Running a support group, takes time patience and determination.
I am so grateful to grandparents who although going through their own personal hell of estrangement, are supporting others. Giving of their time freely, lending a compassionate ear, often with little thanks.
This is absolutely not about me.
I am referring to the grandparents all over the UK, who are opening their houses, organising meeting places and doing an amazing job of stopping the horrible feeling of isolation and loneliness.
Most importantly, opening their hearts.
Grandparents often do arrive at their first meeting expecting a magic wand, understandably they are looking for answers, sadly we don’t have those answers.
Many grandparents who run groups are expected to do everything.
The issue of grandparental alienation needs to be kept high on the political agenda and high in the public eye, it doesn’t happen all by itself. It takes hours of preparation, letter writing, emailing, phoning constantly contacting MP’s ect.
When grandparents attending meetings, ask what is being done or says you should write to so and so, and many more ideas come from members, but the expectation is that whoever is running the group will carry out those expectation.
I truly believe that groups work best when they are member led.
So if a member suggests something , my response would be to say,”Maybe you would like to do that for us?”
I would hate to think that grandparents who are running groups, feel totally overwhelmed by all these ideas being thrown at them, and that they are feeling of closing a group down as a result.
If you are an attendee, it is worth remembering that the organiser is also going through bad stuff and maybe struggling themselves. So perhaps you might like to ask if you can help in the running of the group, or maybe do some of the admin involved, perhaps make a cake to take along.
Groups are essential, in fact they are the most important thing of all, so please value them and just ask your organiser if they are ok.
Sharing the workload helps.