So today we have come together with 10 other grandparents support groups, our patron Dame Esther Rantzen and Vanessa Lloyd-Platt a family lawyer, to launch the “Campaign to Protect the Rights of grandchildren.”
For many years grandparents have been supporting and raising awareness of the emotional abuse caused to millions of children in the UK, within their own local groups and it is now time for us all to come together to make sure that this generation of young people have their rights to continue a relationship with their extended family after family breakdown acknowledged by a change in the law.
This Campaign is not about the rights of grandparents, just as BGSG has always been, but about the rights of the grandchildren.
I know that both Dame Esther and myself received many emails from grandchildren themselves after working together on a feature for the BBC One Show a few years ago, I certainly am still haunted by the words of those grandchildren.
Please help me see my grandparents.
As the law stands at present these children are not protected.
An unhealthy parent can just make the decision that the children will no longer have anything to do with their grandparents, no discussion overnight all contact is stopped.
Grandparents who dare to send birthday cards or presents risk a visit from the Police as they get accused of Harassment.
The grandchildren who have always heard from their grandparents on these special days, are left feeling confused and sad. Often they are told that their grandparents don’t care about them, don’t love them and don’t want anything to do with them. Some are even told that their grandparents have died.
Children who are told these poisonous lies face life long damage. They have no self-esteem and no self worth, some believe it is their fault, that they must have done something to cause this to happen.
We know from report after report our young people say they are unhappy, is it any wonder?
It is time for the politicians to recognise this is a national disgrace, it is time for grandchildren to be put on the political agenda, time for politicians to take family breakdown seriously.
Our grandchildren have no voice, they are suffering in silence, the silence has to stop.
Remember there are 14 million grandparents in the UK, we will stand up for our grandchildren and we will put our grandchildren first.