandparent Support wishes to raise awareness of all  the issues that contemporary grandparents face, we need your help to circulate our leaflet so that we may help others to help themselves, by setting up support groups tailor made for specific needs, throughout the North West.

What is Grandparent Support?

Grandparent Support is an online and community based support network set up for all grandparents who need support, whether you are raising your grandchildren or you have no contact with them.

Who do we support?

      The “Sandwich Generation”

      Grandparent Carers & their Families

      Alienated Grandparents & their Families

We also welcome other alienated members of the family, from parents or step-parents, brothers and sisters, to aunties, uncles and cousins.

Supporting Alienated Grandparents and their Families

There are over 1 million Grandparents who are alienated from their grandchildren in the UK alone. It is also a worldwide problem.

Alienation can happen for a variety of reasons, including:

forgetme not

Relationship breakdown

Bereavement

Substance abuse

Domestic violence

Family squabbles

Debt

Homelessness

If you have been alienated as part of a break-up process, or are no longer in contact with your grandchild for any reason, we can support you with ideas and information on how to move forward. We also have a monthly support group that you can attend.

Supporting Grandparent Carers and their Families

There are up to 300,000 grandparent carers in the UK: grandparents who are bringing up grandchildren that live with them (resident grandchildren).

There are many more that care for their grandchildren while a parent works – some of these grandparents do not even consider themselves grandparent carers!

If you would like to know what help is available in your area or wish to meet up with other grandparent carers, come along to one of our support group meetings.

Supporting the “Sandwich Generation” of Grandparents

The ‘Sandwich Generation’ is a term applied to grandparents who are looking after their grandchildren and taking care of their elderly relatives too.

As our population increases in age and more and more people choose to live independently as they grow older, many grandparents have a dual role of caring for both young and old alike.

This can put increasing pressure on this age group (typically 45-65), many of whom are still working.

We wish to support grandparents who find themselves in this situation, and are finding it increasingly difficult to juggle these responsibilities. Come and join us for support.

Support in your area

If you would like a support group in your area or you are willing to help run one voluntarily, please contact us.

A group can be just once a month, or however frequently your group prefers.

No experience is needed just your time, energy and empathy.

All Volunteers are required to supply up-to-date references and undergo an enhanced DBS (CRB) check.

Contact Grandparent Support

Write to:

Geraldine Walsh-Whiteside

Grandparent Support Ltd.

C/o  WhiteMoss Youth & Community Centre, Southdown Crescent,  Blackley, Manchester. M9 7DQ

 

EmailGrandparentsupport@hotmail.com

A reply is usually guaranteed within 48hrs.

 

Find us online:

http://twitter.com/grandparentsupp

www.facebook.com/GrandparentSupport

http://grandparentsupport.org

To download our leaflet click Grandparent Support Manchester Trifold Leaflet

 

Thank you for your helpforgetme not

 

The Simple Act of Forgiveness

I have long since learned to forgive, just small things, then some huge, but never more so than in the battle to see my granddaughter.

Forgiveness is also about your own pre-conceived notions and how to eradicate them, you need to take a step back and re-evaluate.

Fine words- hard to put into practice unless you try, try and try again.

How do you go about it? Well that all depends on the offence or level of it, could you forgive someone for stealing from you? For me it depends on what they stole but more importantly why they stole it?

Was it just to have whatever they stole as a possession? They didn’t have what you had, and maybe their envy caused them to steal?

Maybe they stole to survive, would you still condemn and thus not forgive?

I suppose that all comes down to the offence.

I have often said here that you must not break the law to prove your point, it may attract attention in the short term, but it does nothing for your long term goal, does it?

Or does it? Well that all depends on the law of the land at that particular time doesn’t it.

Think Nelson Mandela and then have a re-think, why was he jailed in the first place? Why was he freed? Why and how did he change history?

Then think again about his strongest message- forgiveness.

If you are a grandparent reading this, forgive and build bridges to move forward.

If you are a parent reading this, forgive and build bridges to move forward.

If you are a politician and law maker reading this, adapt and change law to move forward.

If you are a child reading this, forgive them for they know not what they do!

‘Cinderella’ emotional cruelty law considered’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26814427