The last week has been as we all know a monumental week not only for the voice of children being heard at Westminster Hall but for me personally as well.
The debate about the rights of grandchildren to access their grandparents after family breakdown, struck a chord with so many people.
It was covered widely across the press and media outlets, our phone has not stopped ringing since, journalists and researchers wanting us to appear on TV, Radio or to write articles, I attempted to try and get as many grandparents involved as possible, and there was an enormous buzz within groups, a real sense that the tide was beginning to turn.
Of course the tide comes in and rolls out.
Within hours of euphoria, the comments started to come the usual nameless people who have nothing better to do than to sit and write bile, I now take no notice of that, what concerned me far more was the sudden dissent from grandparents themselves.
I may need to clarify and to explain a bit about how this all works.
The Westminster debate was indeed a turning point,the presentation was excellent and the cross party support gratifying,but it didn’t suddenly mean that everything was suddenly going to change and that grandchildren were suddenly going to have a right.
Any changes take an enormous amount of time, there is still a tremendous amount of work to do.
You have to also understand that most section of the press are looking for sensational headlines, they take out just the snippets of a debate that they think makes good story, it may not be completely factual.
For the past 11 years, on our website, in our information pack absolutely everytime I talk about this issue I talk about ‘family breakdown’ and the different scenarios that cause family breakdown.
And if you had listened or read Nigel Huddleston’s debate you would know that he did exactly the same, he did not focus on divorce and separation, he was very clear of the variants.
It just happened that the majority of the press, not all, decided that they were going to focus on the divorce angle.
I sat and watched the positive bubble within groups across the country burst.
The wonderful reaction from them all of feeling galvanised themselves into being proactive, turned into something quite different.
A feeling that just because the press were taking it in that direction, it wouldn’t help them in any way, the negativity, and the destruction that goes along with negativity, eroded everything within minutes.
I have been so saddened to see this happen.
As I said in a previous blog, there is still a very long way to go, there is still hard graft to do with the support of those who can make changes, we will continue to work hard with Nigel, Darren Jones my MP and of course Esther Rantzen, who without her involvement, none of this would be happening at all.
Family breakdown is not just about someone getting a divorce, it is about problems relating to drug/alcohol, violence in the home, bereavement and family fall outs.
However the press want to take it, the most important thing of all is that, we are fighting for the children and the grandchildren, as we always have, for them to have the right to a caring and loving relationship with both parents and grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, sisters, brothers, every single member of their family.