TWO LOCAL grandmothers have been to Number 10, Downing Street to petition for more rights for grandparents.
Lorraine Bushell and Ann Carter visited the Prime Minster’s home last Friday, alongside MPs, Baroness Butler Sloss and Lynn Chesterman, Chief Executive of the Grandparents Association to handover their 7,000 signature petition.
The Association is campaigning for the right for children to know and have at least ‘letter box’ contact with their grandparents, where they are free to receive cards, presents, and letters on special occasions.
“This Christmas, thousands of children will not be in touch with their grandparents, and will miss out on the love and pride they have for their grandchildren,” said Ms Chesterman.
She added that changing the law was the only way for some to avoid lengthy, financial and emotional battles at court for contact with their grandchildren, particularly over the festive period.
Mrs Carter joined the Association five years ago after losing contact with one of her two daughters and her granddaughter.
“I didn’t know what to do, I was absolutely at my wit’s end,” she said. “When I joined the Association, I got to know other grandparents in the same situation and just to know I wasn’t alone was such a relief.”
The 72-year-old was forced to pursue the right to contact her granddaughter through the family courts, but now is able to see her on a regular basis.
“Mine is a success story,” she said.
“But there are such a lot of other people with this problem.”
The grandmother-of-three, who also volunteers on the charity’s helpline, said she had not been worried about visiting the iconic No.10 Downing Street to hand in the petition.
“I’m too old to be nervous,” she joked. “The cause is too important.
“We want to make parliament aware of the struggles grandparents have to face, and get the law changed.”