Marc and I have just spent the day at the launch of “Celebrating Age Festival” in Bristol. It is the beginning of two weeks of activities taking place all around the city, looking at different ways of embracing age.
Many organisations, charities and groups all working to alleviate isolation and loneliness and promoting well-being.
For six hours we talked and listened.
Explaining what we do and our aims, and listening to many grandparents who are facing estrangement.
Many who said, “Thank goodness we have found you. We thought we were alone and this never happens to anyone else but us.”
Being able to tell them that they are most certainly not alone, has an immediate affect. The anguish on their face is somehow lifted, there is an almost audible sigh of relief.
Yes, some tears flowed, but they now know that there is support out there for them and we are only a call or email away and that there is an opportunity to link up with other grandparents, if they feel that would be helpful.
Attending events such as this, is so important in raising awareness and reaching out to people.
It may be that grandparents being denied contact is something they have never heard of, but in the future if they do hear of someone who is going through this difficult time, hopefully they will remember that BGSG is here to help.
Just as we were about to pack up, a Mum with her little girl stopped and read our leaflets and she said, “Why does this happen?”
Well, that is the million dollar question.