For the first 6 months of this year I’ve had to concentrate on my day to day job, hence my lack of posts.
I wasn’t sure I would find the time to write about the things that concern me as a grandparent, both as an alienated grandparent or as a grandparent carer, which many grandparents find themselves in the juxtaposition of.
To be frank my energy levels were so zapped during the legal battle, (which thankfully ended with a working court order in 2013) and the subsequent financial hardships as a consequence, I had no choice but to return to full time employment.
I am lucky in that I get to work with a fantastic team in a very diverse community in the heart of Manchester and make a difference to older people’s lives. #ILoveMyJob
Things were just beginning to run smoothly when the Manchester Arena Attack happened on May 22nd 2017 and for the second time in my life time my home city was attacked by some random violent terrorist, the first time was in December 1992.

I could go on to tell you how the first attack changed my life forever, by succumbing to the inevitable anxiety and depression and fear of public spaces, but that won’t help and I now realise 25 years on how those terrorists won their battle of fear and terror by forever changing my life and the way I went about it, even though mercifully nobody died in that first attack.

It took me a long time to seek the right help for my fears and anxieties and no amount of attacks will ever break my resolve to live my life to the fullest to enjoy each and every moment I can with friends, family and community.

I am fiercely proud of my city of Manchester for the way it has come together in the days that have followed since 22nd May and my prayers and thoughts will always be with the families and friends who lost loved ones or were injured in this senseless attack.


If you have been affected in any way find someone to talk to, but do not let terror defeat you, we owe it to the victims, to live life to the fullest on their behalf, volunteer in your local community and help those who are the most vulnerable such as the elderly, many of whom no longer venture out.
Many of the elderly are NOT on social media but will be tuning into their TV’s and Radio’s and will be absorbing the wall to wall coverage of terror, so please pop into your local community centre/hub and church, temple or mosque and ask for their latest newsletter or what’s on guide and post in your local streets.

You can also work with your local community to raise funds for projects in your area that help make a difference.

Here is a useful link for those affected


Show that we are not alone! #BeNeighbourly



Today I woke up to the news about yesterday’s attacks in Paris, such shocking and terrible deeds committed with precision, planning and co-ordination to do the very thing they set out to do, perpetuate this war of terror, pain, anguish and human annihilation.

In The same week we commemorated Armistice Day………well words here actually fail me!

?????????????????????????????????????????????My deepest sympathies and prayers for Paris and all those affected.

Whilst you are reading this, you are connected to the wonderful web, there are many elderly folk who are not and they do not always have the facility to get out or to ‘switch off’ by flicking between media.

Some may have no family/friends to reassure them so be a good neighbour, and look out for the elderly in your area, join a reputable national/ local organisation as a volunteer or print out some of the following organisations telephone numbers and slip them through the letterbox.

0800 4 70 80 90

The Silver Line is the only national confidential and free helpline for older people open every day and night of the year.

  • No question too big
  • No problem too small
  • No need to be alone

0800 169 2081 


WebBanner2 grandparents plus

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,

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:

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:

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!


Please click on the link and sign the petition:


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



As Manchester prepares for ‘devolution’, We urge the powers that be, to revolutionise their thinking.

Greater Manchester £6bn NHS budget devolution begins in April

In April the region’s 10 councils and health groups will take over £6bn allocated for health and social care, with full powers being devolved a year later.

We urge all local councils health and social care workers, clinical commissioning groups et al to watch the following presentation the next 15 minutes could help you make a positive change!

Nadine Burke Harris: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime


UK children suffered sex abuse on ‘industrial scale’

Call your parents, call your children, practise forgiveness & move forward.

Alienation is in the news more and more, parental alienation and now even grandparent alienation, something few had heard of is now being recognised.

J.K. Simmons a man of honour who recognises the need to salute family

Separating the parent from the teacher,

Some teachers are parents and some parents are teachers

Some are neither.

Being a parent can be tough, it can be amazingly rewarding too,

Not everyone is cut out to be a parent

The same can be said of teachers too.

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:




Summer Holiday Play-scheme List Manchester 2014

If your Looking for places for the Grandchildren then look no further…………………………………….

The following is a list of open access playschemes that will be operating during the Summer holidays.

Open access schemes are generally free of charge, however some may ask for a small donation. Parents/Carers need to go with their child on the first day to complete a registration form, places can not be pre-booked and places are offered daily on a first come first served basis.

If your child has additional needs please discuss with the individual playscheme how they can best support your child.

North Manchester 

Big Life Centre
: Cheetwood Centre, Brackenhurst Drive , M7 4YG

Contact: Sian Sweeney 0161 792 5203

Dates: 4th August-30th August

Times: 1-4pm

Age range:  6 – 14 yrs


Kutchi Sunni Muslim Association
: Dada Hall, 20 Brideoak St, Cheetham Hill, M8 0PN
Contact: Nazma Mitha  0161 203 4631

Dates: 4th August- 22nd  August

Times: 9.00am – 1.00pm  /  1.30pm–3.30pm

Age range:  6 – 14 yrs


Grumpy- ‘Everyone can play’
: Whitemoss Youth and Community Centre
Contact: Ruth Northall 0161 737 1644

Dates: 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 15th August

Times: 1.00pm -4.00pm

Age range : 6 – 14 yrs


Higher Blackley Youth Centre
: Higher Blackley Youth Centre, Victoria Avenue, M9 0RA
Contact: Elaine Young 0161 437 5923

Dates: 11th August- 29th August / 1.00pm- 4.00pm

Times: 2-5 pm

Age range:  6 – 14 yrs


Turkey Lane & Monsall
: TLM Centre, Jocelyn Street, Monsall, M40 8PR
Contact: Rose McCarton  0161 205 8608

Dates: 29th July- 15th August

Times: 10.00am – 12.30pm / 1.30pm – 4pm

Age range:  6 – 12 yrs 


East Manchester 


Beswick 4 CT
: The Grange, Pilgrim Drive, Beswick, M11 3TQ
Contact: Kay Gallagher  0161 230 1420

Dates: 4th August – 22nd August

Times: 10.00 am – 12.30pm / 1pm – 3.30pm

Age range:  8 – 12 yrs


Grumpy- ‘Everyone can play’
: St George’s Youth & Community Centre, Livesy St, Collyhurst, M40 7NX
Contact: Ruth Northall 0161 737 1644

Dates 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st July / 1st 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th August

Times: 1-3pm

Age range : 6 – 14 yrs 


Openshaw 4 CT
: Sporting Edge Community Centre, Openshaw, M11 1FG
Contact: Kay Gallagher  0161 230 1420

Dates:4th August- 22nd August

Times: 10.00 am – 12.30pm / 1pm – 3.30pm

Age range:  8 – 12 yrs


Stirling Community Centre
: Stirling Community Centre, Scotland Hall Road, Newton Heath, M60 6RA
Contact: Elaine Young  0161 437 5923

Dates: 21st July- 8th August

Times: 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Age range:  6 – 14 yrs 

Central Manchester 

3A’s Parent Group

Venue: Claremont Resource Centre, Rolls Crescent, Hulme M15 5FS
Contact: Jackie Burton

Dates: 28th July  –15 th August

Times: 9.30-12.30pm

Age range : 6 – 14 yrs


A6 Young People’s Centre (Formerly Longsight Adventure Playground)
: Wilson Street, Ardwick, M13 9EX
Contact: Elaine Young  0161 437 5923

Dates: 21st July  – 29th August

Times: 2-5pm

Age range : 6 – 14 yrs


: Aquarius Community Centre, 21 Eden Close, Hulme, M15 6AX
Contact: Heather Grant  0161 226 8254

Dates:21st July- 29th August

Times: 10.30am-1.00pm  / 2pm – 4.30pm

Age range:  6 – 14 yrs 


Anson Cabin Project
: Anson Cabin, 38 Meldon Road, Longsight, M13 0TR
Contact: Julie Scott  0161 248 5695

Dates: 21st July – 8th August

Times: 9.30am – 12pm / 1pm – 3.30pm

Age range: 5 – 13 yrs 


BAGS + B playscheme
: Church of Christ Hall, Beresford Road, Longsight M13 0TB
Contact: Farrah Aftab  07581318090

Dates: 4th August -22nd August

Times: 9.00am- 12.00 pm / 1.00pm- 3.00 pm

Age Range:  6 – 14 yrs 


Deaf Community Playscheme
: Manchester Deaf Centre, Crawford House, Booth St East, M13 9GH
Contact: Gemma Ryles 0161 273 3415

Dates: 22nd  July – 8th August

Times: 10.00 am – 3.00pm

Age range:  8- 16 yrs 


Moss Side Adventure
Whitnall St, Moss Side, M16 7JD
Contact: Lee Ann Igbon  0161 226 3311

Dates 21st  – 8th August

Times: 12-3pm

Age range : 6 – 14 yrs


Moss Side Power House
: The Powerhouse, Raby St, Moss Side, M14 4SL

Contact: Lydia Anthony 0161 225 1064

Dates: 11th– 29th August

Times:10.00am-12.30pm / 1.00pm- 3.30pm

Age range:  6-11 yrs


Moss Side and Hulme Roller Sports

Venue: Work for change building, 41 Old Birley St , M15 5RF

Contact: Elvereen Fletchman 0161 868 0513

Dates: 21st July- 29th August

Times: 1.00pm- 4.00pm

Age range:  6-14 yrs


Proctors Youth Centre (Manchester Young Lives)
: Jackson Crescent, Hulme, M15 5AL
Contact: Lee Ann Igbon  0161 437 5923
Dates: 4th August  – 22nd  August

Times:  12-3pm

Age range : 6 – 14 yrs


Slade Lane Playscheme
: Slade Lane Neighbourhood Centre, Stockport Rd, Longsight, M13 0RZ
Contact: Pat Coleman  0161 224 1451

Dates: 21st July- 8th August

Times: 9.30am – 12pm / 1pm – 3.30pm

Age range: 6 – 13 yrs


Trinity House

Venue: Trinity House, Grove Close, Rusholme, M14 5AA
Contact: Lydia Anthony  0161 225 1064

Dates: 21st July- 8th   August

Times:10.00am–12.30pm /1.00pm  – 3.30 pm

Age range: 6 – 11 yrs 


Aim 2 Inspire
: Westcroft Centre, Westcroft Avenue, Burnage, M20 6EF
Contact: Dawne Bowes  07951727830

Dates: 28th July-22nd  August  (Not Wednesdays)

Times: 10.00am- 12.30 pm / 1.30pm- 3.30pm

Age Range:  7- 14 yrs


Barlow Moor Playscheme
: Barlow Moor Community Centre, 23 Merseybank Ave, Chorlton, M21 7NT
Contact: Lucy Ingham  0161 446 4805

Dates: 21st July- 1st August

Times: 9.15am- 12.15 am / 1.00pm- 4.00 pm

Age Range:  5 – 9 years / 9 – 14 years


Chorlton Youth Project

Venue: Chorlton Central Church, Barlow Moor Rd, Chorlton, M21 8BF

Contact: Irvine Williams 0161 446 4805

Dates: 28th July-15th August

Times: / 10.00am -12.30pm  / 1.15pm-3.30pm

Age Range: 6-12 yrs


Community on solid ground

Venue: Manley Park Play Centre, York Avenue, Whalley Range, M16 0AS

Contact: Majid Dar 07966882856

Dates: 30th July-21st  August

Times: 11.00am -1.30pm

Age range:  6-14 yrs 



Venue: JNR8 Youth and Community Centre, 82 Cromwell Avenue, Whalley Range, M16 0BG

Contact: Alison Chisholm 0161 881 3744

Dates: 21st July-8th August

Times: 2.30pm – 5.00pm

Age range:  6-14 yrs


Old Moat Playscheme
: Old Moat Primary School, Old Moat Lane, Withington, M20 3FN
Contact: Paula O’Reilly  07977516998

Dates: 21st July- 29th August

Times: 1.30pm – 4.00pm

Age Range: 6- 11 yrs


Ladybarn Community Centre
: Ladybarn Community Centre, Royle St, Fallowfield
Contact: Kirsty Henderson / Gary Levesconte  0161 225 2093

Dates: 28th July- 15th August

Times: 9.00am – 12pm / 1.00pm – 4pm

Age range: 6 – 11 yrs




Benchill Community Playscheme
: Benchill Community Centre, Benchill Rd,  Wythenshawe, M22 8EJ
Contact: Brenda Grixti  0161 945 0879

Dates: 21st July-8th  August

Times: 9.30am –12.30pm / 1.00pm– 4.00pm 

Age range:  6- 14 yrs


Royal Oak
: Royal Oak Community Centre, Brookcott Rd, Baguley, M23 1DU
Contact: Gina Hall 0161 998 2146
Dates: 28th July – 29th August

Times: Monday and Thursdays 9.30-12.30 / 1-4 pm

Age range: 6 – 14 yrs


The Addy Young Peoples Centre
: The Addy Young Peoples’ Centre, Woodhouse Lane, Wythenshawe,

M22 9TF
Contact: Elaine Vickers  0161 437 8950

Dates: 21st July  – 29th  August


Age range : 6 – 14 yrs


Wythenshawe Community Initiative
: Woodhouse Park Family Centre, Stoneacre Rd, Wythenshawe, M22 5TB
Contact: Clare North  0161 498 0292

Dates: 23rd July-22nd August

Times: 10.00am – 12.30pm / 12.30pm- 3.00pm  (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)

Age range: 5 – 13 yrs


Wythenshawe Community Initiative @ Milky Button Park
: Milky Button Park, Greenbrow Road, Baguley, M23 2ET
Contact: Clare North 0161 498 0292

Dates: 21st July-19th  August

Times: 10.00 –12.30pm / 12.30pm– 3.00pm (Monday and Tuesday only)

Age range:  6- 13 yrs