As we have now reached the end of the sitting of Parliament and all our MP’s go off to spend time with their families and to no doubt have a break from the hustle and bustle of Westminster, I would like to just say a few thank you’s.
I am not a political animal in any way and so am neutral!
Over the last couple of years I have been invited to Westminster and associated places.
I admit that I don’t like travelling and am hopeless if I have to travel alone, terrified of getting lost, so I don’t go alone.
Whatever we may feel of Parliament and those who serve, the actual day to day working of Westminster is fascinating, you see these places on the TV almost daily but what that never conveys is the enormous amount of tradition and history.
You do feel it when there in person.
The last 18 months in particular have been very busy, with several visits to London. An introduction by Dame Esther Rantzen to Nigel Huddleston MP at Portcullis House, followed by a meeting with the then Justice Minister Dominic Raab where we had a long and positive discussion on the rights of grandchildren to an ongoing relationship with their grandparents following family breakdown, in all its forms.
As is with Parliament there was a cabinet reshuffle and a new Minister was appointed in that post, so it was back to the drawing board.
Nigel Huddleston was determined that what we had achieved so far could not just get lost and with his commitment to the cause he worked hard securing a debate in Westminster Hall. In May many MP’s stood up and talked passionately about the subject all with constituents who were estranged or alienated from their grandchildren.
You couldn’t help but be moved by what was being said.
Our own local MP Darren Jones, only newly elected, spoke on our behalf. We had been to see him at his surgery a few months previously. Listening to him talking about us and our charity was quite extraordinary and the tears did fall.
How was this happening?
11 years ago we lost contact with our granddaughter and I thought it would be a good idea to try and link up with anyone near me who might be going through this horrible ‘living bereavement’ and there I was listening to MP’s debating this at the highest level.
Then at a Prime Ministers Question time, Nigel asked the PM about the rights of grandchildren in family breakdown situations, she acknowledged our meeting with the Justice Minister, and talked about the importance of grandparents.
This is not a time for people to comment about MPs or Government, but a time for me to personally thank Dame Esther, Nigel Huddleston MP, Darren Jones MP, ( secretaries who write copious emails) and to every MP who has given us their support.
We will continue to move this forward with the help of them all.
This tragedy for so many children must be kept high on the political agenda, each one of us owe it to a whole generation of children.
The devaluing of family must stop, we all need to get back to basics to family values and the importance of each and every family member.
At a time when the world feels so unsteady, we need one another.