Since 2007 when Bristol Grandparents Support Group started to evolve, I had no idea where it would take me and who I would meet as a consequence.
It is of course true to say that the group was founded out of a feeling of loss and desperation but it has enriched my life in so many different ways.
During the last few years, we have met some wonderful people.
I would like to mention just one today.
One of our aims has always been to raise public awareness of the issues around being denied contact, and this means going to the media in all its forms to try and get our message across.
From the very early days, one presenter from BBC Radio Bristol, John Darvall absolutely ‘got’ what we were trying to do.
We have met him on many occasions in the studio and taken part regularly on his morning phone-ins, including a joint discussion with Dame Esther Rantzen.
Those who work in the media can sometimes make you feel as though you are just filling a slot, or just someone to call on a slow news day. John has never made us feel that way.
He has a genuine concern and interest in what we are doing, and we are eternally grateful for his support.
I am writing about this today, as tragically Johns’ daughter died this weekend in a car accident.
Reading all the comments on a variety of social media it is clear that many, many people highly respect and care about him and his family. I hope and pray that he can take some of that care and compassion that he has shown us over the years to help and support him over this difficult time.
John wrote this today, “Make sure you love those who love you. Truth and love is all we really have so honour it and cherish it where and when you can. ”
So today all of us at Bristol Grandparents Support Group, offer John and his family our sincere condolences on the tragic loss, of their beautiful 22 year old daughter, Polly.
Rest in peace.