Whatever we are doing in our lives it is always a good idea to take a step back and evaluate.
Sometimes you need a gentle reminder from a good friend to get you back on track. In my case as far as BGSG is concerned, to go back to my roots, to go back to the reason I set up a support group, it is really simple, when I think like this.
I wanted to be a voice for the millions of children who face a life without a relationship with their grandparents, usually with grandparents who have been an integral part of their lives for many years, until something happens to break that down.
BGSG was from its conception about the rights of grandchildren, it wasn’t ever about grandparents rights.
There is of course a place for both, but for me it’s raising the awareness of how children are not being listened to.
According to The Children’s Society website every 5 minutes a child runs away from home or care in the UK.Some as young as 8 years old.
That is 100,000 children missing every year.
It results in 1 in 6 sleeping rough, 1 in 8 will beg or steal to survive and 1 in 12 are hurt or harmed as a direct result of running away.
Amongst various groups of vulnerable children, one group is children whose parents’ relationship has broken down.
In the 21st century, in this country, to read these figures is absolutely shameful.
Presumably most of these children have grandparents and an extended family, of course if these children have been denied contact with their grandparents where can they go?
When children have to face their parents separating they need some form of stability in their lives, someone and somewhere they can go to, to talk over their worries and concerns, knowing that they can trust their grandparents.
Often children will share their most inner most thoughts with a grandparent, and with their support be able to work through the mayhem that might be going on around them.
As a society we must look long and hard at what impact estrangement is having on so many of our young people, not hide it under the carpet in hope that it will go away. It won’t.
On Women’s Hour today they did a feature on a report that says that 90% of families are happy.
If we are saying that having 100,000 of our countries children running away from home how on earth does that make 90% of families saying they are happy.