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Community Group

Berkshire Grandparents Support Group

"Support group for Berkshire Grandparents, who have little or no contact with their Grandchildren."

Who We Help, Why We Help & the Difference It Makes

Berkshire Grandparents Support Group

I am Debi Richens, founder of Berkshire Grandparents. I am an alienated/estranged parent and alienated grandparent. I have two granddaughters, born in 2015 and 2017, whom I have not been allowed to get to know. I have only seen my older grandchild a handful of times and have never met my younger one at all. The alienation and estrangement from my daughter have been ongoing since I started divorce proceedings in 2005. There have been sporadic periods of contact but they have been difficult and limited. I have felt isolated from, and unwelcome by, my own family.

On  2 May 2018, I attended the ‘Grandchildren’s Access Rights to their Grandparents’ debate in parliament brought by Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid-Worcester. On the strength of this I decided it was time to create a support group in Berkshire for Grandparents in the same situation as I found myself. Since then I have learnt more about parental alienation (PA) which plays a huge part in grandparent alienation situations.

Berkshire Grandparents Support Group is a safe supportive space for grandparents and close family members who have little or no contact with their grandchildren due to difficult family situations. We aim to support you and help you find practical ways to deal with the impact that having no contact with your grandchildren has on your life and that of your wider family.

Berkshire Grandparents meets on the second Thursday of the month at Winchcombe Place Care Home, Maple Place. Newbury RG14 1LN. There is plenty of free parking.  Our meeting dates are always the 2nd Thursday of the month, please check our Facebook events page just in case there are any changes. Meeting times are 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm for supportive conversation over a hot drink and cake. Everything spoken of in these monthly gatherings will be completely confidential.

A donation of £5 is requested to cover refreshments and hall hire. If you would kindly make the donation through our fundraising platform Berkshire Grandparents Funding Application your donation will be DOUBLED by The Greenham Trust. 

To ensure that we have enough refreshments and plenty of meeting space please let us know that you are attending by contacting us in advance, either via our Facebook events page or via email contact@berkshiregrandparents.org


Our Services Are

Free Low Cost Subsidised Charged Donation Appreciated

What Would You Like Now?

Choose one of the options below.

The aim of Berkshire Grandparents is:

1.     To create a safe and engaging space where grandparents can speak freely, be heard,and be safe

2.     To create a space where health and well-being can be supported, this is often neglected. Mental health in particular is a very serious issue

3.     To create a community of individuals who can interact with others in a safe environment at regular public events

4.     To create an online community who can support each other, as well as sharing positive change in their relationships with their families, but who can also interact within the community – taking away fear of speaking their truth publicly, and of being alone. Grandparents can be as young as in their 40’s onwards, so there is a diverse age range to support.  There will be a fully private and secure forum, as well as an open forum – Facebook and Twitter

5.     To create a safe environment for the immediate family, aunts, uncles and cousins, all of whom this situation has affected, and more deeply than can be imagined

6.     To raise awareness within the local and wider community. Creating a stronger support base not just across West Berkshire, but to also include Berkshire and surrounding borders.

7.     To create interaction with other support groups nationally ie, Bristol Grandparents and Granpart

8.     To create awareness and support from GP practices and other mental health agencies.

9.     To create a place where legal advice can be sought free in the first instance, but in a less invasive atmosphere

10.  To create a catalogue of information that is kept up to date on the law and other matters.

 

Additional Information

Cornerstone Community Alliance
T: +44 (0)203 488 0377
https://www.cc-alliance.org/

Berkshire Family Mediation
T: 0118 957 1159
http://berkshirefamilymediation.org.uk/

Families Need Fathers
T: 0300 0300 363 
https://fnf.org.uk/

Family Rights Group
www.frg.org.uk

MATCH
(Mothers apart from their children)
www.matchmothers.org

Resolution
www.resolution.org.uk

The Silver Line:
T: 0800 4 70 80 90
www.thesilverline.org.uk

Only Mums
www.onlymums.org

Only Dads
www.onlydads.org


Links to the Parliamentary Debate - Presumptive Access Rights for Grandchildren to their Grandparents and other close family members

This is the visual debate - https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/14e8bd6c-f80a-4335-a005-f06993e15d87?in=16:29:40

 

This is the transcript of the debate - https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-05-02/debates/4532C0A2-3EDC-4113-BB87-C303A16763BC/AccessRightsToGrandparents#contribution-C36D574D-2A34-4B10-B661-A3D0BB98B8A1

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