It is true to say that everyone is looking for something different when they join a support group.
For me when I started BGSG I just wanted to find other grandparents who were feeling just like me, alone, isolated and confused.
BGSG is for support, to hold out a steady hand of friendship and to be there to listen and understand without question or judgment.
We don’t give advice, we share our thoughts and experiences, it is up to the individuals who we support as to whether they are also listening.
I do worry that there are other groups who appear to be leaning heavily towards suggesting grandparents go own the legal route, we constantly seem to get lawyers popping up here than and everywhere, saying how easy it is to go to court and it doesn’t have to be expensive. I have had numerous emails in thefts 24 hours offering legal services.
Grandparents are very vulnerable when this happens to them and it is easy to drift into something, believing that it is the right way to go.
What I want to know is, after having statistics banded about yesterday over the media, no one asked or indeed offered the statistic of, ‘how many grandparents actually gain a child arrangement order,’ and ‘how many orders are breached?’
I would love anyone who has those facts to let me have them, every avenue I have tried does not have that information.
What I do know is that we spend hours supporting those who have gone down that route and suffering financially and emotionally as a result.
Please think long and hard before taking that step, when joining any group think about what you are looking for, ask questions about the group or organisations, ask who their trustees are, are they receiving funding from government departments are they receiving funding from lawyers, maybe lawyers pay to have links on their websites ect, it is your decision.
As I keep saying we are an independent group, we do not have a membership fee everyone you will speak to are all grandparents who are estranged from their grandchildren, we do not employ people, we are the experts in our field because we are the grandparents who understand totally, not as a result of a few days training or reading a few research documents.
The rest is up to you, but we are here and we aim to answer your emails,texts and calls within 24hours, if you haven’t received a reply please contact us again, occasionally when we reply by email they bounce back undelivered, that could be that an individual has high security on their computers and it thinks it is SPAM, or you haven’t submitted the correct email address, it did happen with a couple yesterday.
The responses from yesterdays coverage on the BBC was huge, it shows that many grandparents are still out there, thinking they are alone, you are not, please give us a call or drop us an email.