The Berkshire Grandparents Support Group has received funding from the Englefield Charitable Trust to help support and advise those who have been estranged from their grandchildren.
Set up by Debi Richens in 2018, the Berkshire Grandparents Support Group offers a supportive space for grandparents and close family members who have little or no contact with their grandchildren due to difficult family situations.
Debi, who is a Grief Recovery Specialist, felt she needed to provide a safe place for people to come and talk freely and with complete privacy, after unfortunately experiencing alienation from her own family.
Since attending the ‘Grandchild’s Access Rights to their Grandparents’ debate in the Houses of Parliament, London, in 2018, Debi decided to learn more about parental alienation and has become a pillar of support for a community which has previously dealt with their grief in silence.
Debi, explained: “Since starting the group, I have connected with so many wonderful people from all over the world who have felt the same way as me. It has made me feel like I’ve come back to life again. I needed to create a support group because I didn’t want anyone to go through what I did. The group has brought something back to my life.”
The funding from the Englefield Charitable Trust has allowed Debi to further her development as a Grief Recovery Specialist and to grow the website which will allow more people to access the resources and support they need.
In the future, the Berkshire Grandparents Support Group is also looking to expand its support to other family members who have been alienated from their families and who may be struggling to come to terms with being isolated from loved ones.
The Chair of Englefield Charitable Trust, Catherine Haig, said: “We are pleased to be able to support an organisation which in turn helps to support so many others in difficult times.”
The group normally meets once a month in Newbury (though meetings have been postponed during lockdown). Further information can be found at https://www.berkshiregrandparents.org/