A few months ago we launched our ‘Befriending’ service and here is the view of how it helps from a grandparent:

“Hello to you all, there is something I need to share with you all, firstly a little about me and my story…..

We became grandparents in 2012 to a beautiful baby girl, I cannot explain in words what the feeling was like.

Overwhelming, tears of joy, being so happy for our only son and his partner. We saw our granddaughter for the 1st time , when she was only a few hours old, we were laden with gifts as you do!.

From that 1st day there was a strain, during her first year we could count how many times we were allowed to visit or see her, our son became distant.

We had always been so close me, his dad and our son, we were all friends.

Time went on we were made to feel so unwelcome, unwanted, we were beginning to be denied access of our granddaughter ,which made us both so ill, birthdays, Christmas just passed we tried so hard to reason with our sons partner. During this time the harder we tried the worse it got.

Our granddaughters mother then decided, she no longer wanted to bother with us , there were lies upon lies, nastiness, we couldn’t cope with it all, leaving us devastated, I sank so low I wanted to die, I was so isolated, I couldn’t leave our home my health suffered greatly. Then one day a friend asked me if we had watched The One Show about Bristol Grandparents Support Group.

I had lost all my confidence , one night I couldn’t breathe I cried more and more each day I had lost my only son and granddaughter.

So I decided to contact Jane at BGSG not knowing what to say or do, I did my best, thinking this person is going to think I’m crazy!

I received a reply , which made me cry buckets, I had found someone I could tell all to and tell it like it was, I was never judged.

I/we were supported through it all, as time moved forward one day I received a lovely email from Jane telling me about the ‘Befriending’ service that she had launched, and she asked me if I’d be interested. It could be by emailing , speaking on the phone , to someone on a regular basis, whatever would suit me !  Of course the person Jane befriends you with is like Jane and yourself , they are also suffering in the same way alienated from their precious grandchildren , or/and family member .

I want you to know it’s the best thing to happen to me , you’ll find so much in common, you’ll open doors that have been locked and like me you’ll find a new best friend!  Jane will always be there and never leave you, the support you’ll have twice over.

I can say with my hand on heart “befriending saved my life” I have a true friend !!

When you are so low and don’t know which way to turn , your mental and physical health may be suffering like mine ?

You can email or pick up the phone and say exactly how you feel and what your thinking, I still do, so please get in touch with Jane and ask her about befriending and give it a go, I may not be here today if I hadn’t tried befriending…… you’ll even find laughter and messages you look so forward to receiving and you’ll begin to know their story and you’ll feel overwhelmed that they share so much.

The reason being, you are both suffering the same loss, but never give up hope.”

Thank you so much to the grandparent who has shared their experience with us.

Please remember you are not alone there is help and support out there for you, just a phone call away.

Jane