Some of you will know that we sell plants to fund raise for BGSG, we have been doing so for several years now and people wait until the plants appear in our front garden to come and buy them from us.
It is a wonderful way to raise awareness of the issues that surround estrangement and alienation of grandparents.
By the time they have purchased their plants they know all there is to know about this ‘ living bereavement.’
Some visitors have been following our own personal story and are always keen to know how things are going, those who are visiting for the first time, want to know how this can happen.
More and more people know of friends or colleagues who are going through this horrible situation.
We really enjoy this way of raising awareness, turning a negative into a positive. Visitors go away with beautiful plants for their gardens and also have a bit more knowledge of what we do and why.
You will also know that every year we have our ‘Tree of Hope’ in the garden at Christmas time, for grandparents and anyone who wants to to come and write messages to their grandchildren and put them on the tree, again it has become a community event, people say its not Christmas until our tree goes up!
This morning a grandparent came to buy some plants as I was painting some planters. She sees her grandchildren and said she always gives them an extra hug now, and went on to tell me such an uplifting story I wanted to share it with you.
Apparently her little 3 year old grandson saw out Christmas Tree and asked his Mum what it was for and why were there messages all over it?
His mum explained and he was so upset by it, he went straight home and wrote a Christmas card to his Gran, who lives in Australia and put it on his own tree.
Maybe I should have put a mascara warning first!
It certainly made me shed a tear.
So when people criticise as they do sometimes, that putting up a tree, or selling plants or sharing a cuppa and cake, is a waste of time, I would say that if just one little boy was so upset by the fact that there are some grandchildren not allowed to see their grandparents then it is worth it and it clearly makes a difference.
Hopefully this little chap will never forget how it made hime feel, and it might make him think twice about family relationships as he grows up.
Of course it isn’t just this one little boy, we live 100 yards away from our local primary school and many hundreds of children pass our house everyday, many ask what are the plants for and what is the ‘Tree of Hope’ for, so all of those young people know what Bristol Grandparents Support Group is and what we do.
Education is key.