A documentary by Grandparents plus

This documentary by Grandparents plus is a must watch for anyone who cares about grandparents and the very vital role that they play in today’s society.

 

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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

 

would you like to join our facebook support group?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Grandparentsupport/ Just click on the link, it is closed group to protect your privacy, we welcome all alienated family members!

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou

Family Law is undergoing radical change and it is gathering pace, there have been calls from all those involved within the system to change the system, I speak predominantly from experience as an Alienated Grandmother that has been within that system for some years!

Yet I challenged my own right to have rights, and then I changed my attitude, it was not my right, but my grandchild’s right to continue our relationship, yet it was not my right or was it?

I believe it was my right to fight for a family life, is that not a human right?

Do we not allow all manner of folk to enjoy their human rights?  stop and think about this?

Think of how many times you have heard some ne’er do well quote their human rights?  think again of whatever the crime they committed, and were convicted of yet they were given this or that on the auspices of their human rights!

I do not wish to get into specifics as I do not wish to appear to be in favour of this, that or the other, wishy washy? you may think so, but I do believe in the law for without it the world would be in far more chaos!

I also believe in communication and a better way forward for all families, particularly those who are estranged and alienated, if you want to make the world a better place for your children and your grandchildren get in contact.

Today we celebrate the nine month anniversary of a working contact order that took nine long years to achieve, this weekend we will celebrate the history of our family with our granddaughter, who is also a niece, a cousin, a great-niece, and just an ordinary little girl whom we love!

 

If you wish to join us in supporting family life or you need help, get in contact.

Why an inquisitorial system for family courts won’t work

I Have A Voice!

I HAVE A VOICE! It may not be the beautiful shrill of the mocking bird! But I have a voice!

My voice may not have the eloquent words of Emily Dickenson, Maya Angelou, Helen Keller or even Esther Rantzen, nor the wit of Charles dickens and the glorious Paul O’Grady, not to mention the dulcet tones of Terry Wogan or the ever sexy Barry White, but I have a voice!

After eleven years of anguish I am now reassured that my granddaughter will have one too!

Yesterday will go down as a triumph, but today will go down as a victory! A victory for Justice, yes, but not without collateral damage too.

Yesterday SM…C. sent me a txt with GD…K’s mobile phone number, wow, my granddaughter now has her own phone! Her own direct line to Nana G and her family!

Being ever mindful and respectful of K’s SM…C and BF…B I consulted them as to what rules they had imposed, dutifully notified and agreed, we proceeded with our direct electronic contact, and I knew that this time it was going to be different, more than any other contact, somehow strangely it would be more natural, and it was.

We texted and sent recorded messages over an hour and a half period of time, it was natural and wonderful and it made me so happy!

Maybe it was the unscheduled surprise of it all, but no, today I was reminded what a truly unique step forward it was when my daughter : my granddaughter’s aunt, having been forwarded the number (with permissions) and having spent an equally exciting time electronically, commented after I said – it was amazing,

“I know, well done Mum it’s all down to you xxx”

That comment then, was the victory.

Not for my part in the proceedings, but that now my granddaughter would, after that vital independent connection, forever know her family!

I of course replied to my daughter “Shush! Or I’ll cry!”

Grandparents have a huge responsibility as the elders in the family, to keep things moving forward and the lines of communication open!

#contemporarygrandparenting

Abbreviations – SM…C = Step-Mother, BF…B = Biological Father, GD…K = Granddaughter,

Nana G = Me.

You don’t have to live under the same roof to make the family whole again.

According to my family and friends my first husband and I were a rarity, we remained friends and as part of each others families, long after we broke up and remained so  until his death in 2005. To this day we are still in contact with his family.

When my first husband and I decided to separate in 1992 we decided between ourselves to co-parent, we did not need a court order, we never did, in fact we never went near a court until we decided to dissolve the marriage officially 10 years later and then it was just a matter of sorting out the paperwork!

Ironic then that I should spend the last six years in and out of court fighting to see my granddaughter, which is now resolved thanks to some common sense and the ability to communicate, rather than lining the legal professions pockets, although for the first three years they did earn silk-lined pockets, but once I got the hang of things, and although not legally trained, I did do a lot of research and reading, I then represented myself, with much legal consternation from my paid advisers!

Having witnessed the court battles between my grandchild’s parents first hand, it astounded me the levels each of them would go to, in order to gain residency, it was all-out war, the child was the casualty and other family members were the collateral damage of that war.

(Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect, neither is my family, whose is?)

Part of the resolution of the problem was that time was running out for the parents in that they both enjoyed free legal help under the then legal aid system, and so the court room became  their battle ground or playground depending on your point of view. The justice review and legal aid reform put paid to that!

The point is, when you are the parents of the child, you should be teaching conflict resolution, not using weapons of mass destruction against each other, you should want to Co- parent your child to the best of your abilities, to give your child the best of all possible starts, you have already stalled the growth tank by separating and therefore left the child wondering what they did wrong?

Ask a friend whose parents split up when they were young, how they felt growing up as a child in the middle of conflict, you will get some very differing answers, from :

  • “it was great I could play one-off against the other”
  • ” I always got what I wanted”
  • ” it was just very sad, mum/dad  cried a lot”
  • “they were both just so angry all the time

I would be a liar if I told you I never argued with my ex, we argued a lot, that’s why we separated, we still argued occasionally after we split but we were never vindictive or spiteful or hateful and we enjoyed some fabulous family occasions and always spent Christmases together, we did it because we loved and still love our children, I am so glad we did! Particularly given that he died so suddenly, and without warning.

None of us can predict the future we can only learn from the past, If you are a parent reading this think of the child first and then think of the person you once loved enough to create that child, don’t let your child become a casualty of your war, spare a thought for the grandparents and other family members do you really want to be responsible for all that collateral damage?

I believe in equal rights for all, particularly the family as a whole, no parent is more deserving than another! Children need both parents, and both sides of their family to grow and develop into happy healthy people!

Please sign the petition so that children may enjoy both parents and their families.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/59827

If you need any help with conflict resolution get in touch.

Bristol Grandparents Support Group raises awareness with Esther Rantzen as their Champion!

Bristol Group

This Thursday 6th February 2014 at 7:00pm on BBC’s The One Show, Esther meets some of the Grandparents who have been denied contact, In the home of Jane Jackson the founder of Bristol Grandparents support group. 

Read here Jane’s own account of the day :-

http://bristolgrandparentssupport.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/raw-emotion-from-heartbroken.html

also if you were under the dellusion that it doesn’t cost a lot to go to court also read her other post :-

http://bristolgrandparentssupport.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-cost-of-going-down-legal-route.html

BUT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REPRESENT YOURSELF, AT A FRACTION OF THAT COST!

Just always remember to put the child first!

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007tcw7