On Friday 8th april 2016 Milton Keynes MP Iain Stewart came along to meet and listen to grandparents attending the GranPart meeting held at the Parish Council offices at Shenley Church End Milton Keynes.
His visit was very welcome, and he spoke about his own family situation and said how close he had been to his own grandparents, and how important they had been in his life, and that for a grandchild not to have that contact must be very sad.
Grandparents attending the meeting told him of their own situations and questioned what Parliament was doing to support them in having more rights. He offered his support and promised to follow up the visit at Westminster and find out what is currently happening.
MP Meets with GranPart to discuss Grandparents Rights
Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart has promised to raise the rights of grandparents in Parliament after meeting with MK based ‘GranPart’.
GranPart is a newly formed group that offers advice and support to individuals who have become estranged from their grandchildren. Founder Marion Turner launched the group after she struggled to attain access to her grandson.
Marion said, “When I started sharing my situation with other people it soon became clear that I wasn't alone, and that many other grandparents were suffering similarly, and like me they found it difficult to share what they were going through with other people who were not suffering.”
She added, “I was delighted Iain came along to meet the group and discuss what more could be done to help people like me who all they want is to have a positive relationship with their grandchildren.”
Mr Stewart said, “I would like to thank Marion for inviting me along. It was a really interesting discussion. Clearly there is more that can be done so I will be making some enquiries and raising the matter with Minister.”
If you would like to find out more about GranPart please visit their website www.granpart.co.uk
Keith McLean, Conservative ward councillor for Olney and former Milton Keynes Mayor, came along to the Macmillan coffee morning at Shenley Parish Council on 21st October to lend his support.
Keith, who is also the Executive Office Manager for Iain Stewart MP enjoyed the tea and cake and chatting to many of the people who attended the event.
Following on from the coffee morning Keith will be attending Octobers meeting, when he will spend time getting a better understanding of what the group is all about.
Finding a legal solution can be very challenging for grandparents, as they do not have an automatic legal right to contact with their grandchildren.
Solicitor Tina Shah from Gilroy Steel Solicitors attended our Milton Keynes meeting in July and explained the best approach for grandparents who have lost contact to take. This included finding an appropriate family solicitor who is a member of Resolution, as their members are commited to resolving family disputes constructively.
Tina provided the group with a pack containing some very useful legal advice. If you would like a copy or want to find out further information please contact Tina Shah at Gilroy Steel Solicitors Telephone 01280 815538.
Wellbeing Navigator Dawn Clement visited the Northampton group in July and explained how her team can support members. As part of the Mental Health Northamptonshire Collaborative (MHNC) the well-being navigation team provides support in the community to help people who are experiencing difficulties with their emotional, social and physical well-being.
On the right in the photograph Dawn Clement who was joined by student Ennie
MIND MK helps celebrate 1st Birthday
Victoria Sharp-Crisp from MIND MK helped celebrate GranPart MK's 1st birthday on Monday 27th June. Victoria spent time listening and talking to each member of the group and explained how MIND can offer support.
Some of the support services MIND can offer include social exclusion, one to one talk therapy, anger management and individual counselling. There wil be a taster session at a future meeting.
Friday 13th May was a lucky day for GranPart Northampton when David Mackintosh MP for Northampton South accepted Marion's invitation to come along to thier monthly meeting at the Beefeater Harpole.
David spent time listening to members of the group relating their heartbreaking stories, and promised to go back and talk to fellow ministers.
His support was greatly appreciated by all the grandparents.